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" Boys don't like drapes" : Discuss!


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We are trying to make our nursery more 'Wow' when you walk in! It's a big space and the areas aren't too well defined. After some fairly half baked suggestions (!) from KS1 and 2 staff ;) we have made some changes, only to be hit with the phrase

 

' Boys don't like drapes'

 

We had been advised to make some areas a bit more defined so have :o :o used some drapes :o :o .

What do others think and what evidence is there for either argument ( before I implode!!! :blink: )

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have you seen this....

 

http://abcdoes.typepad.com/abc-does-a-blog/2013/04/if-you-had-to-give-it-a-gender.html

 

I have no problem with 'drapes' and we use lots of material (we are in a large hall with high ceiling!) If you are little it helps to create a more cosy feel and as you say can help to define areas. At the moment we have some planets flying from the ceiling so have put up silver and starry material to create the 'milky way' feel. We use lots of sari material as part of our approach to inclusivity. We have a sea side cosy corner complete with blue material and fish curtain to create a cosy reading area (actually currently being used by a group of girls as a mermaid cave!) we have ikea crab material in the discovery area as a backdrop for our nature/frog area. Etc etc etc

Our local school came in to see our use of materials to try to encourage all their classes up to year 4 to create communication friendly spaces ....not sure they really got it.....still working on that one! :blink: xD

So i guess it is much more about them learning from you ! oh and by the way we are boy heavy (60%) and all our visitors mention how engaged the children are...so IMO boys like drapes too!!

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I think it depends on the colour and pattern. If they are neutral I don't think the boys even notice. Maybe let them choose their own material.We divide areas by furniture, cardboard dividers covered in material, wooden dividers and tables.We also use rugs to mark out areas.

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I don't have masses of drapey stuff in my classroom but I would think it depends on type as bubblejack said - if it's all pink, fluffy and sparkly then probably not (wouldn't do a lot for me either!) but a bit of green net with some jungle creatures crawling up it... Depends on the boys!

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give boys some material a few items and chairs and what do they usually do? ours used to build a den or covered area , maybe depends on the kind of material used, we had a cosy book corner with white voile, mainly so we could see into it.. always used by the boys , they liked the enclosure bit.. when we removed it they stopped using it as much.


i think the key is to make it neutral, not geared to either boys or girls in particular...Try asking the children about kind of drapes they like.. but be careful to not pander to the boys by taking it too far the other way! ( lots of netting and camouflage etc.. same effect as too much pink sparkles.. )

 

we had plain bright colours in several area.. again we needed some to deaden the sound in a hall with very high ceilings..

 

and then another thought is why does everything have to be what boys like or don't like... girls use the space too.. is this a reason to exclude something because one gender may not like it? what other things would need excluding because girls don't like it? We would all end up with empty rooms by excluding things the other gender may not like... but given the chance actually enjoy..

 

Should they be excluded from the experience of trying things out?

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I'm just wondering how we know that 'boys don't like drapes'? Why should boys or girls have preferences for certain types, and has anyone actually got any evidence for this. My gut reaction is that children like making dens and will use whatever is to hand to make them. They will wrap themselves in whatever is available when dressing up using their imaginations, and if drapes are used to look lovely for displays, I suspect that these are hardly noticed by the children after the first day, but the adults really like them as they make a room look attractive to everyone else, and I like them too.

I have found that boys enjoy glitzy things, including lots of jewellery when dressed up as something like pirate treasure, so I think we need to be careful not to stereotype what we provide, but give the children choice.

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give boys some material a few items and chairs and what do they usually do? ours used to build a den or covered area , maybe depends on the kind of material used, we had a cosy book corner with white voile, mainly so we could see into it.. always used by the boys , they liked the enclosure bit.. when we removed it they stopped using it as much.

 

i think the key is to make it neutral, not geared to either boys or girls in particular...Try asking the children about kind of drapes they like.. but be careful to not pander to the boys by taking it too far the other way! ( lots of netting and camouflage etc.. same effect as too much pink sparkles.. )

 

we had plain bright colours in several area.. again we needed some to deaden the sound in a hall with very high ceilings..

 

Yup! The more enclosed the better in some cases - many of mine make dens under tables, take all the soft things in the classroom under there and 4 boys and have a lovely snuggly space. I tend to go for plain bright colours too but thanks for the white voile in a reading corner reminder. I used to have some, took it down a while ago but after a furniture move round my current reading corner needs a revamp (it's turned into a dumping corner) and this may help.

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Sorry, maybe I was a bit strong when saying 'maybe not pink, sparkly, fluffy drapes' - I did have my current lot in mind who seem to have very strong feelings about girl colours and boy colours at the moment and, as I said, myself!

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since reading abc's blog the other day we had a discussion about this at work. It's always a balancing trick but what did come out of the discussion was a feeling that most interior design in peoples houses is done by women and so perhaps boys are 'used' to being in an environment that is 'femalized' !! just a thought!!

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