Search form

5 Types Of Learning Stations


Are you looking for a way to keep kids engaged in the lessons you are trying to teach? Consider adding some learning stations to your classroom. Children of all ages can benefit from the change of pace and scenery created by a learning station — you can tie these in to your current lesson plan to enhance learning. Here are five types of learning stations to consider:


Communication Station


Communication comes in all types of forms  — writing, speaking and reading. Set up a communication station where students are encouraged to interact with these forms of communication.


For writing, add journals and story prompts with some fun writing instruments. To connect this to your lesson plans, join the story prompts to something from your lesson. Allow students to create stories that build on one another as well, so they can learn to build off someone else's ideas.


Reading is one of the easiest things to add to your learning station. Provide comfortable seating and interesting, age-appropriate books, and let the children have some free reading time.


Verbal communication is also valuable. Telephones can prompt this type of communication. You also may find that you learn something about the students by listening to their made-up conversations on the phone.


Science Station


Science lends itself well to hands-on, station-based learning. Whether you put out some kid-friendly science equipment for the children to explore or set up a safe, simple experiment for them to do and help them log their results, you will find that science stations get kids excited about science topics.


The type of station or subject matter you use in a science station really varies depending on your intended lesson. Instead of focusing on specific ideas, consider these tips:


  • Keep safety as a first priority.
  • Teach children to clean up when they are done.
  • Use kid-safe equipment that is free of sharp edges or other hazards.
  • Encourage children to record their observations.


As you create your science learning station, don't be afraid to go outside. You can observe the weather and nature in an outdoor learning station, no matter what season it is. Your students will benefit from the chance to head outdoors in the middle of winter, and you can encourage ongoing learning while you are out there.


Dramatic Play Station


Does dramatic play have anything to do with classroom learning? Absolutely! Dramatic play teaches children important social skills and gives them a venue to act out the things you are teaching in the classroom. Did you just finish a unit on community helpers in social studies? Why not let the children play with dress-up clothes that connect the lesson to their play? Dramatic play has a huge role in emotional and educational development.


Your center can be fairly simple to set up, or it can be quite complex, depending on your space and your desires. For a simple center, rotate out costumes and props that give children a variety of roles to practice. For a more complex center, set up a play house that can be used as a house, store, post office and more. A stage where children can perform is also a great addition to a dramatic play center.


Math Station


Do your students find math engaging or boring? A math learning station can be exactly what they need to get their interest up.


Creating a math learning station is pretty easy. You will need some math games that kids can play independently and some manipulatives. From counting money to manipulating tanagrams, the options to incorporate math into a play-based learning station are almost endless. Simply think past the worksheet and get creative.


Art Station


Art is, perhaps, the most obvious place where a learning station would fit into your classroom. Yet many teachers overlook an art station, assuming that art will not play a role in their classroom instruction. This could not be farther from the truth.


You can easily connect the art station into your lesson plans by directing art activities. Are your students studying insects in science? Create an art station where the students build their own insects out of spare parts, and instruct them to ensure that all of the insects parts are included. Are you exploring geometry in math class? Make art projects out of geometric shapes, or explore the idea of symmetry in your artwork. Free art play can also be beneficial to your students, so give them some time to explore their own creativity.


As you can see, setting up learning stations in your classroom can help connect what you are teaching to many different disciplines. Your students will benefit from being more engaged and active in the classroom, and you will benefit by reaping better understanding of your students in your classroom. Take the time to set up a few learning stations this week, and see the difference they make in your classroom.


About the author:

David Reeves is Marketing Manager of Superior Playgrounds ( in Carrollton, GA. The company designs play structures for several age groups. They have a variety of structures and components, such as slides and bridges, to fit your school’s outdoor area.