A flow station is a place created for a child, teenager, or adult to be in the zone, which is another expression for being in flow. It is a place where your child can dive deeply into an activity they love without being interrupted, and where they can experiment with a multitude of skills and discover their innate talents. At a flow station (a table, desk, floor space, room, or nook) your child can find everything they need to remain focused on their activity and enjoy being in the zone. The expression being in the zone makes it clear how significantly the flow state is connected to a suitable environment. Flow requires a specific space where flow can happen. A tennis player needs a court, a swimmer needs a body of water, a carpenter needs a woodshop, a musician needs a quiet place, and children need nature and a variety of places with toys, hands-on learning materials, arts and crafts materials, instruments and so on. (Scroll down for ideas.)
Flow stations make it easy for children to choose an activity and focus on it. Age-appropriate supplies allow children to explore and discover activities that suit their development in the moment, so they can experiment with a multitude of skills and discover their innate talents. Whatever your home and whatever your budget, you can rearrange just a few things (or many things) to help your child feel more welcome and find places to fully experience flow. Even one small, well-prepared place can have a positive effect on your child’s well-being and behavior.
Ideally, you unleash your own creativity and have fun creating learning wonderlands. Do not hesitate to remove elements at any time that don’t seem to work and dare to experiment with inventing new flow stations. There is unlimited inspiration for activities on the internet, and take clues from your child; for instance, if they are fascinated with ice and water, create a place where your child can experiment with a big bucket of ice cubes, and add a towel, and other things they may need to fully enjoy the experience. Depending on your relationship, you might spend time with your child in the newly created places until they feel comfortably connected with you and can focus without your loving attention.
At home you can dedicate a complete room or nooks and corners to your child; ideally, there is also an outdoor space. Create these places so your child loves to spend time there. Different children need different elements. The simple action of creating special places for your child is a profound act of love. It shows your child that you truly care, that they can trust you, that they matter and belong, and that this is also their home.
EXAMPLES OF FLOW STATIONS
Below you will find some ideas for flow stations that are further explained in the Flow To Learn guide book (I will soon write blogs about them.) You might come up with many additional ideas suited to your child’s interest, or do an internet search for play spaces. Use the basic principles of the Flow To Learn guide book to prepare all flow stations safely and effectively. The possibilities are endless. Have fun!
✩ Floor space for block and pretend play
✩ Table for a makerspace
✩ A clay/ molding dough station
✩ Sensory exploration space
✩ Table for a puzzle station
✩ Simple nature science table
✩ Table or floor space for board games
✩ Dress-up and role-play for several children
✩ Floor space for movement, rough-and-tumble
✩ A place for instruments and sound-makers
✩ Sand table for sensory and healing play
Outdoors (balcony, porch, yard, playground, or park)
✩ Sandbox with a variety of containers
✩ Water play station
✩ Weather station
✩ Potting station
✩ Mud kitchen
✩ Space for ball play
✩ Nature play areas in park
✩ Outdoor adventure play