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Snack Bar


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Hi everyone

 

This is my first New Topic entry so I hope I am doing it in the right place. If I haven't please feel free to move it to the correct one!!

 

My setting is thinking about introducing a snack bar system during free play. We can see the advantages of it etc and think it would be worth pursuing. I shall give you some background on the group and the layout etc.

 

Sessional preschool 2.5 - school age mixed groups. We run two linked classrooms (messy room and 'quiet' room) and an outdoor area accessible from both rooms. We have two members of staff for each room and two for outside. When I return from maternity leave there will be 7 members of staff altogether. Our toilets are not within our setting and one Ofsted inspector said we should escort the children to the toilet as we do not have exclusive use of the toilets (we share with two year 2 classes), although they are just opposite us in the corridor! Children also wash their hands here for snack.

 

We have up to 40 children per session and my supervisor/committee wan the children to make their own snack which will require supervision.

 

We have an allocated time slot for PE in the main hall at 10.30am and we open at 9am. I am not sure children should eat snack directly before PE, and how long do you think it will take for 40 children to make their own snack and eat it? Children will also have to be escorted to wash hands. Sorry for going on but I just can't get my head around it!! Can anyone help, offer a solution or tell me it is impossible! Any input greatly received. How do other people manage snack bar, toileting arrangements when they are not in the settings room etc. HELP!!

 

Shiny

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Hi

I manage a sessional pre-school we introduced the self service snack table 2 years ago at first I couldn't see how it would work I was used to stopping the children tidying away toilet washhands sit down say pray and the children then had to wait for the snack to be given out.

 

Now we have a number line on the wall which children follow;- 1- get their name card (which is their place mat) put this on the table this keeps their space at the table 2- wash hands/toilet if needed 3 - get bowl and help themselves to a bisc and a piece of friut - pour themselves a drink 4 - tidy their place away.

 

As you have to take your children to the toilet could you ask who wants their snack and just do however many can sit at the table at one one or if you have enough room for two tables at a time and then when they have been to be toilet let them do the rest themselves.

 

Or think of away they could wash their hands in your setting Eg a bowl on a table or perhaps some wet wipes.

 

hope this has been helpful

good luck and stick with it

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Hi - I too faced this dilemma as snack was taking just too long and making 2 yr olds sit and wait whislt everyone washed hands etc just didn't work.

 

We have the added concern of a severe dairy allergy which means we have to keep water and milk VERY separate.

 

However... we have a bell to attract attention and ring around 10.30 and advise snack available - all the children run for the door to do hand washing but we persuade some to return to their play - we have a table for 5 milks and a table for 4 waters - total of around 20 children per session.

 

We too have a display board showing the snack process / name cards etc. The children wash hands with adult supervision - sinks very unchild friendly! - two other members of staff stay in the room one near water one near milk ....

 

We monitor through the name cards who has had snack and then encourage the other children to wash hands when spaces available. In all snack out for about half hour and children return to their play once they have had a wipe and put their dirty cups in the bowl.

 

Ofsted not happy with bowls of water / wipes before snack - so beware of going down that route.

 

Good luck - it does seem to work and children come in their own time.

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Welcome Debbi and thank you and breedon for you comments, I will try it and understand the benefits, trying to fit every thing in is a nightmare! Did it take your children long to get used to the new routine? We also have a boy who will go straight to the snack table and want to stay there eating everything! Aaah!

 

Shiny

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Yes - always remember to have a few extra peices of snack available - we do "move them on" if necessary but we will sit and chat with them if they want to linger - we do promote PSE at the same time! Not long to get used to - very adaptable these kids! :o

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We only have 4 children at the snack bar at any one time. New children are taught the routine when they start and sometimes its surprising at how quickley most of them pick it up.

 

We do reminders at circle time sometimes and role play teddy coming to snack bar and all the things he has to do in preparation.

 

Within a few weeks most of the children are accessing this independently and our Ofsted inspector loved when some children reminded others to wash their hands before eating.

 

It does take some other children a bit longer to learn that it is only one biscuit/cracker/bread etc and one piece of fruit and milk/water. Water is available at all times and as much as they wish for.

 

I spotted a child, the other day, who just couldn't understand or learn the routine when she started last september. She would constantly hang around the table and take bites of the fruit and put them back in the bowl. She's a different child now and is one of the 'older' ones who 'mothers' the new children showing them what to do.

Fantastic!! :o

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we started a snack bar in september it was a nightmare so stopped. By Christmas group snacktime with up to 26 children washing hands sitting down and staying sat was also a nightmare. went back to snack bar in jan it is brilliant. we have a table for 8 children they get their mat to reserve a place then wash their hands which does not need supervising. we then have a table with the snack on breadsticks, cheese biscs, toast milk or water that they pour. the main table has a bowl of fruit that the children pass round. when finished cup goes on a tray and mat is posted in a post box. works really well 20-30 children finished in about 30 minutes.

 

regarding hand washing in the consortium their is a mobile handwashing unit. consists of sink with a water and waste botlle underneath on a trolley. looks like it could help you better than bowl or wipes.

 

angela

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We've got the unit from Consortium. The pump tap was hopeless, children couldn't manage it and it kept falling off. The plug is also tiny and loose so we've tied ours on. Most of the children can lift the bottle to pour water if we only 1/4 fill it. You have to watch out that that the waste bottle is emptied regularly otherwise you get floods. However it really is a good solution to handwashing where you want it.

 

Al

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