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Children Not Respecting Toys And Equipment


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Hi

 

Hope I've posted this in the right place as I've not started a new topic before. I've come home today feeling very discouraged because children in our nursery don't seem to show much care or respect for nursery toys or equipment - even new items that we've only recently bought.

 

I don't know if this is a general issue with children (as most seem to have so many toys at home) or whether there is more we could do to improve the situation. We do spend time changing the nursery environment regularly and rotating toys. Do other people have similar problems? Or has anyone got any helpful ideas?

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It does seem to be a general issue, and partly because so many parents don't expect their children to tidy up after themselves. we have had lots of this lately, and now have a strict rule in place: you get it out, YOU put it away and you don't get anything else out until you have! and it seems to be working..............................

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I think it can be an issue with some children they get so much these days xD

I believe we need to 'teach' children this. We have a set of 'Golden Rules' the children help make them in September in their last year. If i see any 'unwanted behaviour i re-vist them.

Also persona dolls are good for this. The story is little johnny is unhappy in his pre-school because all the other children dont look after the toys or he has got into trouble in pre-school for 'throwing' etc what can he do? why is it not good to 'throw' break etc?

We also have a 'kindness tree' staff and children are aware of others having kind hands. Cut so many hands out in one colour (we did green) and so many in black or on reflection another colour(dont want to send the wrong message out) With the children discuss what having helping or kind hands means writing each thing they say the hands. then on the other colour the things that are not helpful or unkind the children usually say 'hitting' 'pinching' etc but you could focus on helpful and say things like 'ripping books' dropping toys etc then say 'right do we want unkind or unhepful hands in our 'pre-school' ? NO and put them in the bin right infront of the children. they really take notice!! :o Display the rest perhaps round the 'tree' Be prepared to remind them from time to time.

Not very clear when I have re-read it Hope it helps

Andrea

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It is a general issue and we also remind children that they have to put away the first toy or game before anything else comes out.

 

Children just need constant reminding just like saying please and thank you and they can be trained to look after toys and put away after themselves. We lived in a tiny house when my children were little and to keep my sanity I insisted on one toy or game at a time. This did work!

 

Circle time is good to remind children that the toys they play with do not belong to them and if they aren't looked after and get broken they may not be replaced.

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We also have problems with children not wanting to tidy up after they have played with something. They often leave things all over the floor and we have to revisit tidying up rules and emphasise that it is dangerous and others may trip over and hurt themselves. We always try to praise the children we see picking things up and often this encourages others to follow.

 

Sally

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Sorry to jump on here but saw the title when i logged on. I work in Reception and have just come back from maternity and inherited a class of children who cannot 'play'. I have been in my reception class for 4 years and yes a few things have broken in the past years but this class have actually trashed everything - books, toys, cd player you name it. They have no respect they throw toys back in the boxes. Just watching them in observations jsut shows they have no respect.

 

I agree mum probably does all the tidying away for them but also they have been given the free flo in class to get anything they like out. They have not ben taught how to use the equipment or shown how to put it away. They have also worked /played right upto lunch and then its 5 mins to put absolutly everything away.

 

There are some lovely ideas for Nursery here and alas i have used circle time, sat with the children to talk, show them how to 'play' with the differnt toys but in 5 weeks it will be the summer hols adn they will be going into year 1 with no toys only at golden time.

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Thanks to everyone for your comments and ideas. It's nice to know that it's not just happening at our nursery!

 

We too have free flow play for most of the day, with children able to access anything they want to play with and also take things outside. As has happened with Eggwoman, children have trashed some of the toys and it is so disheartening when we are trying to provide a great environment for them to learn in.

 

Anyway I'll try out some of the ideas and see how we get on.

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We had a child in an electric wheelchair last year.We had classrules about pushing chairs under so he could get about the room and toys left on the floor.The kids were great!!!! despite being the hardest behaviour class I've had for a long while.There was something about seeing the reasoning behind it (and they really liked the child with difficulties) that made the children tidy things away when they had done.

It taught me a lesson about tidying up-children just don't see the reason for it-give them a reason (valid to them) and it will happen.If they can play for hours with cardboard boxes and other pieces of 'junk' are they really bothered if a jigsaw piece is missing or a car has 3 wheels.So what if things are lieing around she will pick up where she left off later when the item attracts her again and she'll learn a bit more.We want our children to 'freeflow' then issue a set of rules and regulations to inhibt that.

It's adults that NEED tidyness, order and are disappointed if things are broken or missing and not in tip top condition.We have been conditioned ourselves that tidyness and order is something to aspire too.I'm terrible for needing home and classroom to tidy and in order but I am TRYING to be more relaxed about it and recognise that its important to me but not to my daughters and my pupils, they have other priorities.I'm aware of my own requirement (instilled by my mother to me) that everything has a place.I REALLY admire people who can live and thrive in disorder.

 

I'm not saying that teaching respect and care of our enviroment is not important as we can't expect future generations to care and respect the earth if they have not been taught these basic values early but that when it comes to the tidying look at it from the child's point of value-see it through her eyes-why is it important-whats it for-what does it achieve-give me a good reason and I'll do it.

 

Sorry I'm back on the soap box again preaching :o

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I know what you mean Eggwoman but the children have obviously not been shown 'how to play' in their previous setting. It doesnt come naturally to some children. For instance a child may not be drawn to a table of lego but if it is presented correctly and their adults/children modelling play in this area they will often become engrossed wont they? :o

Andrea

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I completely agree, but it does seem like we are having to teach more children to play every year!! :o

 

This year we have still got a few children, who have been with us a year and are going to school, finding it hard to 'play' without a large amount of adult interaction. xD

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I've got to agree with you Shiny the 2 and 3 year olds play happily but those in their final year need lots of adult encouragement unless of course they are in a clique and then they won't let others join in their play!

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Hi there,

 

This is an issue close to my heart too. I get really miserable when I see how little respect children show for other people's things. I find myself asking what would they think if I came round to their house and trod on their special toys. This sometimes gets them thinking, but as others have said it is partly due to affluence and lack of time that parents clear up after them.

 

Books are a particular issue with me when I see them with pages torn or the children walking all over them. If we allow more time for clearing up and simply don't go out until everything is put back neatly, we usually find some children really get a sense of satisfaction from putting things away and organising the others!

 

I also find myself despairing when children leave taps running or block the sinks with paper towels, it seems so wasteful and we have the responsibility for instilling in them a care for their environment. I have just ordered some books about recycling and saving water to help deal with this issue, so I guess it is part of my observation and planning cycle!!!

 

Lesley

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I respect that it is us that want a tidy classroom etc but children do need to learn how to put things away what is the point of having a puzzle that is incomplete and well my budget is so minimal so to replace books, puzzles, toys would just not be viable - the head would question why and well i would never be able to buy anything different.

 

Also if young children go through school thinking it was ok to break and mistreat toys then what does that say for them as they get older and still allowed to get away with it. IN the younger years we have alot of responsibility of giving the children the best start.

 

And i agree Andreamay and thats what we have been trying to do with the children now.

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