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Hi everybody

Im wondering if anyone can help me im trying to think of a way to reduce the time we spend after session packing away we are a small village hall with two (rather messy) cupboards do other settings begin packing away in session time? There is usually only two of us each day so we do tidy up time but really there is only a limit towhat the children can pack away. If anyone can help with any ideas it will be brill. Also do settings plan for outdoor play ? We have access to a rec ground across our car park so cannot use free flow we tried taking out sand water pens books et all at once but now we are back down to two staff i just cant see how we could safely do this, again any ideas really appreciated i just feel outdoors is often left to thinking on the day i feel i should plan . Can anyone give me their views!!

Thanks

Sarah xx

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Hi

 

We are in a hall and have to set up and pack away each day. Our outdoor area is planned along side the indoor area and set up each day with the indoor. We are lucky enough to have a small room off from our main hall so at the end of a session 2 members of staff have the children in there for circle and story time whilst the other adults start to tidy away.

 

How many children do you have in a session? Would it be feasable that one of you have them at the end of a session whilst the other starts to tidy???? :o

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I used to be in quite a large hall and our EY advisor used to praise us for the amount of equipment we got out and away every day. It would take two of us 15/20 mins. I didn't allow staff to move furniture whilst children were present, but we did involve all the children with tidy up at end of day so that everything was ready to 'move' into the cupboards once they'd gone. The children did like to stack the chairs, learning to stack 4 high, (good for maths and sorting as we had two different size of chairs)

 

The things that helped were;

 

Most furniture was on wheels

Lots of wheeled draw units- supporting self selection-plus labelled so that children could put away resources.

A clear plan of how each item fitted into the cupboard (one piece out of place and the door wouldn't shut :o )

Staff were allocated a cupboard each so they really got to know how to 'load' it, then after a while they 'swapped' cupboards so that if staff were absent others knew how to do it. (it was amazing how staff felt 'ownership' and 'possesive' over their cupboard, that's why I swapped them). Not sure if all that made sense, but it was like 'Audrey's cupboard, so no-one else would put away in there, but if Audrey was busy with a parent, it then got delayed being done because other staff would stand back waiting for her to start 'filling' 'her' cupboard. (still not sure if that makes sense).

There was a clear sequence of how things were taken out of cupboard, placed in the hall and then put back in the reverse sequence. This sounds quite controlling but it made the 'process' easier and quicker.

 

The main problem was all the 'little bit' that got left out, so tidying prior to put away had to be done well. I also had a box near the cupboard door for all the 'bits and pieces', odd lego found under a draw unit, the last paint pot which was 'forgotten' in the kitchen (art unit at back of cupboard).

Prior to children leaving the staffs main tasks were to clear the kitchen, get stuff together that needed to go home etc, and basically children were (and staff) were constently encouraged to tidy as they went along so not too much to 'sort' at the end of each session. However the 'bits and pieces' box would fill up by the end of the week, then on a friday it was tipped out and all the childrenjoined in 'sorting' the items to their proper place. The box was also the place we looked for and often found the 'missing' jigsaw pieces xD

 

For outdoors, could you have a trolley, unit that 'house's' a variety of resources, or outdoor resource boxes to carry over to the 'play area'.

 

Peggy

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We also have to set up and pack away! Since I took over last sEPT I invested in some good quality storage units on wheels which REALLY helps the process. We try to pack away as much as we can whilst the children are still with us (having the children helping for the initial part of tidying) One of us has the children for story and singing whilst others clear away. My staff have to leave quite swiftly at the end of the day so they can collect their own children from school so this is the only way we can do it. I was quite worried that Ofsted may not like the fact that we cleared whilst the children were still with us but when they came recently they didn't say anything about it.

 

Re outdoor. We are lucky enough to have an outdoor area we can access free flow. I know that alot of pre-schools don't and I often wonder how they get around it. I too would think some sort of trolley with resources you could change around could be possible? You can get ones that aren't too heavy with 6-9 boxes (argos do them I think). You could put a range of resources covering different areas e.g. CLL - clipboards and pencils MD - glass beads (for sorting and making patterns), KUW magnifying glasses, PD - beanbags, CD - hats etc etc...there are loads of things you could use.

 

Cath

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Thanks for those points everyone i think we will be thinking about one staff member taking the children whilst another starts tidying away, im just trying to get my head around the outdoor provision thing we currently dont have a trolley but think its a good thing to invest in, so do you have a seperate plan for outdoors or is it co-ordinated within your cp plans.

ALso sorry but one more point how do settings go about putting pictures work etc on display we dont have a board and are not allowed a board within the hall, have been hooking on pcitures each day onto walls then taking them down its just so much work.

Thanks for your help everyone.

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Pictures- get a large sheet (or join more than one together), then attach pictures to the sheet (safety pins/blue tac), hang sheet on wall, end of day roll up and store :o

 

Or a more sturdy option is to get large sheets of hardboard, but then these will be harder to store.

 

I also used to make area dividers, 3 x oblong sheets of hardboard, join by drilling holes in edges, then tie with ribbon, so that the boards can zig zag when standing, can also fold for storage-place pictures on boards.

 

Peggy

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