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Hello got a question for you wonderful people. Could you tell me how children in your setting make choices as to what toys/resources they would like to play with.

 

We are a pack away setting and so we have a choices board with photographs on which up to 6 children per session choose what they would like to 'get out the cupboard', the children are chosen on a rota system so it is fairly done. We also have other areas which are covered by continous provision i.e. role play area, and a creative craft/mark making trolley where they can choose cutting, sticking, drawing, painting, writing etc.

 

So do you think the above shows enough individual child choice? Getting some opposition from certain members of staff and am pulling hair out (what i've got left), I really want to be able to say that what we are doing under the pack away circumstances is ok.

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Working in a pack away setting myself we do similar in we get the children to choose--yours is much more organised mind you. We have a photo album of all our toys which is always out on a table. This means it can be shown at group time or the children can freely access it during the session. This especially helps with younger children as they are able to point to toys they would like.

 

We like you also have continuous provision out- sticking, writing area, maths area, book corner etc.

 

samfrostie :o

Edited by samfrostie
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We had a sponsored event to raise money for the biggest digital photo frames we could find at the time (15inch one). Now we have them installed in each family group. At the end of the session the children talk about what they have done in the session and what they would like on the tables the following day (or in the creative/outdoor area). We make a note and then get together to decide on their choices (some groups ask for the same things and we try to make sure that there is a range of activities to support all areas of learning).

 

We then take a photo of the activities and transfer these photos onto a pen drive. The following day, after the family group activity the children look at the photos on the frame (in the same way that samfrostie's photo album works) and decide what they would like to do. They are used again at the end of the session to reflect on their learning.

 

On Friday we have a planning meeting with a big floorbook and the children write down what they would like to do. We are currently working on the creative areas and the outdoors.

The photo frames have been a great addition to our resources and the parents are loving it too as we managed to raise enough to buy one for the reception area so they can see what the wee ones have been up to!

 

The impact that it has had on some children's language has been very good and also their ability to make clear choices.

Hope this helps.

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I'm pack away too and have continuous provision trolleys in all areas. But it really depends on your storage.

 

Personally I would do away with shelving in your cupboard and fit as many roll out units as possible in - we are creative with ours and they pack away on top as well as side by side. Sorry I am a bit passionate that just because we pack away the children should not suffer and deserve the same choice as anywhere purpose built.

 

We have a fab continuous provision, that means most equipment is out daily and little left in cupboard. (just started to work on enhancement boxes).

 

Does your advisory teacher have any advise on your set up - how does she feel?

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I'm pack away too and have continuous provision trolleys in all areas. But it really depends on your storage.

 

Personally I would do away with shelving in your cupboard and fit as many roll out units as possible in - we are creative with ours and they pack away on top as well as side by side. Sorry I am a bit passionate that just because we pack away the children should not suffer and deserve the same choice as anywhere purpose built.

 

We have a fab continuous provision, that means most equipment is out daily and little left in cupboard. (just started to work on enhancement boxes).

 

Does your advisory teacher have any advise on your set up - how does she feel?

 

Hi tess, can I ask if you have resources such as farm, train track, dolls house etc. out every day and if you do where do you store them in the main room while the children decide what they want to play with. mrsW.

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Hi yes we do - we have a small world area with a large mat and a trolley.

 

the trolley has six large holes with box's for train, farm, castle, wooden road, etc

and the buildings garage, dolls house, airport sit alongside the mat during the day time - it works really well as the children make roads to the house and farms inside the train track.

 

At night the role play kitchen lives on top of the trolley and dolls house, garage etc go on top...

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Hi yes we do - we have a small world area with a large mat and a trolley.

 

the trolley has six large holes with box's for train, farm, castle, wooden road, etc

and the buildings garage, dolls house, airport sit alongside the mat during the day time - it works really well as the children make roads to the house and farms inside the train track.

 

At night the role play kitchen lives on top of the trolley and dolls house, garage etc go on top...

 

sounds absolutely brilliant, we only put one out each day after asking the children which they would prefer. Can you let me know what type of trolley you have, it sounds just what we need, mrsW.x

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We have made up a photograph album of all the toys we have and our children like to choose from this too.

 

We are not a pack away group but don't have a huge room either. We have a storage trolley with small boxes in which we put a sample of about 9 different construction activities (Lego, sticklebricks, bricks etc). When the children make their choice we can then fetch the rest of the box from our shed outside.

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I am training on continuous provision for childminders and would love to see some photos of these ideas.

would that be possible?

many thanks :o

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Hi

We have just been told by our new EYSO today that we must take photos of all our resources and equipment and put them on all the boxes in our trolleys, also on the boxes we store in the cupboard.

 

This is so the children can see whats in them and be able to choose for themselves, even though they do this already as all the drawers and boxes are made of clear plastic. We had already decided on making a book with pictures of all the equipment and resources but she wasn't happy with this.

 

Its caused a problem with all the staff as she wants it to be done by next week when she comes back in and we want to know whos going to pay us to do it ! We are very lucky as we had a huge grant last year so as you can imagine we have many toys and resources and I think it will takes a long time for us to do this and we just haven't got the time during the session. We only open three hours a day and are also a pack away group.

 

Don't get me wrong I don't mind spending some of my own time doing things but its beginning to get beyond a joke now ! We already take our children's pathways home to do and as you all know endless other paperwork, its getting us all down now !

 

Oh yes and she told us to buy a digital photo frame and take photos everyday to put in it, just where are we suppose to get the money for that then ! And by next week !

 

Instead of making us feel that we were doing a good job, we all feel despondent and down and wonder whether to open up tomorrow !

 

Sorry despair over !

 

Motherclangerx

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Hi Motherclanger,

 

I would agree with you that this is completely unreasonable and shows a lack of respect or consideration for you and your staff! I can understand why you are all feeling fed up. Her job should be to support you, not to criticise and undermine you. :o

 

If I were you, what I would do is put together an action plan of what she has asked of you. List all the actions, then allocate jobs to people (e.g. find out makes/costs/specifications of digital photo frame; discuss findings (do you have staff meetings?); approach committee to ask for money to buy or need to fund raise) Against each point you need to say who is going to do what and the time frame for completing it, making sure the time frame is reasonable considering your other commitments!! Do this for all the points she has made, even down to cost of printing off pictures of resources, laminating, sticking on boxes etc. Then, when she comes back next week present her with your action plan of how it is going to be carried out. When it is all written down, perhaps she will realise that what she asked you to do was unrealistic. Personally I would also discuss with her how your meeting made you feel once she had left! xD

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Thanks Carol !

 

I didn't think to do an action plan, but that would make it easy to show what a job it would be in labeling and photographing all the equipment and resources.

 

I'm afraid the photo frame will have to wait ! We have much more pressing issues, such as improving our partnerships with parents, risk assessments etc.

 

I did say to my supervisor to tell the EYSO how we felt after she came in, but I don't think it will make any difference !

All she kept saying was Ofsted wants this and wants that, we know all what is required its just trying to achieve it !

 

Oh how I wish I had a magic wand.......

or the ability to sort the preschool out.

 

Motherclangerx

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Hi Motherclanger

 

I always have an ongoing action plan although I call mine my development file - don't forget to do an 'in place' list if you can to reflect changes/ongoing development that you have managed to make.

 

Wonder if you can guess what's at the top of my 'to do' list?

 

Yes - you got it that would be my SEF!!!!!

 

Onwards and upwards!

Sunnyday

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post-12524-1241111746_thumb.jpg

 

I'm not sure if this has worked but I have tried to uplaod a picture of our room with the trolley on wheels that houses construction, small world and role play toys. We are a very small pack away and it is so easy at the end of the day just to wheel it in the cupboard. We also have a single unit that holds drawers for things like threading, puzzles etc. Every week we swap around thatoys so that it is refreshed. In the mean time, we also have a book with photo's of all of the toys so if a child did ask for something different we would get it out for them.

 

Hope the photo's worked!!

 

Cath x

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Hi I hope this works as i have never used the forum before.

 

The photo of your pack away setting looks great and i am inspired by some of your layout.

 

I manage a pack away setting and am always looking for inspiring ways to cope with storage and putting equipment away and displaying childrens work creatively. We are in a church hall and are not allowed to pin things to the walls.!

 

To help the children in our setting make choices of what they would like to play with we have a shoe tidy hung up with pictures of our toys and equipment attached to each pocket. The children then take a 'smiley face' card and place it in the pocket of the toys they like playing with and a 'sad face' card in the pockets of the toys they dont like to play with. We find this system works for all children SEN and AEL included, they all understand the system.

 

I agree that it is costly to take photos of all the equipment but we took an old resources catalogue and cut it up!!! Cut out the pictures of the toys you have and laminate them or stick clear tape over them. They are ideal for sticking to trolleys and trays.

 

Thanks to everyone who posts ideas on here, i am glad i have discovered the site and love being inspired by other professionals.

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