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hiya,

 

was just wondering how other childminders organise their homes to get the most out of continous provision. i only have a small home but huge garden! any help will be gratefully recieved.

 

thanks x

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Hi jolene

I've got a small house too (and a small garden unfortunately :o ). The lounge is the main play area - home corner, books, treasure baskets, cosy den type area, dolls house - always out. I use a board and photo's of resources for children to choose from - blocks, trains, cars, puzzles, games, marble run, painting, playdough, dressing up etc.

In the kitchen I have a an ikea set of labelled drawers that are accessible with stickers. paper, paints, collage materials and low level tables so that children can independently access them. i also try and have out a messy activity every week

I can't have free flow outside on some days because of stone steps down to the garden and toddlers although as soon as I feel they are confident with the steps we do.

In the garden the water tray and sand tray is always out.

 

is this the sort of thing you mean?

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That's exactly what I mean den! You seem to fit a lot in one room - I am worried I should fit more into mine! How do u do ur den? I know what u mean about free flow with the garden! My garden goes down the side of my house so can't see children at all times! If one child goes out does that mean the other children and I have to? Would be soo worried that they would hurt themselves unsupervised but also don't want to disrupt other childrens play! So difficult when your on your own.

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Remember though you are a home setting and thats why parents have chosen you.

 

I am lucky, after a recent extentsion I have my sitting room as the quiet/reading/sleeping area, the old dining room has effectively become the playroom (its not really a playroom I just call it that to sound grand lol) and its not particuarly organised into areas, all the toys are on a purpose built shelfs (in the alcove), i have a small table that is the 'mark making' area - a couple of low level toys boxes and a book case.

My garden is huge and again not particuarly organised into areas.

 

My inspector was happy enough with the way things were.

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It's important for a room to not feel cluttered and provide plenty of floor space and I sometimes feel I have too much - especially when one child uses the cards to choose trains and anoher wants to do floor puzzles - all of a sudden there's an overly busy environment - you must get the balance right for you and the children that you have. What you must show an inspector is that the children have access to a good range of resources and have systems to choose independently.

As for your query re. the den. In a little space between the sofa and the wall I have a ceiling canopy with soft cushions and blanket on the floor, the book shelf is nearby and I often place a treasure basket inside or interesting item that I think may be a good start for play. This was put up after attending Communication Friendly Spaces training and I find it really works - it's often an adult free space and 2 children will sit in their together and play and chat, it's a quiet space for me and the baby to sit and explore too. I sometimes take it down for awhile and then put it back. Other times I use a really large cardboard box and drapes to make a dark den but this does take up more space so doesnt stay up for long.

 

I agree it's difficult with the garden - I have one child especially who hates going outside in wet/cold weather, feels really uncomfortable in a coat and doesn't like to get hands dirty, so wet sand doesn't appeal. I do try and get him out for a bit but he's always first to go back in. I don't feel comfortable leaving children outside as they are more likely to hurt themselves than inside so he goes in on his own - I check he's ok and settled into play from the door and remain outside until the others are ready to come in. This happened the day of the inspection and my inspector was fine with this.

 

I also agree with Pipsqueak about it being a home - although I think my'home' has pretty much been taken over by my work so i' can't say I'm practising what I preach xD:o , but i also feel it has to be an 'enabling environment' for the children- too much like home and they may expect to watch the telly (after a holiday break I have one child who spends most of the morning asking for telly or to play on the DS)

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  • 1 month later...

Hello, I'm a registered childminder living in the North-East of England and although my downstairs is taken over with toys, I use the garden almost every fine day. I have the usual play equipment, swing, slide, climbing frame, ride alongs, but also have a sand and water table which I put other messy play items (magic sand, shaving foam, gloup etc.) and encourage the children to touch/feel/experiment etc. I also gathered various suitable materials to help the children build a den. This then can be modified or added to as and when the children wish or seem to be getting bored with the current arrangement. You could also try to set up an area outside which you can change every so often, e.g. a forrest, allotment, beach etc. You may find you enjoy tese areas as much as te children!

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