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Storage In Baby Room


narnia
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Dear all, some questions for your expert under 2's brains!! I want to change the way resources are stored in the baby room at my placement.Currently, most of it is stored OUT of the childrens reach, apart from some badly torn books and some soft blocks ( I have only seen the blocks used once and that was when I started to play with them)! This means that, in practice, the practitioners choose what the children play with, and when, so almost every activity is adult initiated, with very little of the child's own choices. I want to bring as much as possible down to the children's reach, as i believe this will give a truer picture of their interests, build their self-esteem ( can-doability!). I also want to label the resources with the word, as well as the picture of what is in the box and have more 'language' around the room.Also,can you tell me if your babies are 'allowed' to have felt pens? I was appalled at the rooms 'mark-making equipment'........7 broken pencils ( Only ONE of which had a lead in it!),half a dozen felt pens, several thin, broken crayons and several stumps of chalk that were smaller than the end of a babies finger! So, i want to introduce some fat chalks, chubbi stump crayons, as well as some bigger ones, sticks for mark-making int he earth, AND felt pens.The room leader literally freaks out when the children use felts as she believes they would choke on the tops ( safety tops!), so I put the tops out of harms way, but she decided it was safer to just put the pens away ( then WHY have any at all??) Although I despair, I am NOT going to be beaten by this, if they want to change things back after i've gone, fair enough, but I want those little ones to access the equipment! Although the room is very small and space is at a premuim, I believe it should/must be possible to make these changes.Any theories/thoughts about access/self esteem......and your own thoughts would be much appreciated please! ( at the moment, youngest child int he room is 9 months old.....no 'tinies'),Many thanks xx

Edited by narnia
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Hi - don't really know anything about storage in baby rooms but just a thought on the felt pen issue! If the lids cause an issue we have had felt pens with'flip up' lids and ones where there is no lid, you just twist the nib up ( a bit like a pritt stick mechanism!) I think both were from 'Crayola' and were nice chunky pens. x

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Hi Narnia,

 

If the babies are not allowed to choose resources they can't access those which may support their persistent interests or schemas and they can't combine resources in ways which are meaningful to them. They only get to explore the resources in ways which are meaningful to the staff which is not the same thing.

 

There's no getting around the fact that a child under one will find it difficult to express their desire for a certain resource if it is out of sight. What we can do is create an environment in which they can express their wishes as easily as possible.

 

I have resources in baskets on the floor and clear boxes on low shelves which the babies can get to even if they can't open them. That way I can react to indications that a child may like a certain resource out.

 

If you have photos of resources around the room a child could bring you that photo as a prompt for you to get the resource out. It has worked for me in my setting as there are some resources which cannot be accessible at all times due to space.

 

I don't put the photos together in a book because too many together is too much information. Sometimes a child will not use the resource they have asked for in this way but quite often it is apparent that they are pleased to have communicated their wish.

 

I hope these ideas help you. It's lovely that you are so motivated to improve choice for the babies in this way.

 

As for the pens. Babies in my setting use all the same sorts of pens, pencils as everyone else, felt pens included.

Edited by Upsy Daisy
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Hi Narnia,

 

Working from my home space is at a premium so I have lots of cube-style cupboards at floor level (fixed to the wall) some have doors and others are open fronted. (mine were from Argos on a 3 for 2 deal) Some toys are then on show - shape sorters, pop-up toys, mobile phones. They'll often sit and hide things inside the cupboards for ages.

Others are in boxed and baskets - cars, nesting boxes, stacking rings etc. They just pull these down to play with.

I have 2 wicker dog baskets, lined with fleecy blankets that the little ones can crawl into to get soft toys, fabric books and the like

There's a shelf of board books and story books to share at floor level and I very rarely have any damage to them as we share them together initially, while they watch and learn to handle them independently. The toddlers then choose a book and take it to the settee, beanbag or dog basket to sit and read.

In another corner there's a wicker basket of assorted toys - dolls, friction toys, tubs of threading beads and buttons and, in a corner of my conservatory, a bean bag in front of the door so they can sit and look outside to watch the rabbit in it's run and the dogs and cat as they come and go. I've recently added some Ikea curtain wires with bulldog-type clips higher up so we can peg fabric offcuts up to make a den, as the mood takes them.

Even the space under the settee is used - I bought those under-bed storage baskets on castors and use them for floor puzzles, paper and pens. Behind the settee lives the magnetic white board!!

 

Anything else is, as Upsy Daisy says, photographed, laminated and displayed in small wall-hanging magazine rack along with the children's folders so they can access these themselves to look at their photos and work.

 

I honestly can't see why the baby room at your setting can't be more baby friendly!

 

Nona

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Nona......it's NOt MY setting, its my placement!! :o

Thankyou all for the lovely ideas though, I have had a look through my own resources at my setting, and have put together a box of nice stuff, puzzles, books, and fat wax crayons,pencils and coloured pencils.I'll try to get some chunky chalks at the weekend.I'm going to make some cooked dough as well, and take in some cutters, rolling pins etc, but of course, hands are the best tool of all.It's just such a sad little room.........

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Nona......it's NOt MY setting, its my placement!! :o

It's just such a sad little room.........

 

Sorry, Narnia! Didn't mean to imply that I thought YOU were responsible for it xD

 

Poor babies to have such a boring room - won't they have a lovely time when you arrive next time!?

 

I've had a couple of "best buys" recently, some bags of large fabric offcuts (Dunelm) for £1 each - there are some pieces of considerable size which are great for dens and hiding other toys under (I have a plan to use some for bunting in the garden at some stage!) and a pile of scarves from a charity shop - silk and chiffon squares and 4 pashminas (proper silk ones!) which were in a basket for 50p each. When I picked out about 10 the lady offered me the bag full for £2 as they were starting to bring out the spring stock! What a happy bunny was I!? A quick wash and they're straight into use - draping, hiding, snuggling.....

 

Good Luck converting your placement to your (our!) way of thinking!

 

Nona

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