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Tidying Up Time


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Hi

 

Just wondered if anyone has any good ideas to get the children to tidy up and how it is managed. I was critisised by Ofsted for wasting learning opportunities at change over times so I was wondering about using a song ar something when the children are tidying.

Any ideas much appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Julescc272

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Sorry Mrs O but we do have to tidy up and children do have to learn to do it! Why does every second of the day have to have a learning outcome, hey wait a minute isn't that one anyway know how to move and store equipment safely.

At our setting we ring bells taken in turns by the children. But i will watch this item with interest as i'm always open to new ideas, or things that have worked successfully.

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Have you seen the clip about tidy up time where they have a 'forman' who goes round with a clipboard and decalres whether an area is tidy or not; it is seen as good practise.

 

i will see if i can find it.

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We put on a tidy up music cd, we all do a little exercise stretching etc and then music to tidy to, it tells the children whats happening next, Mrs O loved it but I don't really see it as a learning outcome it just fall into place and the children like it. I suppose basic ICT turning on/off cd but again we do it as the children like it!! xD:(:(

 

I would sing but its would only have children AND staff falling around the floor AGAIN! :o I think you should go with what right for your children and your group, we are all so different

 

Sue

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We sing a little song ' Everybody tidy up,tidy up, tidy up , everybody tidy up thank-you thank-you' all join in and tidy as we go, repeating it for as long as necassary. If it takes more than 5 verses thats a poor tidy up time, and the challenge is to see if we can keep it to less than five every time. We tried the CD song - didn't work as the children thought when it finished so were they, and have also done the foreman and clipboard but that caused arguments. This has worked the best so far. :o Learning outcomes are the rhyme/singing/ also the counting of how many verses, and the shared experience of caring for the environment I suppose. xD

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We have a 5 minute sand timer which is inverted with the call "5 more minutes!" (We often get a child to do this) and when the sand has gone through we call "Tidy up time" ( They all learn this very quickly) and then we all help to clear up.

korkycat

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ours changed depending on how the children reacted each year...

 

always 5 minute warning...

 

sometimes music.. can we finish before it ends?

 

allocate tasks .. who can finish first and then come to sit with me?

 

but I used to call it ..time to put the toys away.. I really hated the children all running around like headless chickens shouting "tidy up time- tidy up time" and not actually doing anything... only children who came from a different setting ever did this.. and soon found themselves allocated a job to do... and I did sing time to put the toys away.. to tune of mulberry bush.. worked quite well.. a statement of what to do was my thinking behind it.

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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I have problems with tidy-up time as well. We do Freeflow a lot of the time and children got very good at either running to tell the adults in the other areas that it was tidy-up time (although they already knew), or running to another area to avoid tidying what they had been using. I tried tidy-up music in the classroom, but the majority of the children just start dancing! Sometimes we take the majority of the children away for a song/story and leave those that enjoy helping to tidy with an adult.

 

How long does it take everyone to tidy up? Quite often it can take us up to ten minutes and I would like to be able to do it quicker - we have a large Activity Area with sand pit, role-play, construction, junk modelling etc.

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First thing we do is give a 5 minute warning that tidy up time is nearly here. I then turn off the lights - this makes the room dull, but not dark. The children gather on the mat area, once i have established some peace (ha ha) and have the children focussed I allocate jobs, such as who would like to tidy up ................ today, or I might say we have been very busy with the ............. and we need lots of hands to help tidy up that area today, most of the little ones I just ask to pick things up off the floor and put on the pink table and then at the end we go through where those things need to go etc.

 

We put on tidy up time music - Whistle while you work and Highho Higho - there are a couple of others on the cd I have made, but if we get to those we know we are having a bad time of it!

 

Most children do something, or are gathered up and given something specific to do, sometimes I pretend not to know where something goes and one of the children will always help me out.

 

One of the things we really need to concentrate on getting right is making sure all the pieces are there to games etc., the children are very young and need quite a bit of help to recognise this fact - just as we get it right they leave for school!!!

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We have tried lots of ways at tidy up time - first just music then we gave instructions - time we got all children on the mat to give them instructions it took far too long - we have now gone back to one verse of a song, but most children use this time to create their own dance moves - I think we might just try singing a song as a group next term - we have age range of 2 - 4 so very hard to keep all involved. Dot :o

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We just tell them it's time to tidy up now and an adult goes into the home corner to help in there and another to the small world and another to construction - these tend to be the 'worst' areas. Some children can wander with a car in their hand for ages, ostensibly 'tidying' to the casual observer. If you let them know you are watching to see who is doing a good job, and maybe start to give stickers out every now and then, it's surprising how quickly it all disappears. I know that lots of people don't like stickers, but children do and can't wait to show Mum at the end of the day.

Edited by Cait
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Reading through these posts made me think....maybe if the song sung was along the lines of "I know where this belongs, this belongs, this belongs. I know where this belongs it belongs here" or "I can / can you find where this belongs, this belongs etc etc. I know children need to know about tidying up, but perhaps seeing the task as a fun (?!) challenge might get more response ? We don't actually do this in my setting, just a "off the top of my head thought".

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"For every task that must be done there is an element of fun - you find the fun and *SNAP* the job's a game...."

........'a lark, a spree, it's very plain to see'!!! :o (ah no, think that's a 'Spoonful of Sugar' :() xD

 

We also do the five minute warning and sand-timer..........and sometimes use 'Mission Impossible' theme tune - for a bit of motivation - can we get it all done before the music ends! :(

 

Also find that if I say.......'who is going to be a great help and.........clear away the sand/the playdough/ the cars/whatever' there is usually a big 'rush' to take on these tasks.......

 

Agree with Cait - if an adult goes into certain areas - this helps too.........as does heaping praise on the children......."well I'm so pleased with you David - thank for being so helpful, aren't you a good boy for clearing up all the sand" etc. etc. :(

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........'a lark, a spree, it's very plain to see'!!! :o (ah no, think that's a 'Spoonful of Sugar' :() xD

 

 

I think you'll find that the song IS a Spoonful of Sugar - I'll google it and see!

 

Edited by Cait
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hehe we need Mary Poppins to show them how it's done!!

we always have a count down visually and verbally- '10 more minutes of play' then '5 more minutes of play' then,' it's time to tidy' - we use different strategies depending on the children, their moods or the state of the rooms!!!

1. i spy a red teapot that belongs in the blue home-corner box etc.,

2. 'we tidy up together, together, together. we tidy up together we put the toys away' a little song we sing.

3.a piggy timer that we set for so many minutes...'let's see if we can put all the toys in their proper boxes before the piggy goes off!' or

4. allocate children to a certain member of staff, to tidy certain areas.

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been having a think about this one...

 

we often didnt actually have to dedicate a time for it... at an appropriate time a member of staff would go into an area and begin the process... usually the home corner first.. always the messiest area.. starting to put the clothes away tidily resulted in children joining in the process... and by the time one area was done they had got the message and we found other areas had been done with no fuss... those not were allocated to children but must say that seldom happened...

 

question I also ask is what comes next? is it something they really like to do? Having a reason to tidy and have something as a reward at the end was a good motivator..

 

Inge

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Hi

 

Just wondered if anyone has any good ideas to get the children to tidy up and how it is managed. I was critisised by Ofsted for wasting learning opportunities at change over times so I was wondering about using a song ar something when the children are tidying.

Any ideas much appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Julescc272

 

While there are some really good ideas here for management of tidy up time , I'm not sure that the original query has been addressed?

Mary Poppins is particularly superfluous!!

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we have had little shopper type bags made for the children.

 

each child is given a bag to fill and put the toys where they belong! mrs o loved it.

 

before we did this we found lots of wandering, now they love the tidy up bags and much more helping goes on

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learning opportunities... we had a continuous provision plan for tidy up time.. stating what the children were learning while doing this.. contained a lot of things like sorting, sharing, taking turns, listening to instructions, following instructions, moving with safety and confidence, size and shapes.. .. and from what I remember there was lots more in it... (we had one for snack time too..)

 

 

perhaps a look at what the children are doing and could be learning from it and just writing it down would help.... then add things that you could do to enhance it.. like adding songs..discussion about what they are putting away.. size, shape, amount etc.

 

so much is learnt during what seems to be an everyday activity.. just unless actually written down can be missed..

 

Inge

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that's right Inge - there's loads of opportunities for children sorting by type, size, shape etc as well as lots of other things, and I quite often make some good notes during those times

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Our children are in class 'teams' which are detailed on a wall poster (6 laminated a4 sheets with team names and children's names under their team name).

 

A five minute warning is given, then the tambourine is shaken, children all stop and wiggle fingers when the tambourine shakes. The adult places 'tidy up' cards (laminated cards with picture of area, e.g. home corner) above the team's poster and informs them of the area their team is responsible for.

 

The main learning opportunity, I guess, is PSE: Work as part of a group or class, taking turns and sharing fairly, understanding that there needs to be agreed values and codes of behaviour for groups of people, including adults and children, to work together harmoniously.

 

But also CLL: Interacts with others in a variety of contexts, negotiating plans and activities and taking turns in conversation.

PSRN: Uses everyday words to describe position..

 

I'm sure more links can be found to learning opps and Inge's idea of a continous provision plan is something I will be using in my new class (thanks Inge!)

 

This works really well in getting the children to tidy up, and I am thinking of introducing a trophy for the best tidy up team to be awarded each day.

 

We don't have music as children do tend to dance, rather than tidy. But I often sing a song which children tend to pick up and join in with.

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If you're looking for a learning opportunity, then surely it must be to do with PSRN as well as the whole social thing? So, I want you to collect up 5 bricks, or to find and put away the heaviest blocks first, that kind of thing.

 

Hope that helps.

 

I can see why it's ideal to get everyone doing tidying up, but it can just end up causing stress and also with some children doing all the work. I do sometimes wonder whether after a quick bit of tidying up, the children would learn more by doing a parachute game or something while one adult tidies up the rest.

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But then I'm in preschool and we have at least 3 adults with the children at any time :o

 

Appreciate it's much trickier in a reception class.

 

Love the idea of having little tidy up bags though will nick that one!!

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I love the idea of tidy up bags and I think I will be trying that one. I have some small Ikea bags that will be ideal for it. Great idea thank you!

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