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Tapestry

Planning :( Almost Getting There!


silvermakeup
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Okie dokes, been working on this for months now and still dont have a format that were happy with :( can anyone PLEASE help me??

 

Firstly, does anyone happen to know any 'topic' based activties and ideas more suited for the under 2's? All the ideas on here are great but difficult to adapt.

 

Secondly, do babies even need topics?? And by topics i mean interest lead topics. We're finding this very difficult as our babies dont really seem to have 'interests' as such, ok the odd one or two are facinated by trucks and some others love singing baa baa black sheep, but apart from that...its very limited. Should these interests be made into a group thing, for instance a transport theme or farm/animal theme, or be developed individually?

 

The way i had it in my head was to do, for example, transport for the month of march. So over the course of the week before march i notice that little johnny had begun using the blocks for their purpose and buiding towers of 5+ blocks and that little ellie can identify the colour red and that sam seems to really enjoy using the chalk, then i take all these observations and link them somehow to transport. Say, drawing the wheels of a train in chalk on the ground outside, running cars through red and green paint and building a train track using different materials? Is that how it goes? This way our parents can contribute as their is a theme going on and we can introduce things we would like the children to learn about the topics. For example, the train goes 'choo, choo' and the wheels are round etc.

 

Oooooooor...do i just purely go on the basis of childrens needs and occasional interests. So not have a theme or topic and just to random things and activities to develop childrens learning and concentrate more on the providing of new experiences and developing senses etc.?

 

Or i can do both? Haha. I like the idea of doing transport or colours or somthing for a month or so and planning consisting of a variety of adult based activites which are new and exciting to the children and the developing interests in the way of when you see somthing, develop it there and then if you can, rather than put it on the planning for next week/month. So, if little johnny builds that tower of 5+ blocks then rather than writing a post - it and putting it the plans to add new materials or count the blocks or build it higher, (which is what happens now xD ) you go and get the new materials and count the blocks and make it higher AS it happens :( is that right??

 

Sorry for the long post, been kind of saving this up!!

 

Im grateful for any help anyone has! :o

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ooooooor...do i just purely go on the basis of childrens needs and occasional interests. So not have a theme or topic and just to random things and activities to develop childrens learning and concentrate more on the providing of new experiences and developing senses etc.?

 

Yes that is exactly what you should do. If you have experienced people then it is easier but there is always 'development matters' to fall back on if you are stuck. By all means turn interests into a short 'topic' if it is shared across several babies - but remember the younger the child the shorter the likely attention span -that is part of what you are trying to develop and in order to do that you need to engage them from where their interests are otherwise they will just take no notice!

 

you sound to me like you know what you should be doing but are getting pressure from somewhere to show more planning. As long as you can demonstrate that you are observing children and noting their needs and interests and then responding to that then you will be fine.

 

For goodness sake these are babies - concentrate on good interactions and experiences and don't be afraid not to follow any plan if it is not what the babies want to do - just go with what they do want do and try to extend it. Expect them to achieve the next step and you will find that they do.

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ooooooor...do i just purely go on the basis of childrens needs and occasional interests. So not have a theme or topic and just to random things and activities to develop childrens learning and concentrate more on the providing of new experiences and developing senses etc.?

 

Yes that is exactly what you should do. If you have experienced people then it is easier but there is always 'development matters' to fall back on if you are stuck. By all means turn interests into a short 'topic' if it is shared across several babies - but remember the younger the child the shorter the likely attention span -that is part of what you are trying to develop and in order to do that you need to engage them from where their interests are otherwise they will just take no notice!

 

you sound to me like you know what you should be doing but are getting pressure from somewhere to show more planning. As long as you can demonstrate that you are observing children and noting their needs and interests and then responding to that then you will be fine.

 

For goodness sake these are babies - concentrate on good interactions and experiences and don't be afraid not to follow any plan if it is not what the babies want to do - just go with what they do want do and try to extend it. Expect them to achieve the next step and you will find that they do.

 

Yes but can i still have a theme to sort of 'link' childrens needs and next steps together? Then i could use any interests going to determine the theme and if not, it can come from us to help introduce the children to new experiences? Also a much easier way of getting parents involved?

 

I think i do kind of know what im talking about, just not really sure how to go about it. I think ive gone from going overboard to thinking of every possible idea and way to do planning, to now going with what you said, feeling like their only babies and their days should be filled with fun in a loving and caring environment :o so now im really just at the 'banging my head against a brick wall' stage which is why ive turned to here for help! :D

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Yes you can if you want - but we have found that babies just don't necessarily want to do what we have planned so writing it all down in advance is often a waste of time. If it helps you/your staff focus then by all means plan that way as long as you are prepared to abandon it because the children just aren't 'up for it' or decide they want to sleep or actually have someting else which has caught their interest. Work with the youngest should always be the most fluid and responsive it can be and the danger if it is all planned in advance is that practice no longer keys off the child but off the planning. As long as you are fully aware of that danger then why not map out where you want the children to get to/ themes etc? Just be prepared to let it all go because something else has grabbed their interest. Babies live so totally in the now that your duty is to be responsive to what is happening now and not worry too much about the future. We spend a lot of time talking to each other about where the children are at and what they need next. We write down in retrospect what has happened. We monitor that over time and see if there are areas we are not covering that we should.

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Thank you :) I do feel like theme's benifit our setting, parents and staff but i completly understand where you are coming from about being responsive to the childrens needs. By planning i dont mean anything in depth, just what to put in the discovery tray/have out in the sensory room/garden, this type of thing, which seems easier if it relates to a theme. I also feel that if there is some sort of plan for staff to follow, it may encourage slightly more enthusiasm within the setting too. But of course if we have paint and trains in the discovery tray and the train train in the garden and not as single child is interested in it, we will of course change this!

 

Thanks again for helping, even just talking it through has made things seem a little clearer in my head! :o

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