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Playgroup Rules


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

How do you explain simple playgroup rules to young children? Some of our children just don't seem to get it and we know it is a case of re emphasising constantly but it wears us down at times. We were sort of thinking of getting some pictures to demonstrate "good practice at playgroup" Things like walking not running, asking for help when it is needed (ie putting in zip parts of a coat to pull it up), listening to adult and obeying what they say (!!), putting on aprons and role play clothes by themselves but also asking for help when they cannot manage this.

 

We had one little boy who went into the bathroom today and shouted at the top of his voice "Get out of my way N____ I want to wash my hands" !! The same little boy when asked if he would like help with something also said "No" in a very demonstrative way. I guess that is independence for you! It is also infuriating when you are trying to get everyone outside for play time and they refuse any help to have their coats zipped up and you know they need it done desperately!!

 

We also have the problem of children slapping and pointing at us when they want our attention or help which is maddening because you have to try and say "what are you trying to say to me" and they just walk away and leave you!

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Our playgroup focus on one rule a week at mat time. Things like we walk inside, we share equipment/toys, we say thank you..Its about role modeling really, and quiet reminders. The lad who shouts 'no' is gently reminded of the 'thank you' at the end of it. If a child refuses to accept help I dont really push it, if they're cold when they go out with an unzipped coat they soon come and ask and if they dont, then I presume they are warm enough or offer to help a bit later on.

I think the key to behaviour of this sort is to work out exactly why you're asking something, what the consequences are for you or the child if it isnt done and decide whether an issue should be made of it. Independence is a valuable and much needed skill, so I wouldnt let it infuriate me, I'd go with it and turn it into something positive.

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We didnt have that many rules really, and the children helped us to decide what they should be... usually things like saying thank you, kind hands, walking inside,

 

when we wanted children to do things it was positive statements... so when climbing on a chair I asked them to put their feet on the ground... rather than to get off the chair... you get the drift...

 

other things you mention we did not really worry about... If they wanted to try and do own zips etc we let them, not done by the time we went out that was fine, we went and they continued outside or by then asked us to help... it was harder for us when we had children who constantly stood and waited for us to put their coat on for them, without an attempt... sometimes took ages to even get them to try... and then they would give up so easily assuming we would do it for them...discovering we would not was a hard lesson to learn.

 

but as Rea said.. is it worth the battle, what is the purpose, will the child gain anything from it...if not ask why you are insisting..

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We included the children in making up our 'Golden Rules board' This was done at circle time. We asked the children what made it nice to come to pre-school, how did we want everyone to behave?

 

We came up with walking in the Pre-school hall, being kind, sharing toys, using indoor voices, sitting still at story time.

 

The children then posed the situations and took photos or we took a series of photos that the children helped to decide on. The photos are updated as children move on to school and the children are asked if they think the rules work, could we change them, take some away, add more?

 

It really works for us, the older children will point out the rules and even some younger children will refer to the photos if other aren't sharing, for example.

 

Rachel

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We have Pre-school Rules

 

Walking feet - with a picture of feet

Quiet voices - picture of finger on lips

Helping hands - picture of holding hands

Listening ears - picture of child with their ear cupped

Looking eyes - picture of someone looking

 

i think there is one more but can't remember it!!

 

We also have A5 laminated pictures and words -

We help each other

We are kind to our friends

We take turns

We are good at tidying up (I don't think so!!!)

We say please

We say thank you

 

I have over 20 of these and we peg some of them up every day.

 

I must admit that if you ask the children what our rules are , they know them ............ We mention our rules at register/circle times and the children do remember them... if only they would practice them !!! xD:o

 

 

Sue J

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I think of rules as a constant work in progress. The goal is to help them understand that rules exist and help us. I don't expect any pre-school aged child to remember any rule consistently.

 

Things like putting coats on to go out are either given as much time as the child wants to take or if we are too late for something like a school pick up I will make the decision that I'm going to help and persuade the child to let me. I wouldn't expect a pre-schooler to make that decision independently.

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I too devise our nursery rules with the children - although I know what I am looking for, so the children are sometimes 'helped' with this (but they need to think that they have made up the rules themselves so that they have 'ownership'!). Our rules are:

1. Do as you are asked

2. Be kind to one another

3. Take care of the toys

4. Be quiet in the 'quiet room'

5. Remember to say 'please and 'thank you'

6. Put up your hand if you have something to say (this last rule relates to group time)

Most 'problems' can be covered by either rule number 2 or 3.

Each rule is number and colour coded and is displayed and laminated on an A5 piece of card with a photo of one or two of the children showing the rule - it is displayed on the wall as a number line.

The children refer to the rules frequently (although they do not always remember to keep the rules!) but the older children are often heard saying "That's not kind - your breaking the rules - that's the pink rule!" and sometimes they will even say which number rule has been broken!

 

Some years ago, a little boy was very angry with his friend so he marched into the quiet room, took my happy/sad stick puppet (which was stuck on the wall with blue tak), and showed the sad face to his friend. He sad "You're not sharing the toys - that's breaking the rules". His friend, who was rather taken back at this apologised, the angry little boy then turned the stick puppet around to show the happy face, both children smiled and the puppet was returned to the wall!

 

Since then, the children have had their own happy/sad puppet to use. It is always (well mostly always!) displayed on an A4 laminated card that says 'I remember to keep the nursery rules'. It is attached with blue tak and the children often sort out their own disagreements. If they do come to a member of staff and say '**** has done this' or '***** has done that' the staff usually reply with 'What do you think you could do?' and then they remember "Show him/her the sad face" - they just don't always remember to put the stick puppet back - so I keep two or three spare puppets in the filing cabinet!

 

The system works really well for us. Behaviour is not perfect, but the children are learning to work through and sort out their own problems and the staff are always on hand should adult input be needed.

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i laughed when i saw this topic because i have recently read teacher toms blog on making rules in his setting and have tried to implement a similar system in pre-school ...its not quite there yet :o so if you want a laugh and a new perspective on making rules read this....

http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2010/0...nds-agreed.html

i think my favourite is no throwing grenades and dynamite!...now where did that come from??? xD

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Guest terrydoo73

Thank you Sue for your wonderful rules - have printed these and added photos tonight. Will try them out tomorrow with the children and see if they work!

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I don't have terribly high expectations of the little ones and they constantly exceed my expectation. It's the 6-10year olds that I find more challenging. Recently, after a particularly difficult time with several children kicking at the boundaries, I brought them together and explained that it is MY JOB as the responsible adult to keep all the children happy and SAFE. Sometimes I have to ask for behaviour to change because the happiness or safety of some children is threatened if I don't. It really hit home.

 

I expect to be repeating these quite little chats every few months but all going smoothly for now.

 

Best of luck,

 

Honey

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I don't have terribly high expectations of the little ones and they constantly exceed my expectation. It's the 6-10year olds that I find more challenging. Recently, after a particularly difficult time with several children kicking at the boundaries, I brought them together and explained that it is MY JOB as the responsible adult to keep all the children happy and SAFE. Sometimes I have to ask for behaviour to change because the happiness or safety of some children is threatened if I don't. It really hit home.

 

I expect to be repeating these quite little chats every few months but all going smoothly for now.

 

Best of luck,

 

Honey

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  • 2 weeks later...

we made 'pre school promises' with the children, with guidance from the adults we encourgaed the children to think about how we want pre school to be, this gave them ownership of our promises. we promised things like 'we have kind hands' etc. this was then made into a large visual element in out book corner - where we hold group times.

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