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Dog Play


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

Over the past couple of days one of our children's has developed this dog play. Basically she goes down to the home corner and pretends to be a dog crawling and lying about on the floor. She encourages other children to join her and before we know it have about 4 children doing the same with another couple of children trying to either chase after the dog or feed them!

 

It is becoming a bit of an issue from the point of safety as we are waiting for an accident with feet and hands on the floor and others trampling over them if you understand what I mean!

 

Question is do we extend this play and how? Or do we put a stop to it once and for all. It seems to be that 6 children are not actually playing with any toys or equipment just rolling about on the floor.

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Extend it!!! Why put a stop to it, risk assess and put measures in place to keep them all safe.

 

I don't have a problem with children rolling about on the floor - this is a gross motor activity linked to role play/ creativity/ KUW.

 

Just get in there and extend it how they want - would they like a doggy agility obstacle course set up? Do they want a dog to come and visit them? Do they want a toy dog to each take home for the night and look after? Do they want a vet or pet shop role play?

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Guest terrydoo73

We just don't have the room to set up a doggy agility obstacle course! How would you put measures in place to stop them stepping on each others hands?

 

We did have a vet role play a couple of months ago and they played it to death. How about dog masks? I was thinking of this to try and draw them away from rolling on the floor as it is so dangerous and more importantly loud. A lot of the other children are running around with their hands on their ears complaining of the loudness. Funny thing is when they go outside they don't play this where this is loads more room!!

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We have had this going on for some time now. Not rolling around on the floor, but pretending to be dogs, tying bandages around their wrists as leads, rolling balls on the floor, and making food for the dogs etc. Different children would be dogs and others their owners. It involved so many children that we made it a 'theme', if you like. We had a dog come to visit, and then children brought other pets too which was wonderful! Lots of children brought in photos of their pets which we talked about, and they are still on the wall. We (well the children) got so much out of it, and even those without real pets made up stories about their imaginary pets. We even got pet snails for the setting!

 

I would say definitely encourage it, but perhaps supervise more if you are worried about safety, so you can steer the play in a more suitable direction. Have fun!

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I'm a bit confused - you talk about the issues of the rolling around on the floor but then you say its loud? Do I take it the dogs are barking as well?

 

Firstly I would talk to all the children about the need to watch out for others whilst moving around the setting. Is your indoor space quite confined? What rules do you already have in place regarding this?

 

I'm also not sure what you mean when you say the vet role play was played to death. I think its important as practitioners to keep role play fresh by changing and extending it as needed and at the point where interest is waning, change it entirely. Thats not to say that interest won't be renewed if its introduced again in the future. Two months is quite a long time for children and they may be ready to revisit it.

 

Do you have an obliging vet nearby who may be willing to come in and talk to the children about caring for pets? Perhaps if they understand the need for pets to be well looked after and under control, you can then introduce this element into their role play. (Although inevitably children often prefer to play the disobedient pet!)

 

Making masks may interest them - only you know if this is the sort of activity these children are likely to want to participate in. You could also suggest making bowls of dog food or toys for the dogs as an alternative.

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Guest terrydoo73

The thing is we finish for the summer next Tuesday! So in effect we have only a couple of days as some of our children will not turn up next week. So calling in a vet might not be easy at this late stage!!

 

Yes our indoor space is very confined. We had one little boy who told us today "i'm not going to stop running around and you won't make me" This was after spending quite some time going over our rules ie soft voices inside, watch out for others in case of accidents etc etc.

 

We did have out the vets kit and soft dogs/cows/cats so maybe it would be a case of putting these all out again and talking about looking after our pets. I have a pet rabbit, cat and dog so maybe I should bring these in and talk to the children about them. The reason I suggested masks is because there would be quite a bit of work involved for the children in decorating these which they are into at present with loads of glitter everywhere!! My children are only 3 years of age so their concepts are quite limited and time is of the essence!

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If you're breaking up next week I probably wouldn't worry about extending it unless the children ask questions or you hear them make comments that can easily be built on. Do you have graduation day or end of term party to carry out? Maybe they could go in fancy dress, each choose an animal?

I certainly wouldn't stop them playing just because they might have their fingers trodden on or because its noisy, its all about learning after all and while we do have a duty to keep them safe, a squashed finger isnt the end of the world and adds to their spacial awareness development.

The lad who said he wasnt going to stop running and you couldnt make him, I'd reply with something like 'thats ok, you run round the rest of us are going to be sitting over here to see whats in my special box' I'd grab anything I could or sometimes I used to have odds and ends of goodies in my bag, and I'd get really, really excited at what I was about to show them all. Then I'd cup whatever it was in my hands or wrap it in a cloth and show each child in turn with loads of exclamations.

Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didnt, but its worth a try. xD

 

You break up mighty early, I bet our staff would be quite envious if they knew :o

Edited by Rea
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I'm for encouraging the children's play too! A great way to develop spatial awareness, learning to avoid having their fingers trodden on.

 

When our children enjoy a cat or a dog theme, we put out leads for the children to attach to soft toys which they love.

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How funny, we had the same thing a few months ago! in the end they came into preschool barking and woofing!!. we carried out a role play vets, and extended the dogs to pet theme. I know what you mean though it can be very loud!!!

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Guest terrydoo73

Well we brought in some soft animals - dogs, cat and rabbit which did create a limited interest. I also introduced the dog and cat masks in the arts and crafts area. To see the children's own interpretation of these was fantastic. I don't think any of them coloured them in but preferred instead to add glitter, stickers and shiny card to each. Very individual! I managed to get string on a couple of them for the purpose of masks and then it was a case of everyone wanting this done but as there was so much glue and stuff sticking on them we decided to tell them that once they were dry tomorrow we would add the string and cut out the eyes.

 

While I was watching the children in the arts and crafts area I looked around to discover a number of other children back to the old game of rolling about on the floor pretending to be dogs themselves. I tried to develop the conversation by asking if they all had dogs at home and then showed them my own dog (picture). It seemed to distract them and I asked where they had left the pet animals.

 

Just wonder what will happen tomorrow!!

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lol...we have had 'cats' for months now !!! they sound like animals in pain at times, we usually have about 5 or 6 in the home corner wailing....we also find these 'cats' make their way into other areas of the room...we've had cats in the home corner, at the doctors, in the aeroplane, at the cafe !!!.

we tend to go with it...sometimes we explain why a cat shouldnt really be in the cafe and use that to talk about hygiene etc

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it was fine to go with it for a while, doing all the adding to the game we could...

 

but I always remember one time when we did ban it..

 

all had been playing the game happily for days and it sort of petered out as we developed it and added to divert to other things... (only so much learning can be gained form acting out an animal) but one boy would not be swayed.. he used the acting a dog to destroy all the other play in the setting, and began to upset the other children constantly to get the attention he wanted as we had now begun to move on to other things and he was getting little attention from just being a dog..

so we ended up developing the dog play into areas a dog would be allowed and that they would have to be restricted to certain small areas as they were in need of training and we ended up with a dog training class where he had to do as he was told sit, stay, come, roll over on command etc... seems this part of being a dog was no longer any fun.. so the dog was 'lost' and we had a peaceful setting again.

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Stopping a child's interest in play never. Boys and girls need to run around. I think we tend to forget that as human beings being cooped up in one room can send us mad! Even more so children who do not have access to run around during their time at pre-school or in early years settings.

 

If a child needs the space to run around and explore their body movements then perhaps what we do within the setting is not meeting their needs. We are lucky to have an outside space, come rain or shine a certain couple of children remain outside all session. We just ensure that they have acces to all our facilities. But what you have to rememer is that unless children master, coordinate the large muscle groups then they cant master the fine motor skilled required for later writing skills usually starting to grow around the age of 7 when the nerve endings have materialised properly in their finger tips.

 

Outside we did throw and catch for the dogs, to include tunnels they could roll in. Inside we did vet role-play set up x-ray drawings (got some reluctant writers to use a pencil).

 

Supervision in any role play is the key with good discussion on safe play and behaviour with the children.

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