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Ride Ons


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

We are a small playgroup in NI just opened in January this year. We have applied and been successful in receiving grants amounting to £1200 earmarked for an outdoor shed and ride-ons. We also managed to raise £300 from 2 fundraisers with the parents and families involved with the Playgroup. We start again in September with 14 children - 8 preschoolers and 6 pre-preschoolers. The new outdoor shed will be erected at the end of August and will cost £600 and I have also placed an order for 6 ride-ons at a cost of over £700. Obviously this leaves us that we need to find 8 other ride-ons. I have managed to get 2 tractors, 1 bike with stabliisers and a tricycle (3 of these donations from my previous job as a childminder) which leaves us with 4 still to get. I would really love to be able to buy the good quality ride-ons but these will do us in the meantime.

 

I have tried the obvious sources - Freecycle and Gumtree but to no avail. I know the obvious answer is to teach them to share but we cannot do this for the following reason. Our outdoor play area is on a slope which has been ruled out by the Registering authority as too dangerous - it would simply be a competition for the children to see who can ride down the slope quickest with the obvious danger of banging into a fence at the bottom! We have asked to use part of our car park which although is still on a bit of a slope but if we use it running across the way it will work so ... We only have 3 of us as staff and we cannot really split the children as it would leave all of us vunerable.

 

Any suggestions??

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Our 'Home Bargains' store has children's scooters - something like that might be a possibility, and make a change from a ride-on.

 

Have you taken into account that not all children will want a ride-on, some might prefer playing with a doll's pram or a wheelbarrow - ours do

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If I understand you correctly you are saying tha all staff and 14 children will be outside in the carpark together?

 

As you say the obvious answer is for the children to learn to share the various vehicles you have.

 

We have a very small outdoor area and 16 children per session. We have a variety of things on offer outside and ride on vehicles is just one. We have a range of different vehicles but never put out enough for every child to have one at the same time. This is partly due to the sharing issue but also because in the past when we have done it we found the 'play value' was not perhaps as good as it could be. though the children had great fun roaring around on the vehicles there was little in the way of conversation or co-operative play. By reducing the number of vehicles availabe we found things to be much better. We now have a maximum of 6 vehicles out at a time - the children collectively decide whether it will be bikes, tractors, scooters etc. Often the children self regulate the turn taking but occasionally they use the sandtimer. They have instigated some lovely games including imaginary petrol stations, car washes etc etc. We just ensure there are other things of interest for the children to do outside and overall it works well for us.

 

Are you talking about some sort of 'set outdoor time' where you all go out and all children ride something? What if some of the children don't want to go/ride vehicles?

I don't know what your indoor space is like but we sometimes 'cone off' part of our hall and bring the vehicles inside.

 

As for getting further supplies have you thought about car boots? Not sure if you have them in NI I know my aunt down in Cork says the idea never really took off there.

 

I am intrigued by your '8 preschoolers' and 6 pre preschoolers' is this based on age? I work in a preschool and our children range from 2-5yrs.

 

I would love to know the ride-ons you have bought - at £700 for 6 I bet they are beautiful. Most of ours come from parents donating things their children have outgrown so I am quite envious!

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I know the obvious answer is to teach them to share but we cannot do this for the following reason. Our outdoor play area is on a slope which has been ruled out by the Registering authority as too dangerous - it would simply be a competition for the children to see who can ride down the slope quickest with the obvious danger of banging into a fence at the bottom!

I'm a bit confused by this bit of your post. I'd have thought that having every child on a trike or bike at the same time would lead to more problems with them rushing down the slope together than if some were on trikes and others were engaged in play experiences elsewhere either indoors or outside.

 

I have to say that if it was me I would invest the remaining money in high quality outdoor resources that would promote investigation and sustained shared thinking rather than more ride ons. But then I made a conscious decision to gradually get rid of all our ride on toys in favour of open ended resources outdoors instead. :o

 

Great news that you are able to attract funding though grants and fund raising initiatives - have fund spending it all!

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Guest terrydoo73

Thank you for your replies. Yes the obvious answer would be to teach them to share. We do use prams and wheelbarrows at present but this is in our small outdoor area attached to the main door into our premises. We were given a donation of £250 earlier on in the year for which we bought 2 small wheelbarrows and various other things like our gardening pots, football net etc. When the Playgroup first opened there was an investment in a large Little Tikes climbing frame with slides at one end - huge to move about and we don't fancy shifting it too far. We have bought all the usual stuff like hoops, paint buckets and brushes, skittles, parachute, water and sand trays etc. Again from my previous business I was able to provide balls, bean bags, golfing set and made up a music area from old pots and pans. We also have a very large set of traffic cones and signals so can use this in our car park

 

Our Early Years Inspector recommended we do not split the children into 2 groups as this leaves us vulnerable - the car park is right beside the road and we have had to a risk assessment which threw up the problem of the security fencing so we have to invest some money into providing wire fencing but we must have a leader on duty at all times at this side of the car park.

 

I am just trying to think of the logistics of it - Ok so we let each child choose between a ride on or prams or wheelbarrows and then take them to the car park - how do we transport the variety of other stuff we have available to give children a choice?

 

We have a set time each day when we go outside - normally at present we spend the first hour inside to settle children followed by snack time and then about 3/4 to 1 hour outside. We have found this works as children need that little bit of routine and at the same time a release from the constraints of being inside. NI is a lot tougher on the old child protection issues in terms of registration - we appear to have a list of dos and donts in respect of what we can and cannot do. One of these is that 3 members of staff must be present with all the children all the time. They have allowed us an exception when it comes snack time - one member can leave the room for 10 minutes. We usually use this time to take the children to the bathroom (ours is separate from the playroom down a corridor) but we have to remain with them throughout this time.

 

Our situation is that we are registered for 12 children due to the space of the room we have on offer. We do have a large hall but it is not included within our Registered space because of the health and safety risk ie chairs, tables that have to be moved etc. We really want it to be a playgroup for children in the year prior to entry to school but to fill the spaces and try to get income as well as reputation we have had to go down the route of 3 and 4 year olds. Parents are reluctant to use us at present because our places are not paid by the government as yet - they don't realise we need the children first before we can apply for the free places.

 

We are planning just to use the ride ons on say 2 mornings and the smaller space for the other mornings so that we don't get to the situation of relying on ride-ons for entertainment if you understand what I mean! We have a well laid out area which worked well since January - at the top end there is a sand, water, music and construction/small world area. Then to one side there is a mark making and painting area. In the middle there is the large Little Tikes climbing frame and at the bottom end there is room for balls, hoops and generally running around. We have a gardening area which baskets attached to window guards that also doubles as a threading area. We do use the parachute on some days for a bit of variety and have also enjoyed times of teaching games such as "What's the time Mr Wolf" and "The Farmer wants a wife".

 

Whilst it is lovely getting these grants we are still on a knife edge as apart from the weekly amount paid by parents there is nothing to pay for salaries or running costs - we are desperately trying to get the government funding from the Education Authority. Just a pity parents cannot see that we need to be up and running with a minimum of 8 children to get this!

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