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Creating 'cosy Corners' In A Pack Away Setting


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Hi all, hope you can help me with this one...

 

We operate in a Village Hall which is a community, shared space. Our recent OFSTED report suggested more 'cosy corners' I completely agree but with it having to be quick and easy to set up and easily taken down, we are a little stuck. We also have storage issues so large equipment is not an option. We have small pop up tents but they are not big enough for more than 2 children. Money is limited and I am struggling with simple, quick to assemble ideas.

 

Anybody in a similar situation, or got any ideas??

Any help and advice is gratefully received!

 

Tracey

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We are pack away. Our cosy corner is a large hula hoop with voile attached that hangs down. We change the collours according to the seasons or children's interests, so its rainbow colours with spring flowers at the moment, it's been a winter cave, a pirate cave, red for chinese new year, dark green for a bird hide... i'll take a photo tomorrow and upload it for you :)

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That sounds fantastic!

What do you hang it from? Im trying to think how I could achieve a similar outcome!

 

Thank you!

:)

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Hi we are packaway too. We have hall chairs with a large cotton child friendly cover to make it cosy in our role play area, we have the plastic coated material with a aquarium theme for our snack area. or we have them too in fruit and veg. We have a light weight extra large bean bag with carpet in our book area. We also have dens made out of tables with fabric over and a foldaway screen with fabric over too. You really don't have to spend lots of pennies to make them snuggly or inviting. Organza or voile can be bought for as little as 80p a metre and can be used to drape over almost anything, we got ours from The Range. Have fun.

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We are in same situ. Really like Lauras idea but our ceilings are wa aayyy to high for that option! We have good storage so use a few ideas....outside children love to gather in the empty frog sandpit, we have hung voile coloured net curtains from the fence, to the window to create a canopy effect...fastening any which way we can!! Inside we cover an adult size table with same voile, put in cushions, basket of objects etc and hey ho its a cosy corner! cushions and material can transform most dull areas...might set to work onmy sitting room....?

 

 

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That sounds fantastic!

What do you hang it from? Im trying to think how I could achieve a similar outcome!

 

Thank you!

:)

 

We have a hook in the ceiling. On the hoop we have tied a pretty cord at three points that meet at the top and attach it with that. It can then be brought down at the end of a session, folded up and stored away.

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Our book corner.. as was way back then.. very popular

 

a sun umbrella in a stand - cheap asda stand and base was under £10.00

 

on top voile hoop for bed canopies.. Ikea

 

added voile donated for colour and fun..

 

lots of cosy cushions big and small

 

easy to put away as you just put the umbrella up and down and we left the hoop on it.. if you want no need for the hoop add voile to the umbrella..

 

small and easy to store..

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Thank you to all of you for some fab ideas! I am going to get collecting and creating. Will let you know how I get on.

 

Thank you!!

 

:)

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We use tables covered in fabric for den/chatting areas.

 

We also have a couple of buckets filled with quick drying cement and a length of hollow plastic tube in the middle - which we can put poles etc in to make dividers and other movable structures with.

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We are packaway, I recently attended the Elizabeth Jarmen Communication Friendly Spaces training, you can google that and find out more and see photos.

 

Basically it looks at turning rather dull uninspiring areas into communication friendly ones. I have bought a few cheap snuggle blankets and found a brilliant faux fur throw for £3. in Tescos last week - must be a colour not in vogue this year (aubergine)! We had some cushions and bean bags and we have made a nice snuggly area near the books for the children to go to, rather than have our screens dotted about the hall, we have now screened off the area too it is quiet in there and the sound acoustically is much better for telling stories. we also put a very small desk in there with children's magazines and a pot of pens and pencils with children's characters on them. The boys have really taken to it, which has delighted us all.

 

Underneath our wooden climbing frame we have put two bath mats the sort of long shaggy pile ones, and a couple of small snuggly throws and some small bean bags to sit on sometimes we put a voile curtain surrounding the climbing frame to give them more privacy, put some books etc. in there or something to do with their interests.

 

We were given a table tent, which fits perfectly over one of larger/taller tables and they love that, as long as there is something soft to sit, lay upon in these areas they like being in the semi-darkness all snuggled up.

 

Outside I use camouflage netting, tarpaulins etc. and we all create dens and I also have an adult pop up tent to use too - this comes out of a bag in about 2 secs, just takes 2 hours to put away again! ha ha, only kidding but it is an artform to say the least getting it back into the bag.

 

Do look into the Communication friendly spaces stuff it should inspire you. See if your area are doing any training on it too.

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In 2009 a few of us from the FSF were lucky enough to get free tickets to attend Elizabeth Jarman's Communication Friendly Spaces conference (where I first met louby lou and Upsy Daisy, incidentally) and I took some photos. You can see them in the gallery here:

 

http://eyfs.info/forums/gallery/album/86-communication-friendly-spaces

 

I've just had another look, I especially like the cosy corner made in an upturned table! Might be worth looking at them to get some inspiration, Tracey.

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In 2009 a few of us from the FSF were lucky enough to get free tickets to attend Elizabeth Jarman's Communication Friendly Spaces conference (where I first met louby lou and Upsy Daisy, incidentally) and I took some photos. You can see them in the gallery here:

 

http://eyfs.info/forums/gallery/album/86-communication-friendly-spaces

 

I've just had another look, I especially like the cosy corner made in an upturned table! Might be worth looking at them to get some inspiration, Tracey.

 

Well worth looking the photos............ that's were I got the idea about the cement buckets................................. and I have still not forgotten that Happymaz had a much nicer lunch than the rest of us!!!! xD :lol: xD :lol: xD

Edited by louby loo
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Oh yes, I'd forgotten. That was in the days of my gluten intolerance. Trust you to remember! :P

 

I also liked the one outdoors made out of the big banana (or was it orange) boxes, draped with a blanket. Wonder if I took a picture?

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Oh yes, I'd forgotten. That was in the days of my gluten intolerance. Trust you to remember! :P

 

I also liked the one outdoors made out of the big banana (or was it orange) boxes, draped with a blanket. Wonder if I took a picture?

 

 

banana boxes, definately banana -not orange boxes!!................ banana boxes are 'special'.

I know this because my dad had a loft full of them- why are they so special ? no-one but my dad can answer that I'm afraid.

 

xx

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banana boxes, definately banana -not orange boxes!!................ banana boxes are 'special'.

I know this because my dad had a loft full of them- why are they so special ?

Clearly in the hierarchy of cardboard boxes, they are the top banana! (I'm very sad that the banana smiley didn't work!).

 

It does show that you can create a little cosy corner out of almost everything though!

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Spoil Sport Alert. I love the drapy down voile but they can collect dust, which has been known to set off a friend's daughter's asthma. Lovely, but keep them washed.

 

Actually that's quite an interesting point, and not something I've really given a lot of thought to.

We have THEE most dust ridden hall imaginable- and I do mean dusty- we can sweep the floor over and over and still the dust comes up (worn/untreated parquet wood)......... yet our children- including the asthma suffers never seem to have problems? Is it because our hall is so big? (I wouldn't call it well ventilated at all- but it can be drafty in the winter)

 

(hope I'm not jinxing myself now) But it's honestly not something I've really thought about before. We are packaway- so things do not have time to collect 'conventional dust/cobwebs' .....would that make a difference?

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I must admit louby lou, to thinking the same. If you have to take some thing down every day, shake it out and fold it up again it is probably going to collect less dust than if it is able to be left out 24 hours a day.

 

I'm not knowledgeable at all about asthma so I don't know if the size of hall is a factor in allowing the dust particles to disperse over a wider area and as such are not as much of a problem.

 

But well worth bearing in mind, Honey: thanks for the warning!

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Hi not all asthma sufferers have dust as their triggers and that maybe why none have reacted. I do agree that being a packaway setting may help with this as dust particles are not built up as in a static area. To be honest voile can be washed and dried really quickly so it could be washed often to help keep the dust at bay.

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http://www.communityplaythings.co.uk/products/roomscapes/cosyspaces/F517.html

 

we recently bought one of these and it's very lovely. We find that two children will comfortably fit in there, maybe three depending on size of children (!).....................and there is almost never a time that it is empty. We have to pack away too and this takes apart and reassembles in moments. We put a couple of nice soft snuggly blankets in there and some 'special' sequinned cushions. The children love it and although it was expensive, it was worth every penny.

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http://www.community...paces/F517.html

 

we recently bought one of these and it's very lovely. We find that two children will comfortably fit in there, maybe three depending on size of children (!).....................and there is almost never a time that it is empty. We have to pack away too and this takes apart and reassembles in moments. We put a couple of nice soft snuggly blankets in there and some 'special' sequinned cushions. The children love it and although it was expensive, it was worth every penny.

 

 

narnia ...i am beginning to think you are on commission!!! <_< :DxD

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the one Narnia has is the one they changed to when I left the setting... on every visit it is always empty, and on asking they did say it was not used much , unless in role play extension, so may depend on the group of children.. while nice what I did not like was the way an adult could not join them, I was often found in the cosy corner with the children..

 

i would be a personal choice but would also want more than one kind of cosy area, what works for some does not work for all..and one group of children will be very different to the next

 

as to dust, being put up and down and moved regularly meant it was not left still long enough to gather much, and a regular wash kept it clean which was easy as we put it back on the umbrella to dry.. it got dirty rather than dusty for us.. would be different in a home or somewhere you can leave it up though..

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it might depend on where it is sited?? and what is in it? ours is very cosy and inviting and it is rare to find it empty. I also think it's nice for the children to have somewhere that is private and for them, not for me to join them......................we have other cosy areas where I can join in. I find that some children like the fact that adults can't get in ( and of course i can always see what they are up to through the fabric! :) )they also like to 'hide' things in there; we often find little collections of things when we're tidying up: today it was a little nest of elephants, yesterday it was lots of little wooden people on tiny chairs. but we haven't had a day yet that it hasn't been well used.

Finleys maid.................I wish!!! LOL

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i'm glad it works for you narnia and your children, personally i think it is way too expensive - as many of these wonderful items are- it seems many suppliers and producers take advantage of the market they are targeting and people are willing to buy, i like to look and see if it can be reproduced using local people to replicate for fraction of a price or using everyday items teaching and showing both children and parents its something that can be created at home -Probably the way I was brought up, the youngest of 10 and having been a single parent - it''s a value i try to teach my children ( my own that is, unfortunately their dads don't !!) but don't think i am knocking anyone who can buy these things. :rolleyes:

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ok, yes,Lashes, it IS expensive........................all of CP things are. I trust the brand though and am reassured that I have a ten year guarantee. When i tried to source something I had seen in CP catalogue with local craftsmen, it turned out to be an even more expensive quote.......two of them told me they couldn't replicate the quality and design for less. so it seems I'm not being overly extravagant.

Though I don't, of course ever have to justify my spending, I started out with 'make do and mends' something my mum ( the youngest of 18 children............yes, 18) instilled in me. All of my furniture was tatty hand me downs, in fact we had quite a laugh when my son came to help me cut down metal table legs to a more appropriate size for our children..........we cut too much off one leg and had wobbles, so had to keep cutting to get the right size. Anyway, my spending has been done over time, carefully, slowly, a piece at a time. There IS room for home-made equipment...............of course there is; cosy corners can be made under tables with a blanket over them, or inside a covered climbing frame............i came from an extremely poor family. I also have 6 children of my own, not much money to go round, so I do know about 'making do'. Some of the families who use us don't have much either. So, I try to balance things: I have an absolute commitment to safety first; then quality and beauty.When I can safely do so, I still buy second hand, so long as it is a quality item. I don't apologise for that, and as i have worked long and hard to purchase the things i have on offer, i don't think i need to apologise for that either. I know we all work long and hard and things are hard for everyone,so perhaps I should not 'brag' about what we have in our setting.Anyway, out of respect for your comments, I shall refrain in future from mentioning anything I have bought. My apologies if I have inadvertently offended you.

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It would be such a shame if you were to avoid sharing your successful purchases with us narnia - and I don't think that lashes would want you to for a moment. No-one reading your post can doubt that first and foremost you have your children's needs at the heart of everything you do, and this includes providing the best equipment and resources to support their learning, whether this is an expensive bit of CP kit, or a more mundane bargain from the pound shop! I certainly don't think anyone would think you're bragging when you share your experiences with us.

 

There is nothing better than a personal recommendation from someone, but these are subjective by their very nature (just looking at your exchange of posts with Inge above shows that everyone's experiences are different). What makes this Forum so special is that there's room for all points of view, and for us to have our views challenged.

 

So please go on championing Community Playthings: when you calculate the hours of enjoyment by the numbers of children who use their resources down the years, the rate per child per hour is actually very low. If you can save up enough money to buy a CP resource then you're making a very sound investment. Reading your post I can well understand the joy you get in providing items of quality and beauty for your nursery children to enjoy.

 

They are very fortunate to have you in their lives!

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It would be such a shame if you were to avoid sharing your successful purchases with us narnia - and I don't think that lashes would want you to for a moment. No-one reading your post can doubt that first and foremost you have your children's needs at the heart of everything you do, and this includes providing the best equipment and resources to support their learning, whether this is an expensive bit of CP kit, or a more mundane bargain from the pound shop! I certainly don't think anyone would think you're bragging when you share your experiences with us.

 

There is nothing better than a personal recommendation from someone, but these are subjective by their very nature (just looking at your exchange of posts with Inge above shows that everyone's experiences are different). What makes this Forum so special is that there's room for all points of view, and for us to have our views challenged.

 

So please go on championing Community Playthings: when you calculate the hours of enjoyment by the numbers of children who use their resources down the years, the rate per child per hour is actually very low. If you can save up enough money to buy a CP resource then you're making a very sound investment. Reading your post I can well understand the joy you get in providing items of quality and beauty for your nursery children to enjoy.

 

They are very fortunate to have you in their lives!

 

 

Here here i quite agree and if anyone can afford or fundraise for DP products i would always tell them to buy - fab products that last for years and years - well worth the pennies at the end of the day :D ::1a :D

Edited by hali
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when you calculate the hours of enjoyment by the numbers of children who use their resources down the years, the rate per child per hour is actually very low. If you can save up enough money to buy a CP resource then you're making a very sound investment.

 

this is true : one of the trucks that I bought, second-hand several years ago is actually in excess of 50 years old; just imagine how many little hands have played with it in all that time. I've bored you all to tears about my original set of blocks........ancient friends too, but much loved.

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We looked at the new 'nests' range too but decided to go for a set of the community playthings 'high branches' on their own which connect to the furniture we already had (purchased from grant funding after many many years of drooling over the catalogues :D ) and finally we can have overhead canopies for the home corner and book corner...and can be easily dismantled to create endless new looks and 'nooks' as needed.

 

We have several children who will yank anything down that is draped or hanging so cant really hang anything from the ceiling or other fixtures for fear of damage ...at least now we know the ceiling wont be brought down! They have already tried ways of climbing up to the fabric...so have to be vigilent all the time.

We have also tried simple dens / tents (we have a TTS den frame which is very roomy and good if you need to pack away....) but they get pulled apart within minutes.

I would love something like the parasol or bed canopy idea - but I know they wouldnt last.

I marvel at how such structures survive in other settings .

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Narnia - please don't think for one minute you had offended me, after reading your post i feel it may have been me that has offended you although this was sincerely NOT my intention :o - hence why i said 'I don't knock anyone who does buy these items'

i love this forum because i feel we can add and comment with freedom of speech and honesty without intentionally niggling someone although at times discussion can be quite interesting ! ;)

It is wonderful if your setting can afford and get your moneys worth from such products and it is also good that you have such faith in their products,

We love to hear about things you have bought and my view should not stop you doing so,( it was of the prices, not of you) , so please continue to tell us what you have bought and please let me continue with my comments without any ill feeling . :1b

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