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Yep, spend 85 mins creating an enabling environment only to find 30mins later it has been dis- enabled?!!


Is this the Eyfs? creative free thinking play? schemas - lets pile everything in the cosy corner and then go play on the bikes!? I don't honestly know Orangejabberwocky? I do know that in all my long years as a practitioner (gosh did i say that???..) i have never known it soooo bad! So to get a grip what I tend to do is shake my tambourine ( signal for stop n listen) and suggest the room needs a tidy!?Works for a bit....... then generally we ALL go out and play on the bikes..:) Arghhhhh!

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I think the key has always been to encourage children to take responsibility for caring for the environment, and that includes putting things away when they're finished with. I know some practitioners get very upset when children take playdough off the malleable table to 'cook' with in the home corner and as a consequence children miss out on many learning opportunities.


However that doesn't mean we can just let them run riot and then run onto the next area of the room - we need to help them to understand their own role in caring for their learning environment, and this is time consuming and ongoing. It also involves striking a balance between whipping everything away once they appear to have finished, and in leaving enough time for them to develop their play and come back to things if they need to.


I guess it is about getting to know your children really well, involving them in drawing up the 'rules' for the setting with regard to how resources are going to be stored, displayed and used. A child who has an emptying/filling schema will persevere at this type of activities however many times they need to and in a range of contexts, and we need to support this type of play. However the child who is just emptying out buckets of resources and running off to something else will soon tire of this if they are always asked to come and help tidy up the 'mess' they have made. Once they make the link between their responsibility in tidying away their own 'mess' they'll begin to wonder if it is worth doing in the first place.


I put 'mess' in inverted commas because of course 'mess' is a very subjective concept. What an adult perceives as messy and what a child perceives is very different! :P

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I am taking great comfort in the fact that we are not the only ones experiencing this kind of behaviour. Our setting looks like the caterpillar room from 'Toy Story 3'!!!!

That made me laugh out loud! xD


In my setting it tends to be the home corner that looks like a bomb has gone off........have to say I'm fairly laid back about it - do have to watch though that it doesn't get so bad that children are falling over things..........'tidy up time' in my setting means everyone has to help :1b

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