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Hi, wondering if any of you can help. We have had tents and making dens as a big part of our setting lately as there has been lots of interest in camping etc. Problem is with the children making their dens, even with see through sheets, they are enclosing themselves and there has been a few incidents like hitting etc in there. There is always staff involved with tent making but because the children want small cosy spaces usually it is hard to see everything happening inside. Today the tent had to be put away because a child bit another whilst inside. Staff member was right by the tent doorway but because the tent is small a verbal warning/distraction was not enough to stop the child and they could not physically reach them to stop the incident. Then whilst sorting out this the other children were jumping in the tent, smacking it from both sides and ended up tipping it over resulting in bashed heads. Again the staff were trying to stop this play but because they can't actually get in the space it is like the children know and take advantage!! Any ideas? we have tried larger dens but the children don't want this and like small dens for 3 or 4 max and we are following their ideas but at what risk.

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I would actually stop all den making, tents, enclosed places just for a short time........if children ask why - what a great learning opportunity - explain that you can't do it any more as children were getting hurt.........the sort of events that you have described in your post might indicate that the children are actually becoming a little 'bored' with this......


Off to hide now........ xD

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i agree with sunnyday i'm afraid. when you do it again i'd give one warning then out! remind children that activity got stopped before and will have to again if silly/hurting behaviour continues. and next time you get it out maybe have a new and very exciting activity out so not many go to dens, then children who are actually interested will use dens - maybe parachute/bubbles........... that's what i'd do but it's just an opinion x

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  • 2 weeks later...



How old are your children and how many children in the room?


Every day during our morning welcome, we talk through some rules for the day. ( my room has 16 children age 2-4)


We ask the children to come up with some rules for an area/ the toys / the dens etc.


For example, I may joke with them and say I've thought of a great idea and that is to throw sand in the air. My older children giggle and tell me the reasons why I can't do that (sand in eyes, tastes horrid etc) and that the sand must stay low and in the tray.


They decided only 3 children can be in the inside role play area yet 6 in the outside role play area due to space. They have placed sand timers in the areas and tell each other they will use them to take turns.


They are involved in the rule making so are more likely to adhere to them. The younger ones follow the older ones lead. It also means if there is a "rule break" the children are reminded of their own rules. Should the poor behaviour continue, those children are told to move away and social stories are used later at circle time.


The same applies for tents & dens. Ours particularly are enjoying taking books in the tents / baskets of shells etc. They use the same principle of the amount of children and expected behaviour with their own rule making. Obviously we sometimes sow the seed and they grab the thoughts and extend it.


We use a lot of social stories too which stirs language & behaviour expectations.


Hope some of that helps. :)

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