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I am struggling to deal with having lots of children playing in an activity when I am trying to work specifically with one child. When I go to an activity I get a group of children heading over to play which is lovely. Thing is it can get a little overbearing.

I was doing a floor puzzle with one of my keychildren and it was going really well, lots of thinking and engagement going on, then two children came over wanting to play so I involved them and the key child shared pieces but then another three children came over and wanted to play. By now was getting quite crowded in our quiet area with 6 children wanting to play. I asked the three to wait as we were almost done and I would do it with them afterwards. One of them starts to cry so I am trying to sort this out whilst monitoring turn taking and trying to still work with my key child, to cut a long story short my keychild gets fed up waiting for me to sort out the others, loses interest and says "it's too squishy now" before going to play in another area

It feels like I keep losing really good opportunities to help learning with my keychildren because I get mobbed by others. I involve other children as much as is possible but sometimes that focus play one to one or small group is what is needed but gets lost.

Other staff are often engaged elsewhere, not able to help out or when they do the children want to stay with me so they leave it. Respecting child choices and trying to involve everyone works sometimes but other times I just want to say "please go and play with xxxxx whilst I just have a bit of time with xxxx"

Don't want to sound big headed or anything just need some tips/advice.

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We have a small area that is for one-to-one work/ focus adult led, the children know this and most respect it.

 

Usually, if it's really interesting the activity then gets 'opened-up' for all. Although once it's an open activity we move it away from the 1-2-1 place - therefore the children are not confused about the area.

 

Some staff use it, some never - but at least the option is there.

 

x

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We have small areas inside and out for adults or children to use as quiet spaces. We use these for 1-1/ small group but we have found pegs very useful. Each child has a named peg that they keepin their tray and if they want to play with an adult or have some quiet 1-1 time they give the adult the peg, unfinished games and work can also be marked up for playing/completing the next day. Wearing the pegs is a bit cumbersome but it means you don't forget and you know the order the children came to you. Once the children see it works and know they will get a turn they go off quite happily and play elsewhere until they are called. I also have pegs that I keep and use to ensure I have spent time with the whole class and no-one has gone under the radar.

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The peg idea could work may give it a go, my reluctance is it is another thing to try and monitor as quite a few would pick up the wrong name pegs as they don't recognise their name so you then have to sort that out. It is the same whatever activity I head to, it starts with one or two but when others notice they come over and it ends up as a crowd all trying to do the same thing which leads to frustration and quite often the original children leaving. I have tried the wait a minute, later, I'll call you over style lines but the children get upset or grumpy and I then end up trying to settle them and make them happy again, it sounds harsh but short of saying No, go away (which i add i would not do!!) they just want to be there watching and playing.

Thanks for your suggestions, going to try to address it next week in some way

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is it possible to set up more 'work stations' (for lack of a better description) around you? so if you are doing a puzzle could you have a few out ....you do one with your keychild and the others can have a go with another one. I realise they won't stop interrupting but at least then they have something to acheive too.

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