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2-4yr olds in one room


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Hi all

 

After the summer we have lots of little ones who will only just be 2. We also have 3yr olds and some nearly 4!

We use one hall in a village hall. There is only me and 1 other member of staff.

 

How do you go about planning for such a wide range of ages?

 

If we plan for 2yr olds then the older ones are not challenged enough and planing for the older ones means little ones are not able to do some of the activities.

 

Sorry if this seems obvious I just can't think!

Edited by klc106
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This for me links in with your other thread and the 'trashing/mess' :1b we just have so much 'stuff' out to cater for all!

We have been like this for about 2 years now (we never used to be, 2 yr olds were very much the minority!)

 

We have to plan for all, but also we have to think even more about what we put out for the older ones, for instance small Lego and threading beads used to be part of our continuous provision but since the very young 2 yr olds have started they have to be an adult led activity, we found too many little ones liked to pop them in their mouths!!

 

Hope some one comes along with the answer :D

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I don't think it is obvious KLC106 we have the same problem and I am not sure we 'get it right' all the time. I think you do have to get to know your children and plan activities that can be extended or differentiated at the time. So adaptations can be made on the run as it were. For example we are going to do some activities around bubbles next week so the younger ones will just get the sensory experience and hopefully enjoy making patterns with the bubbles, scooping them up in their hands chasing the bubbles etc... but with the older ones we will be looking more at using resources to make bubble blowers, what makes the biggest bubble, planning how to improve their bubble blower, how are they going to measure which is the biggest and so on... so one activity but actually you can adapt it easily.

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We have our 2's 3's and 4's all together - a total of 50 children in any one session, but we do have 9 staff between two rooms and the garden so that's an advantage. What we tend to do is provide two or three 'adult led' activities - one which is tactile/messy one which is 'thinking' focussed i.e. memory games/ sound lotto etc. and a third which harnesses observed interests of some of the children - plus all the usual continuous provision stuff. Our children then just seem to gravitate towards what interests them - yes there are minor issues around ensuring safety, and what types of equipment but it's about watching the children and knowing them as individuals. At home you wouldn't ban older children from playing with toys with small bits when toddlers around - you just point out they need 2 keep things safe and tidy up, so it's the same at nursery!

Edited by redjayne
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We have 24 children aged 2,3 and 4 together but luckily 5 staff.Is there some way of dividing up the room but so that you can still see everything? Maybe some low level barriers like we have to create our book area? We are in one big room but luckily have an adjoining room that we put out smaller lego etc in for the older ones. It's that or put it out and make sure a member of staff sits with it to keep an eye on where the bits are going.

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I don't know how you can cope with 2 staff members - what happens when a nappy needs changing or there's been an incident/accident. Personally I feel that 3 staff is a minimum if you put 2 year olds into the equation but I expect you are being restricted financially like us all!

I mentioned low level barriers before -could you put similar across the door way (maybe a baby gate even) so that anyone can see in or out but can't get in without being invited. That way you are still in calling distance of each other and not closed off. I guess if something came up you could always ask the children to leave for a few minutes? Sorry if not very helpful it's a tricky balancing act x

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We did think of allowing the older ones to use the small adjoining room for activities and have a stair gate at the door so that little ones can't get in. We can see and hear them in there.

 

What do you think ofsted would think to this idea?

 

There is only 2 of us due to financial issues as we only have 10 children on roll. This is only our 3rd year of opening.

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