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Help articulating something to staff!


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Is anyone able to articulate better than me (I'm so tired!) or point me in the link of any great articles I can use to educate my staff on children's play.

 

The problem is that fine line of opinion between allowing the children to trash the joint or stifling their creativity. This morning we had children moving sand around outside in a wheelbarrow. Unfortunately it fell over and all went over the floor. The children did start jumping up and down all over it, and which point I then did intervene and invite them to look in the sandpit, whereby one pointed out that there was not much sand left in it. I said yes and that some children would be sad because of this, and could they all work together using spades to put it back in the wheelbarrow and back into the sandpit? This happened. Obviously there was some natural wastage. But I have some staff who think it should not have been moved at all from the sandpit.

 

Same with playdough in the kitchen. To me and some, it is a natural extension of play. To many others, it shouldn't leave the playdough table.

 

I don't like just saying 'well this is how I want it done' without backing it up. I like to inform and educate rather than dictate, but I can't think of how to express what I am trying to say.

 

Help?!

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Hi Claire. This can be a perennial challenge cant it?

Can you have a staff meeting and explore what the issues actually are? Try and unpick what qualifies as a 'trashed room' or 'free for all'. In many cases when I have discussed this with settings, its about the mess and the time it takes to clear up. It usually leads to a deeper conversation around routines and children's responsibilities for helping to clear away; or fears about what parents or visitors might say; or even fear of not being in control. It can be really revealing to really talk through what the issue actually is. You may come away with some rules and some definite no gos (often around what is and isn't allowed in certain spaces eg cosy space or carpet areas), but I would happily challenge why playdough cant go in the home corner (as it often creates a better quality of play).

If you get to the point where they are willing to at least have a go, and then observe what happens, they might realise that the quality of play is different.

Good luck with it, many of us have been there at some point.

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Maybe have a read of these articles and then share with your staff and discuss;

The Role of the Adult in Early Years Settings: Part 1

http://eyfs.info/articles/_/early-years-general/the-role-of-the-adult-in-early-years-settings-r158

The Role of the Adult in Early Years Settings: Part 2

http://eyfs.info/articles/_/early-years-general/the-role-of-the-adult-in-early-years-settings-r159

 

The articles talk about when to intervene and not but also about agreeing acceptable behaviour within the play.

You can print them off of course to share with your team.

 

There are loads of other articles available by clicking FSF articles on the green navigation bar but thought these might be most helpful.

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My grandaughter likes to arrange and organise she used to tip everything out of boxes and organise in whatever colour, size , type etc she didnt always finnish as she had run out of steam but all my daughter could see was mess. She is a little older now and still does this but her organising has got more skilled and she will put them away to her own liking but she has had to repeat this and learn how . Often children in playgroup do this it looks like random mess but they may have an agenda of their own to follow I agree with Harmony1985 schemas are a good starting point.

What a great post claire78baby will follow with interest.

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