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2 year olds and story time


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Just to set the scene,

We have children from just 2 all the way up to children who were 4 in September all in one hall.

In the past we never had these very young 2yr olds so some routines are proving challenging at the moment and one particular time is Story Time.

At the moment we have story time just before snack, this enables us to have all the children together whilst one is setting out the tables and another is in the kitchen preparing snack - this has always worked really well and our last inspection commented on how well the routine worked - until now!

These young ones can't / won't sit for a story - I have a minimum of 2 staff supporting the activity - we have tried just letting them carrying on playing but then they disturb the story and other children who always sat well and listened find it very distracting. We have also tried getting them to help the adult setting up the tables but that didn't help either.

So anyone got any good ideas?

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i feel your pain, we luckily now have our under 3's in a separate space at story time, we have ours just before they go home, its very short and they sit in our book corner...the older children are in another room sat on mats and they have a longer story. I have used large scale books with lots of props and puppets, the younger ones like something to hold while we read the book, or something very visual at focus on for a short time x

perhaps a floor puzzle or a short game might work better than a sit down story. Its really trial and error when trying to work with a mixed age group. Let us know what works for you x

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Maybe a more interactive story instead of reading from a book to start with?

Something that the practitioner can make along, and/or children could add to the story?

This will make it interesting and they would all be engaged and willing to take turns.

An example: the 3 pigs and the big bad wolf: start the story without the book, ask children to suggest names for the characters and guess what would happen next and so on

make it as you go until they learn to sit and do story time, then you can introduce a small book then grow from there.

 

good luck!

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We've started with more small group story times during the session, then at the times we need to do whole group activities (some of us- especially pack-always have no other options:(. ) we just stick to action songs and simple ring games.

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We prepare snack well beforehand sometimes with a child or two helping, but not always our kitchen has a hatch to the main hall so adult is never really out of ratio (technically anyway!!), so you might consider prepping snack earlier that would free up one more adult, all that would be needed is to bring snack to where you are eating it, or, have a snack bar system instead.

 

I have separate storytime for wrigglers and under 3's, it is done at the same time, but we have a lovely cosy book area, screened off but still part of the main hall and we go in there for very interactive stories, short stories etc. until they are able to graduate to the older children's storytime. We have our storytime at the very end of the morning, (maybe your 2 year olds would be too tired to kick up a fuss by then!)

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Thank you all for your suggestions - glad to hear it's not just us!

Think I will try the suggestion of having 2 groups and see how that goes - not sure if it will be distracting having the 2 groups in one hall, but we won't know til we try!

We've tried snack bar and although I've seen it run in other settings (albeit maintained nursery so all one age group!) and it's successful, it doesn't work for us.

We did think about just letting them play outside, but then they won't be having a story, which we all feel is an important part of the session ....

Or is it??!!

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Well, in my humble opinion, at 2 years old it is more important to have a good old snuggle up and a story, so if numbers would allow, I would see that they were encouraged to have their stories one or two at a time with an adult during your normal child initiated part of the session and not worry too much about doing it groupwise. Ours are 2.5, we don't take them any younger, they have stories whenever and wherever they want all session as can any of the children, but we do always end the morning with a whole group story, but separate one for the wrigglers. If your 2's had stories whenever, they could then go outside while your older ones are having their grown up story, as they grow older and need longer stories they wouldn't need too much management until they could sit through.

 

We don't do snack bar either Thumperrabbit, we have tried on several occasions and for a term at a go, to give it a really good length of time to become "natural", but we just don't feel we ever get to the right place with it. So whole group snack for us still, but children do have access to drinks all the time and if they tell us they are hungry or mum says they haven't eaten breakfast we would find a little something for them to have in the kitchen.

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