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Beautiful Stimulating Environment


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I'm struggling to work out how to manage expectations to have a beautiful stimulating environment for children ....

lucky enough to be in a setting where we don't have to tidy away, but it's very big. Children are encouraged to explore their own interests, mostly are allowed to transport materials around, though in discussion about whether small indoor resources should be allowed to be transported outside.

Think we all want to offer children the absolute best. Message from the top seems to be that this entails everything being pristine...in reality this seems difficult to achieve, as children engage with materials in rather chaotic, sometimes unanticipated ways. It seems to me the only way to keep to the pristine expectation is to commit to spending many hours re-tidying and organising at the end of each session...

feeling overwhelmed and a bit frustrated...

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I'm struggling to work out how to manage expectations to have a beautiful stimulating environment for children ....

lucky enough to be in a setting where we don't have to tidy away, but it's very big. Children are encouraged to explore their own interests, mostly are allowed to transport materials around, though in discussion about whether small indoor resources should be allowed to be transported outside.

Think we all want to offer children the absolute best. Message from the top seems to be that this entails everything being pristine...in reality this seems difficult to achieve, as children engage with materials in rather chaotic, sometimes unanticipated ways. It seems to me the only way to keep to the pristine expectation is to commit to spending many hours re-tidying and organising at the end of each session...

feeling overwhelmed and a bit frustrated...

Does depend on how many staff you have to pitch in. We are all assigned areas to look after and resource, this has helped in the general look and maintenance of the pre-school. Giving ownership to an area certainly works for us. You could perhaps bring in a little rule - before the children get anything else out they must find something to put away, we do this particularly when we have a lot of tippers in! and we limit how much we put out of any one thing, but if there is a huge interest in it we top up the supply.

 

Yes it is wearying work after the days work is through. But as wildflowers has said - if you have an outside area maybe one morning or two a week give that over entirely to nature, clipboards and magnifyers and pencils and see what happens. We have "dry Tuesday" - this is the only morning we ask them not to bring water outside as we have a shorter session and cleaning up muddy children and the area is very time consuming, when we could be having lots of fun, so we have dry Tuesday and take out things like the tunnel, bean bags, make a little assault course with sheeting etc.

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Hi ForgetMeNot and a very warm welcome to the forum :1b

It's hard isn't it to juggle the expectation to make resources freely accessible to children and the desires of others for 'order and tidiness'

One of my favourite lines in our last Ofsted Inspection report - the inspector praised (and I quote our) 'wonderfully child centred room' :wub: I was and still am very proud of that.......

I know, of course, that another Inspector or a prospective parent might think differently :blink: xD

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Thanks for the replies...the weekend has made it all feel a bit better...one friend commented that as a child they would have quite liked having a 'rummage box' for creative stuff...and been excited at rummaging and finding their delight. They felt that a compartmented box of neatly stored items might look very beautiful, neat and tidy, but it wouldn't necessarily bring out the creative in all of us :rolleyes: . So back in today with the 'can't please everyone all the time...and just do my best to do the best job I can' hat on. And teaching in the garden this week, so will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature too!

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