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Story Time ideas for settling


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We have story time at the end of our session the main reason being we have less than 30 mins to get EVERYTHING packed away before the next users of the hall arrive - 30mins is a struggle!

We usually have 2 staff manning story whilst the other 2 start to pack away the resources into our sheds.

We have a very mixed aged cohort this year of those who have just turned 2 up to those that have already turned 4 this month.

We are finding it quite difficult this year keeping the little ones focussed; they are chatting, climbing over each other and getting up and walking around the room and it's getting to be a bit of a battle!

We have tried to give little toys for them to hold, letting them lie down to listen if they wish (rather than sitting) choice of carpet or chair or even a knee - what else can we try?

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I think if the story lasts for 30 mins it's too long. How about some action songs for 20 mins where the children do not have to sit still.Then for the last 10 mins split the group into two age groups eg the ones going to school this year having a longer story and the younger ones having shorter stories taking in turn to lift the flaps.

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One of my pet hates this time of year is the feeling of enclosing the children to allow others to pack away.

So I'm more likely to tell stories throughout the morning and maybe have musical instruments, dancing to cds, construction toys at this time.

Our little wiggles just cannot sit or should for thirty minutes, it's far too long.

Oh for the day of not having to pack away.

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could the younger ones play for slightly longer, with 1 staff member and 1/2 activities only, and the older ones have story/lots of rhymes with other. then younger could have quick story and rhymes, maybe joining older ones for rhymes? our nursery-aged ones could only manage sitting for 5 minutes to start, and can now manage 15 max

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Hello, I also am from a pack away preschool and we manage by some structured activities for the last 40-45 mins.

For example 5-10 mins all children and adults to tidy up, this includes children helping in the playground too. Then children are encouraged to sit on the mat and look at books themselves. An adult is present and taking an interest in their book choices. The other staff are tidying away

Storytime 10 mins that sometimes starts or ends with hand rhymes

Physical play 10 mins which could be anything from races, moving to music to duck duck goose

Circle time 10 mins which may be a visit to the garden, musical instrument play, singing songs, group discussion about a particular interest of the week.

We normally have 2-3 adults supporting the group and the tidying up continues by the remaining 1-2 staff.

It does depend on the needs of the group of children, as to how staff are deployed. But there will always be some toys, books available if a child can not cope with the routine of sitting at story or circle time. An adult would also be supporting the child.

With maximum staff in session we also split story time into two groups. This is great for a focused/longer story for the older ones and more simple & suitable stories for the very young ones. We do like to work with smaller groups to create a learning, interactive experience even when in group situations. It definitely benefits the children.

Hope this helps, I know how very stressful it can be, when you need to be out at a certain time.

I would also suggest some detailed observations are done during this last part of the day and you share it as a team. It can really help to reflect objectively and for you and your team to understand what can be changed to alter behaviour and structure of the last part of your session.

Good luck.

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I don't think story time is lasting 30 mins, we used to do the same when in shared premises, 2 staff would do story, rhymes or singing and then see children out for last 10 mins whilst other staff started clearing away, when children went we then all packed away/ cleaned for 15 mins...providing all children collected on time, which rarely happened :/

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Sorry everyone story time isn't 30 mins long, that's how long we have to pack everything away at the end of the session once everyone has gone :1b which as Mousekeeter says is fine if everyone collected on time and picked up and went but the parents start chattering to each other, which is lovely because playgroup is all about making those friendships for parents too but when they are chatting they aren't watching their children and we are trying to collapse tables move chairs etc anyway digress

Story time might be 15 / 20 mins long max but I agree is still a long time for the young 2 year olds and I wish we didn't have to do it, but needs must.

Like the idea of doing some musical movement kind of things - we will give it a go, need a list of ideas now!

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Make it as interactive as possible...Try to add props to stories or get the staff to act them out. We are concentrating on parts of the body at singing sessions at the moment so lots of head shoulders knees and toes going on! The whole group love the singing and even my eal and sen ones are managing though if i can afford all the staff to be there it makes it much easier! Stories are tricky at this stage aren't they? i do lots of voices and keep the text simple but add more vocab for those more able (and perhaps some higher level questioning) ....doing a bit on WOW said the owl at the moment. Seating arrangements have need to be sorted a little and there are a few i have to move around (surreptitiously of course) in order to benefit from good behaviour examples!!!

probably all things you've thought of already! xD

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