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Engaging boys!


klc106
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Hi all

We are having a real problem at the moment trying to engage the 2 boys we have at our setting.

Nothing that we put out or plan seems to engage them. They are both in the same 2 days each week and on those days the whole room is manic. They will mess up other children's games, run around, shouting. We have tried asking them what they want out to play with but after 5 minutes they are gone again! We have also tried planning lots for their interests but that hasn't worked either. Between them since xmas they have 5 observations!!

We have had both these boys for over a year now and they have never been an issue. Its since just before half term. We only have 10 children on roll (8 girls, 2 boys). On the days when its only girls, the room is so calm and relaxed. Dreading after Easter when one of them will be in everyday!

Any ideas that will help engage them in something?? We have decided that as of next week, we will be using the outdoor area more in a hope that it may help, with only 2 of us free flow isn't possible.

Thanks in advance :(

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At the moment we have

  • home corner
  • another smaller role play area
  • small world
  • cosy corner
  • mark-making area
  • 3 tables that are changed daily based on interests/needs

We did have a open ended play area but are changing it next week to a speaking, listening and literacy type area.

We also have a small room joined onto the main room with is our 'construction room' with duplo, popoids and wooden bricks with lots of floor space to build. The boys do like this room, but struggling to think of what else to put in there!

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Boys quite like 'same' so wooden blocks/duplo etc could be out every day for them....it's easy to change the emphasis and they can learn the whole 'curriculum ' through this one medium (though i wouldn't recommend this!!)

Is the role play boy friendly?(no pink frills allowed!!! think sleek black and stainless steel xDxD )

Have you got lots of cars/transport...are they in to messy play? (have two who LOVE ooblick at the mo!) trains? ...try to think like a boy....really tricky but if you have any friends who have slightly older boys perhaps get them to come in and identify the areas they like and why.

(and actually girls like outside too!!!! in fact often my girls are out and my boys in...i sometimes have to shove 'em outside!)

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Thanks all, its always nice to hear simple ideas you don't necessarily think of!

Finleysmaid, the construction room does have the duplo, popoids and the wooden bricks in all of the time :1b

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Water and paintbrushes outside, builders yard type equipment, mark making on the floor with rolls of lining paper. Junk modelling with a vast selection of boxes, packages, tape, string etc.. Anything with scissors at the moment with our boys and girls.

Den making can be achieved both inside and outdoors.

Our children love duck duck goose, farmers in the den, whats the time Mr Wolf and running, jumping, skipping and hopping races.

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Could you:

Add soilders to blocks to recreate what they may be doing in a small scale.

Den building which needs, to be made by them, could add in need to make props such as swords and shields.

Tools and equipment to fix like real phones, switches, fuses.

Cars on various makeshift ramps.

Mine craft games, masks may be an option.

Xxx

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I was going to say den building but someone built me to it! lol I have old duvet covers which our boys like to crawl into! we are lucky to have free flow to a large outside space so that they can run off all that energy, even on wet days, we get them dressed up and go outside in the rain, and dig mud, put paint in puddles, collect stuff in wheel barrows ect. Having said that, we do have at least 35 in each day, and a good quanity of those are boys. Hope you find something to keep them busy x

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Ours have loved all the above- at the present time- since Christmas in fact,they have been pirate made, don't think there is anything pirate left we haven't done yet!

 

They did build a real brick wall, made their own mortar, studied the brick pattern on the walls outside and had a go themselves.

 

Could you get the community police officer to call by? ours came in their patrol car, brought all kinds of stuff in the boot that was a great morning, also had the fire brigade out, that was a good morning- I know some forces just don't have the resources but if you know someone, who knows someone it could be managed maybe. Could see if there are any out reach projects in your area, our library has a museum and the curator will bring artefacts out to show the children and tell them stories about them.

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How about a climbing area indoors. We sometimes use the hollow blocks and planks to build an indoor climbing/sliding game. If the boys are into using their bodies to explore they could do that without adult support.

With adult support a builders tray filled with flour or corn flour gloppy to walk in, might slow them down a bit.

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Do you have room for a DMP area ? we have yoga rolls, not quite fully inflated gym balls, large pieces of stretchy lycra in a closed in area of soft mats, though you do need to limit numbers and the wrong group together isn't good either, we try and split our ringleaders (rightly or wrongly) when it gets to much by encouraging one to be involved with a small group activity, whilst the other continues free play and swap around.

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OO er this is spooky Klc106-

We have just the same problem, two boys age 4 (into Batman) and 3 (into Mario) Like you- inside nothing we put out is engaging them for long. Tried bat cave/Super heroes, Large duplo bricks with tool sets. Not really into cars trains.Tried large cardboard boxes/dens. All they want to do is is bump into each other and fall down onto carpet/chase round. We are in small village hall and space is limited when all resources are out. Luckily we do have outside play, so they can let off steam/energy most days. I just feel on the days we cant get out, we are letting them down or not doing our job when they are not engaging productively inside. Or does this matter, is it the case -we play outside more, as this is what they need? What happens when they get to school, are they outside most of the day or sat inside doing work? Not sure how reception class operates nowadays, long time since my boys went 20yrs.

Manor

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OO er this is spooky Klc106-

We have just the same problem, two boys age 4 (into Batman) and 3 (into Mario) Like you- inside nothing we put out is engaging them for long. Tried bat cave/Super heroes, Large duplo bricks with tool sets. Not really into cars trains.Tried large cardboard boxes/dens. All they want to do is is bump into each other and fall down onto carpet/chase round. We are in small village hall and space is limited when all resources are out. Luckily we do have outside play, so they can let off steam/energy most days. I just feel on the days we cant get out, we are letting them down or not doing our job when they are not engaging productively inside. Or does this matter, is it the case -we play outside more, as this is what they need? What happens when they get to school, are they outside most of the day or sat inside doing work? Not sure how reception class operates nowadays, long time since my boys went 20yrs.

Manor

Exactly the same- spooky!

I also feel we are letting these boys down, they don't seem to be learning any new skills. We are also in a small village hall and only having 2 members of staff, free flow is not possible and when we do go outside, they don't seem to want to run, go back in and they are running riot again!!

Mousekeeter what is DMP?

Thanks for all the suggestions so far :1b

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Just wondered why you can't offer free flow.we have 16 boys and 5 girls on roll. We add dinosaurs to messy play, robots and ponies to construction, get children to choose smsll world and role play areas and see that they tend to engage more if they have chosen. We are two staff and offer free flow for about half our three hour session as free flow..however outside area very small and its one roominside so we shout to each other and keep an eye on numbers inside and out by encouraging snack or outside depending where most children are. Hard work but all about getting their interests and using them accordingly eg cars in paint. If I see the boys getting boisterous I then send them outside to run off their energy!never really calm or quiet in our setting hence struggling doing focussed small group work as too busy keeping an eye on things etc!!

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We have been advised by improvement advisors not to offer free flow with there only being 2 of us, if a child needs help in the toilet or hurts themselves it could become an issue. Ofsted were happy with us not doing free flow and understood our reasoning. We have 2 rooms inside and it wouldn't be possible to hear if we were being shouted from outside/inside.

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Hi

Yes can see why you may not be able to with two rooms. If we have toilet issue it does get difficult (all risk assessed) but we have 3 yr olds only and they are very independent and generally sort themselves out. I wish we had a few more girls!!

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