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Free Flow outdoors


hellotrout
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Quite new tto this posting lark!

 

We are a pre-school that has been free flowing between the indoors and outdoors for a few years

just lately the staff insist on closing the doors and saying it's inside time

 

arghhh so frustrated anybody got any advice on how to tackle this? also our staff seem very sensitive and the mere mention of anything usually results in tears or shouting!

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I know what you mean about sensitive staff I have one that bursts into tears at the drop of a hat and another who gets very defensive and confrontational and then will only speak to me using words of one syllable for a week ....but you just have to suck it up and do what you know is right :-(

 

Why has it changed ? Has anyone new come in to the mix ?

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yes we have had several staff changes however throughout every step of the process new staff are introduced to our ethos and vision and we get a lot of that sounds amazing and I can't wait to get on board! and then they go and do the exact opposite today has been the first time in about 4 years that I sat crying in our little office :( I am one very stressed out and tired DM

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hellotrout, it can at times be a very frustrating position to be in cant it. I hope you have a good weekend and can relax a little bit. Keep your chin up and remember this forum has people who understand what you are going through and who can offer great advice or just a virtual shoulder to cry on!! :1b

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I'd probably have a staff meeting and tell them it needs to get back to how it was and that they all came on board knowing the expectation for outdoor play/freeflow ....I get really annoyed when they all tell me at interview that they have childcare when it comes to working for parent evenings, special events or staff meetings.."yes not a problem"...until you b***y ask them gggrrrrr

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I take it your staff have sufficient clothing for outside wear - and do you have those "butcher style" plastic curtains across the door to keep some of the heat in, if they are working inside, but it still allows the children to go through quite easily to the outside. Very frustrating for you if they have signed up knowing what was expected. Perhaps you should recruit only in the winter, then they will really understand !!!

 

Hoping you get a stress free weekend.

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I set up outside and end up out there with all the children and wait for someone to come out..... Now I have adjusted the Rota to include someone setting up outside but then they are too busy. We have freezer curtains for the door.

 

Other annoying features include talking to the children about Christmas on 5th Nov. Insisting on telling parents what their child has done wrong when I tell them not to and use strategies to support the behaviour. Accepting birthday invites to handout when I have to,d them not too as I end up sorting them out.

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Hi all

 

We have only recently developed indoor/outdoor free flow and I'm wondering if you can help with what resources you have outdoors now that the weather is wetter and colder any suggestions gratefully received

 

Thank you in advance

Dianne

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Hi all

 

We have only recently developed indoor/outdoor free flow and I'm wondering if you can help with what resources you have outdoors now that the weather is wetter and colder any suggestions gratefully received

 

Thank you in advance

Dianne

Drainpipes!!! We have rigged up a good system on the fence which the children love to use with buckets and water but also have loose ones they can move around to create ramps/shoots etc for cars and other bits and pieces.

Another big favourite are large rollers,brushes and decorating trays from the pound shop. These are great for collecting rainwater and then 'painting' walls and fences.

Adding powder paint to puddles is a great activity - mixing the paints into the water, the children love it!!

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Do anyones children play out in the pouring rain ?....I have bought 20 umbrellas for the children (rarely get used) as I love to be outside...but some of my staff do not...they have skimpy designer 'jackets'..not warm or waterproof....I have offered to buy them same nursery fleece/waterproof coat as others ...no thanks....so they just stand and shiver....children love the cold and rain ....certain staff do not.....I also have staff who who do not do as I ask......long nails the bain of my life.....graduate sitting on the floor having her hair brushed by 1 child.....on a regular basis.....fluffy duck actiivities...' come and do a poppy ******,me ' the choice is his,it is optional '...and getting a filthy look !! Who wants to be a bossy owner....not me...but find it hard to tell them what they need to do.....feeling deflated......nearing retirement me thinks xx

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well. you could point out that having long nails is potentially enabling her to catch worms from the children :) ( We all keep ours at a length no further than the top of our fingers)

As to jackets, yes I would go ahead and buy some as 'outdoor uniform'.............in fact I provide ours and all in ones for the children. No arguments or excuses then.......we're off out, ladies, get your gear on! I also bought umbrellas for the children ( see=through ones from poundland), and they do use them sometimes ( notably for pouring paint over, or mud.....bloomin' lovely as they stand underneath and watch!)

Set up a hairdressers trolley, so EVERYONE can be a customer if they like......and tell them the fluffy duck has flown south for the winter, so you need open-ended activities now :)

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Can I just ask how you practically manage to get children suited and booted in waterproofs and wellies when you have staff busy in both indoor and outdoor areas. We have tried this in the past and a member of staff is lost for the morning in the cloakroom just helping kids get dressed/undressed. We have managed this all together, each child sits on chair and we expect them to be as independent as possible in putting on waterproofs, then we all go out together but obviously this is not free flow. Just cannot seem to make it work for some reason. Help advice needed!!

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I have getting the children in the wet suits down to under 2 mins each lol coats on then sit them on their bottoms, wet suit at the ready, boots off, feed feet down leg holes, boots on, stand up, zip up and ta dah! they are in! lol took me 30 mins single handed to get 17 kids suited up! the others wandered off to play until another member of staff was available to take them out side, I wiped the sweat of my brow ( lol) stuck my weather trousers and rain coat on ( all supplied my manager and hardly ever used I might add) on and went out in the rain! I hate being stuck inside! :) the children loved it and we all got soaked but Its so worth it! we looked at the leaves on the ground, made patterns with them and watched the gulls flying over to roost, it was 4pm and getting dusk so we saw the cars put head lights on, we watched our security light flick on and off, had a great came of whats the time Mr wolf lol

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I totally love being outdoors and have no problem with it what so ever, we did forest school a couple of years ago and it was the best thing ever. In my experience with free flow, we always seem to need a member of staff in the cloakroom, because sometimes some children go out for ten minutes then go back in again, so need support with waterproofs. The other staff member is trying to make the most of the learning opportunities outside, another staff member is covering inside and doing snack. This is without the pull up changing that has suddenly become part of our routine(don't get me started) As you can tell I really struggle in wet weather with free flow, but am eager to master it somehow!!

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Where do you get the freezer/butcher curtains from - and are they easy to fix? - rented hall.

Rented hall too Rafa so no butcher curtains for us - once it turns damp and cold, free flow becomes available for a shorter time for us, it is what it is like it or lump it! We found we were cranking up the heating because of the doors being open and one year the landlords made a huge rant about how the gas bill had soared - and to be quite honest I don't blame them they struggle for money too.

Lovely days and the doors are open all the time.

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Rented hall too Rafa so no butcher curtains for us - once it turns damp and cold, free flow becomes available for a shorter time for us, it is what it is like it or lump it! We found we were cranking up the heating because of the doors being open and one year the landlords made a huge rant about how the gas bill had soared - and to be quite honest I don't blame them they struggle for money too.

Lovely days and the doors are open all the time.

Thats exactly us thumper - just living in hope that there may be a miraculous piece of equipment that would keep the heat in??

But if it costs a lot and doesnt fix with blu tac, then forget it! : )

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Velcro spots maybe :PxD

 

We just hang one of those stuffed things around both handles (a twisted up towel does the same), the door can close to just a couple of inches but big enough for little hands to open if they want to and no squashed fingers :-0

Edited by Mouseketeer
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We braved the wind and rain today in our wet suits Wellington boots and umbrellas, we made soapy puddles and made a water slide with the drain pipes for the small world people and yes we had staff members stood at the door watching . Guess who had the most fun.

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our children get themselves dressed!.....all of them! we have all in one suits which we lie on floor they put their legs in "like trousers" then they pull them up and put one arm in...most can do the other some need a hitch up! all can do their zips because they have tags on them....then they put on their boots. End of session usually finds me putting them the right way round but that's it!

 

we go out in all weathers and no umbrellas for us ...or for the children . Staff are all on rota so they know what they are doing and when...staff wouldn't even think about saying no! perhaps im a bit mean :ph34r::ph34r:

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Hi all

 

We have only recently developed indoor/outdoor free flow and I'm wondering if you can help with what resources you have outdoors now that the weather is wetter and colder any suggestions gratefully received

 

Thank you in advance

Dianne

My task over half term was to make some busy boards which are now up on our shed, they have light switches, handles, wheels etc and we have just added a full size steering wheel to another shed too - another one and some wing mirrors to come - these are obviously available constantly and out in all weather so are handy in those 5 minute breaks in the heavy rain for us to get out there quick and there is something for the children to do without having to get lots out of the sheds....

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