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Indoor environment change around


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So it’s time we had a reshuffle and change around in our indoor environment.  I have been looking online for lots of inspiration and different ideas to try.  I know the curiosity approach is very popular and whilst I love some of their ideas I still firmly believe that there is a place for our traditional nursery toys as well.  (Some of the environments end up looking like car boot sales and I would love to see these settings in action to see how the children play and engage with the items.)  Just wondered if you would share photo’s or ideas of the most popular areas in your settings.  Thank you in advance.

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I feel like this too.  I know if I only had baskets full of pine cones etc some of my current lot would end up lobbing them around the room!

We try to put lots of 'natural/loose parts out- but being honest they seem to get used most when mixed with  the traditional toys we have.  Usually this is just filling bags (and any available container) with the loose parts and carrying them around all session whilst using the traditional toys.

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2 hours ago, louby loo said:

I feel like this too.  I know if I only had baskets full of pine cones etc some of my current lot would end up lobbing them around the room!

We try to put lots of 'natural/loose parts out- but being honest they seem to get used most when mixed with  the traditional toys we have.  Usually this is just filling bags (and any available container) with the loose parts and carrying them around all session whilst using the traditional toys.

Yes, this is what happens when I put loose parts out mostly.  Bags are filled or parts are posted in every available slot!  I have one child who totally gets it and makes fabulous patterns etc but no matter how I demonstrate it or take photos etc, the others just do not seem to engage with it.  I have a change around every half term, to keep things fresh, change the role play etc.  I am going to have a loose parts shelf this time and will try and encourage appropriate play with it, not just filling and transporting!  

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One of the areas that is currently getting a lot of interest from our lot is our 'tec trolly'. Generally full of all the old toot staff are chucking out at home!xD

Old radios, phones keypads, spellcheckers, mobile phones etc.  They really seem to engage with proper things rather than loose parts at the moment.

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55 minutes ago, louby loo said:

One of the areas that is currently getting a lot of interest from our lot is our 'tec trolly'. Generally full of all the old toot staff are chucking out at home!xD

Old radios, phones keypads, spellcheckers, mobile phones etc.  They really seem to engage with proper things rather than loose parts at the moment.

I took in an old DVD player and screwdrivers for them to take apart and they LOVED it!

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11 hours ago, zigzag said:

I took in an old DVD player and screwdrivers for them to take apart and they LOVED it!

Ours do too, the old CD/tape players have lots of interesting ‘moving’ parts inside,  we added a set of those tiny precision screwdrivers, a rechargeable screwdriver and scissors for wire snipping....I love their belief that they can fix it xD

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We've had a child put our 'not very small old radio' in his bag a taken home at least for times 4 times during the last couple of weeks.  He absolutely loves the thing-it even has the ariel broken off.  Mum did wonder why he always insists on carrying his own bag xDxD

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Loving the 'tec loose parts' ideas! We used to stash our nature loose parts alongside our big wooden blocks and small world animals and people which generated some interesting constructions and play scenarios. I love looking at online images and ideas too - so many brilliant suggestions!  They do often look perfect and I would always try to remind myself and the team that so long as the resources are available and accessible to the children and thoughtfully paired/stored in response to children's interests, and easy for them to take control of putting them away too - then those are the important things! The children would end up 'reorganising' them anyway! The perfectionist in me would have to take a deep breath! :)

 

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We had a big old change around last week (we had an INSET afternoon last Friday). I delivered training on the new inspection framework and then we took the Intent / Implementation / Impact aspect and thought through what that meant for us as a setting - it turned out that it mostly meant going through our resources to see what 'stuff' we had so that we could react swiftly to the children's needs and dispositions. This is a 'roundabout' way of saying that we decided it was of lesser importance how things were 'arranged' on a day to day basis and that it was more important that the staff and children knew what we have available and what the potential opportunities are. 

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Ha! You're ahead of me Mouseketeer! I haven't changed the headings on our development plan (yet). Ours runs with the calendar year (otherwise we have too many things to review all at once) - we review salaries in April, policies and procedures in September and the Development plan / SEF in January. We then review the Dev. plan every school holiday to update progress and nudge people who were going to do something but who have forgotten etc. We do have it set as 'what we're doing and why we need to do it', how will we know when we have succeeded?' as well as the personnel and financial costs. Next year I will change the headings to reflect the Intention / implementation / Impact headings although we are talking 'whole setting' not just individuals. I will look at the children's play plans and next steps planning in terms of the new terminology too. 

At the moment I'm just constantly asking staff 'why are you doing that - what's your intention?' 'who is that activity for? etc

I had a really interesting conversation this morning with a member of staff who is fired up about different sensory play dough and we talked about all the different things she was planning to do (the children adore play dough and this was a good opportunity for her to 'change it up' for the children). The conversation was interesting because (she's a new L2 practitioner) I was challenging her to think of her intention for the activity - was it just because she was excited? or had she identified a need for the children or was she trying to challenge them to think about play dough in different ways (by grinding up herbs to put in for example)? The point I was making to her was that she was excited and had spend the weekend getting fired up and now she just wanted to 'do it' - but the children weren't expecting it and if she just 'parachuted' the activity in then the children wouldn't get so much from it as they would do if she talked to them about it first and shared her excitement with them. We agreed that a 'Hey look at this! I'm really excited about this ... look at what I've made. .. would you like to make them?...' was a good way of 'provoking' children's interests and was much more effective than 'here's some different play dough I have made for you.' This came about because in our 'resources sort out' on Friday she found a pestle and mortar!

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Haha I only did because I needed to print a new page and was playing around, I see some people talking about what they use to replace the SEF and I’m :o, mine is a very simple sheet with the headings (above post), I scribble on it as and when there’s something to add and use a different highlight code for ‘whose/what voice’ instigated the reason for improvement e.g safeguarding, practice, staff, parents, committee, from  training, others.

I’ve yet to get my head around the ‘culture capital’ bits, partnerships with others I’m guessing but any thoughts on that would be welcome.... sometime before Sept will do 9_9

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