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Tapestry

Good Practice Guide For 0-3's


Running Bunny
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Hi all!

 

I need your valued help and ideas.... as part of my appraisal I have been asked to write a good practice guide for all PVI providers in the LA district in which I work. I have to identify areas of good practice that I think are crucial to working with the under 3's and then visit local nurseries that demonstrate this practice and take photos to accompany the theory, case studies and activity ideas that I plan to include.

 

What I'm after is some ideas of what you guys, as front-line practitioners, see as being the most important things?

 

I am going to include info on the underpinning theories, key person, adult/child interaction, working with parents etc, but would value actual activities/areas such as heuristic play resources, messy play ideas etc...

 

I can't promise you anything in return as it is an LA-funded project, but I may be able to think of some creative way of sharing the information when the project is complete.

 

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

 

RB x

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Just a first gut response, that the children come first, plan things to follow THEIR lead, not ours!! Observations is the key and try not to intervene too much! Heuristic play has got to be in there, too...gotta go, microwave has pinged, but I'll try to get back!

 

Sue

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My first thoughts as well, thinking about the children in my setting;

 

forget any preconceptions or rules that you may have about how a peice of equipment / resource should be used ( apart from of course safety)- children tend to make their own rules, or show their needs. ie: young Callum is exploring quite a few schema's at present, 'filling, enclosing, opening, shutting, on & off'. he spends ages fitting objects into containers such as ALL the play food is 'packed' into the play oven. He will 'transport' ALL the musical instruments right across the room to put them in the sand tray, sometimes he notices a particular sound of one of the instruments but his main focus is the moving and storing of the items. He also spends a lot of time pressing the buttons on the till, he isn't role playing shopping just exploring the numbers and buttons ( he sometimes identifies a number he is pressing, 'reading' the symbol. In our setting children are not told that certain items have to stay in certain areas. :)

 

A group of children playing with potatoes and carrots in the sand tray ( filled with soil), THEY extended their play from basic digging and burying by going to the other side of the room and dragging the play cooker over, so that they could cook their vegetables, they then tried using the spade to cut the vegetables, an observant adult noticed this and supplied them with suitable knives to support their play. The adults didn't tell the children that the cooker had to stay where it was. :)

 

Harry is new and settling in, he is still exploring the environment, he chooses to sit and watch for extended periods of time ( mainly from the snack bar, even though he is not hungry or thirsty). One day he was observed to line up all the can-do containers along the bench ( filled with collage materials). He went to each one pressed the button to pop the lid up, looked inside, closed the lid and then went on to the next container. He did this to each consecutive container, then back along the line again, back and forth. Then an adult intervened offering him some glue and card to stick items from the boxes, he wasn't interested and walked away, thus ending his exploration and interest. xD ( a well meaning gesture but not appropriatte). What the adult could of done was to just play alongside the child, show interest and surprise at what was in each box, encouraging further intense exploration of the box contents, encouraging him to really smell, feel, and/or listen to the contents. :)

 

I have found at this age that interests in particular objects or uses of objects are maintained for quite a long period, days, even weeks ie: we all know the child who always chooses to play with the dinasaurs, it is best to exploit this interest rather than to try and make them interested in something else.

 

It really is about knowing your children and their style of learning / discovery, and having open minds to let them explore in as many different ways that they can or choose to.

 

Lots of sensory experiences, sometimes sense of smell and taste is not as equally represented as touch and sound, find ways to enable children to use all their senses.

 

Mirrors are also a must :o

 

Peggy

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Damn my microwave!!

 

Well done, Peggy!! Need I add, I endorse all Peggy has said?

 

Sue

 

PS - as a poor person who has lost their sense of smell - where's the weeping and wailing smiley?????- I would really emphasise that smell and taste are so interlinked - I can't smell my food, as such I have no interest in it. I so LOVED my food when I was younger! And no, I am no slimmer for it!!

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My suggestion/info is linked to the key person

 

a scenario

 

in the toddler room they have 12 children and 4 staff

they have a tick list on the wall with all the children's names on for nappy change + other needs

every day the adult assigned to nappies starts to wade her way down the list

she always changes them in the order they are on the list

so baby number one has lots of lovely chatter from the adult

as she works her way down the list baby number five gets a little less attention and communication

baby numbers 10/11/12 have no chance as she is totlally sick of changing nappies by this time

 

every day the list is worked the same - so baby number 12 is always the last baby to be changed and gets no interaction from the adult.

 

if the setting was operating a key person system then one member of staff would be responsible for four children and hopefully they would get individual, quality time whilst having a nappy change

 

its so easy !!!!

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Here's an alternative -

 

Each room in a DN has some or all children needing nappy changing, training or toilet time. (Given)

All vetted staff in a room have an allocated change time during the day. In PS, staff will have a day each, because far less children need changing. This should lead to far more interaction, because it is no longer a mundane routine, but part of a fulfilling career (and I mean that!! - when else do you get to make such life-changing contributions - :o ) Keyperson still applies, but more pleasurable?? Follow me? Because if you don't, you'll have to heckle in about 3 weeks time - I'm off on hols!!!!

 

Sue

 

But seriously, what do you think, here?

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Thanks Nefertari and Sue for those - key person is definitely one of my priorities to put into the guide, so the scenarios were very...um...interesting! Not sure how I will translate that into two pages, but I'll give it the importance that it needs!

 

Still open to more ideas.....!

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I think a look at the actual layout and presentation of the room is crucial.

 

ie: I take lots and lots of pictures, sometimes when looking at these at a later date I notice things like the screens, posters, labeling, items put out etc look just too busy. Just a change of background print on display boards, for example, can make a lot of difference to the aesthetic atmosphere of the play environment. Just like rainy days tend to make children more active, so can 'pattern busy' environments :o

 

Peggy

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Talk is important. These children are begining to aquire language and need adults to promote new vocabulary and phrases. I've seen too many people who think their role is to 'mind' the children by standing over them rather than engaging with them. Big gestures, big smiles (or sad faces) thumbs up, clapping, or a simple well done and a wink. Talking about what they are doing even if they have no language skills they can communicate with body language, sounds and gestures and facial expression. It's one of my biggest moans when I go places :D

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