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Tidy Up Time


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Dear all,

 

Thinking about going back to school tomorrow, and I found my heart sinks as I contemplate the regular battle to get all the children perticipating in tidy up time. I'd love to get some fresh ideas to try to make it go better - I've tried one or two things over the years but none has really worked for me! xD

 

It's especially important this half term as my TA's off for a few weeks and a parent is going to do her job for a while (gulp!) She's lovely of course, but I don't want her to see me being a moany old cow!!! :o

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Dianne xxx

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Hi Dianne, know the feeling on this one. We introduced a 'tidy up ryhme' this year whcih is a bit twee admittedly but it does work. it goes wiggle your fingers, tidy up time (repeated 3 times) then 'wiggle your fingers fold your arms' In order to do the ryhme, they have to use their fingers so they need to stop and put down whatever they are holding. Then we direct them to certain bits to tidy up. We have experiemented with going to family groups first and then be directed to certain areas of responsibilty for each group, but this seemed to take forever, so we abandonned it. We have also varied the words as well. It takes a bit of practice, but the children are very good at it now. :D

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Hi Dianne

We have a tidy up song from the Holding Hands book and cd by Kindescope. This works reasonably well in that the children who tidy up do so immediately the music comes on. The little ones tend to have a dance to it!! But at least they're not untidying what everbody else has tidied which they did before!! And those who don't tidy up anyway still don't! We aslo get the inevitable "AHHH!" when the music starts.

I read somewhere about giving children specific jobs to do. I've been thinking about that recently. We tried it once and it did work but for some reason it seemed to fizzle out. So we would send 4 children to do a jigsaw, 4 to tidy away the construction etc.

Linda

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Hi Dianne,

 

I use a wind chime hanging from the ceiling at tidy up time - when they here the chime everyone stops and wiggles empty fingers, looking at the teacher - then groups are directed to areas to tidy, i did give each group a certain area but this kind of got lost along the way and now everyone just helps to tidy everywhere. my children are so used to this now we have had to move it cos we kept knocking it with our heads and everyone would stop and wiggle!?!?!?!

 

|Sarah

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Hi

It's quite spooky as me and a friend were discussing this last week! What she suggested which I think would be fab is using the song 'hi ho' from disneys Cinderella when it is time to tidy up.

 

I hope this is of some use.

 

Jay :D

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Hi,

Sometimes I set our 5 minute timer going and challenge the children to get tidied up before the sand runs out. If they manage it in the time they get an extra book at storytime. I don't do this every session as I think they would cotton on to me! However, it works once a week. There are always some children who throw themselves into it enthusiastically and others who slope off immediately! For those who are not so keen on tidying up I often tell them I have a really important tidy up job to do and give them something specific. Many of the other children will then also demand to get a special tidy up job. :)

 

Carol

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Hello! Our tidy-up time has evolved over a number of years. We have a 5-minute warning so that the children can have time to finish what they are doing. The older ones are also aware that this means there is no time to start something new (whether they actually do this is debateable). We used to show '5 more minutes' by shaking the tambourine but now we just tell them, sometimes we whisper and let the whisper spread around the room.

At tidy up time we say '5, 4, 3, 2, 1....statues' & everyone freezes. We then sing together 'tidy up time, tidy up time, toys away, toys away, tidy, tidy up time etc' (to frere jacques tune) and the children are fairly good at tidying up their stuff and then finding something else. Understandably some days are better than others and we try to vary things by whispering secretly to a small group of children inviting them to start the tidy up time process themselves which they really love!

Keeping it fun is really the key, the minute they realise its a chore all is lost & you might as well do it yourself! Good luck.

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Thanks very much for all your suggestions - have tried really hard to put all your ideas into place (I'm not sure the children knew quite what hit them!) and have not moaned once to them this week - just fun & encourement. They (and I) are much happier now. Sometimes I think just having a think and talk about things makes a big difference really!!! :)

 

Thinking about having a really big focus on one aspect of behaviour/PSED each week as this has gone so well. Does anyone else do that?

 

Love to all,

 

Dianne

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  • 2 months later...

What about using a signal as others have suggested and then a lucky dip of pictures of the things to be tidied. Let the children pick out a card and they tidy that up?

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The nursery where I have been for the past term has a routine which I might try when next I have a reception class.

 

And coincidently its similar to Danas' idea of a lucky dip.

 

The nursery has pictures of all of the main areas that need to be tidied( outside as well as inside of course).The pictures are in little photo type envelopes,with strings to go round the childrens necks , and when all of the children have been gathered together on the carpet these 'badges' are doled out with accompanying instructions.

 

Of course they still need supervision - but it usually ensures that everyone is taking some active part in tidying up. And it takes a bit of the load off the adults who would otherwise have to do everything themselves after school.

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Hi Fitz

 

That's an excellent idea and would work espcially well with those chidlren who have selective hearing and vision when it comes to tidy up. You know the ones who think "if I sit really still, she wont be able to see" xD

 

I will try it this term- hopefully. It would help with support staff who sometimes unable to get the chidlren cooperation, 'shout' like banshees! :o

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We have used the 'hi ho' song since Christmas, when we did a version of Cinderella for the parents (Priceless!! :o But that's another story, as they say). It seems to work really well, a good job as it was their suggestion!

 

Sue :D

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Thanks so much for all your ideas! Currently we play 'whistle while you work' through just once, then come & sit on the carpet. If finished, we have a song or some news as a 'treat'. If the place isn't tidy we talk about what needs doing, and have a guess at how long it will take (e.g. 30 seconds, 1 minute). Then we try to do it in that time!

 

All the while I am making a list on the whiteboard of the great tidiers. We add to this list through the day and at the end of the day we pick 'todays star tidier' who gets to wear a giant 'star tidier' badge the next day.

 

It's working for us at the moment - I like the idea of 'job cards' though & may give them a whirl in September!!

 

Dianne xxx

 

PS Unfortunately, due to the font I used on the badge it looks like it reads 'Todays Star Tidler' - causing some confusion amongst the staff as to just what we're working on in class r at the moment!!! :o

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Great ideas! Tidy up time is such hard worksometimes. Think I'm going to try the frere jaques tune and see if that gets the bricks back into the box in less than 10 minutes!! We also have smiley stampers and stamp one on the hand of anyone doing a good job or helping in areas they didn't work in.

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We remind they children that it is tidy up time in 5mins so they can bring there play to an end, then ask them all to come into the story corner ask them what time it is and we then put on something like 'bob the builder' and they have to tidy up before the song finishes basically. Were also wanting a better way of doing it?!

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We have just set up a golden book where any child that is helpful, kind etc gets a big sticker, put in the book then gets to choose a special activity for the next time they come in...

 

dont know how long it will last but we tidied the quickest ever today.......... :oxD:(

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's so obvious isn't it! Make it into an important and coveted job and suddenly they all want to do it! :D Thanks Horsechestnut - will be trying it out after the summer but for now I've got some of my own tidying up to do. xD Where do you start to tackle a whole terms worth of husework?? :o

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