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Trying To Organise The Sand And Water Areas


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I am coming to the of my tether of something that should be quite easy to do! After having a flood in our reception unit over christmas and living the hall for over four weeks :o (60 children with 20 new starters a GTP student, me and only 1.5. paid nursery nurse and I've only been here since September!) we are back in! However the areas need to be started from scratch xD

 

The sand and water areas have been areas that I have never got round to sorting out and now I think it is time for me to finally face the large boxes of stuff that have been shoved next to them.

 

I did sort through the various pieces and have thrown the broken bits and bobs out but now

 

have hung up aprons (water) and have got a small broom and dust pan and brush but that is about it!!

 

I am wondering what other people do?

 

I really don't want to carry on with the 'shoving everything in a box' situation where things get broken but my mind escapes me when trying to think of a practical and interesting way of storing / displaying equipment.

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Would also be interested in ideas as this is the one area of my nursery where children don't have access to choice of equipment - boxes stored in cupboard and we rotate what's set out.

 

We use large vegetable racks in our DT area and these would store some equipment with easy access for children.

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Ditto nsunshine - we have to set out and put away after each session, so our things are stored in boxes in cupboard and we rotate resources - tried the veggie rack idea - but it didn't lend itself to the job. Any new ideas would be welcome.

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We were bought all the stuff from the Early Excellence Centre in Huddersfield- which was good, if a bit big and very heavy. I like the Community Playthings furniture best but you would need to win the lottery to afford it. What you can do is look at their storage solutions and do it on the cheap- IKEA is very good for cheap storage, or COSTCO. We sorted equipment into themes and sizes. Some was available all the time and some was used to enhance the play and give them a change. You could use the stacking plastic containers that have the open fronts. We had small pans, brushes, brooms and mops for the children to have a go at clearing up with- they did quite well really. A plastic drip tray is really useful for tidy up time if you have room and you can keep this under the water tray.

 

www.earlyexcellence.com/furniture_range.html

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One idea I keep meaning to get around to doing is a board equipment holder ( could be the lid to the sand tray if it has one). The idea is to have a silhouette of say a spade with a hook, spring clip or other devise which holds the item onto the board. The children self select and replace item in appropriatte place when finished using.

I suppose you could use photo's instead of silhouettes. Another idea is to use canvas or plastic pockets hung on the wall nearby.

 

Peggy

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However our sand tray starts the day, it quickly becomes full of a variety of things from around the nursery that different children bring to the tray -

friday, as well as the usual containers, sieves, funnels and foam letters - we had an egg box, a dinosaur, plates and cups, a scrunched up paper bag, a blob of playdough with straws sticking out of it, several little cars which had obviously visited the playdough table previously (have you tried washing playdough out of tiny cars!! yuck) and several random small world items - a fish, spider etc.

 

I've started putting a container under the sand box and modelled how to put the items that the current children are not interested in, in there. But they just seem to add more and more stuff.

Although to an adult, this looks a complete mess, the children don't seem to mind that there are more items visible than sand, so I just pop the items the current group are not playing with below (they soon pop back up though!).

 

I'm a firm believer in allowing and supporting the children to move items from one area to another - who am i to say that the cars belong with the garage on the car mat, or that "the theme of the day is under the sea" so no egg boxes allowed in the sand box?

 

I suppose as long as we try to provide a variety of experiences with sand and water, then their adaption and development of the demonstrated skills can only be beneficial (if rather cluttered and messy - yuck those playdough and sand filled cars...)

 

I look forward to inspirational storage/display ideas with interest.

 

:D

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I bought a couple of storage units from Costco-don't know if they still have them. I don't know if my description will make any sense but they have poles across with boxes that fit in at an angle, facing forwards, so that you can see the contents. We have one for the water and one for sand. It might be better if I take a photo tomorrow and post again.

They weren't expensive and the children can see what is on offer and where equipment belongs-not that it always ends up in the right place.

Linda

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