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lack of activities at CM - does this matter?

(23 Posts)
thefudgeling Wed 16-Jan-13 14:04:28

Right! Thanks all for the advice. btw I am really not the 'darling where's your painting' kind of mum, but was doubting my own judgement on what's important in a CM, so it was good to get other people's views on this.

I had a really good chat with our CM on friday and have asked for a daily diary, the first installment of which /i will be getting tonight, so hopefully I'll be able to see how much telly is being watched! Am happy with her in every other respect though. DS is happy there, goes to her for cuddles, falls asleep on her (which he doesn't ever do with me!) and talks about her a lot at home, so she is doing a lot right. Hooray for CMs.

Schooldidi Thu 10-Jan-13 21:42:29

Your CM sounds a lot like mine, with the exception of the TV because she doesn't have any school age mindees and her dcs are teenagers so don't tend to be around much.

I love the fact that dd is allowed to do what she's interested in because that's what we'd do at home. She has never done any sort of baking with the CM and I can see why, baking with 3 toddlers sounds like an absolute nightmare. They do play with playdough which I think has a lot of the same benefits as 'proper' baking, and they have a play kitchen. I wouldn't be doing a ton of craft stuff with her if I was at home because we'd be out doing things, parks, soft play, toddler groups, etc so it suits me fine that the CM doesn't do tons of craft stuff either. There is the opportunity to do painting if she wants to and the groups they go to have organised crafts if dd wants to join in with them but she rarely does because she's far more interested in running around or 'driving' the cars.

LingDiLong Thu 10-Jan-13 21:31:15

Definitely ask for a Daily Diary as without it you don't actually know if he's just watching TV or doing lots of stuff like stories and playdoh. Organised activities are great but he could get the same sort of experiences and learning opportunities just from her allowing him to stick his hands in the mud outside or giving him some crayons and paper for example.

ReetPetit Thu 10-Jan-13 21:10:44

personally,i would be more than happy with what you describe. a happy, eatig, sleeping child would be my absolute priority if leaving one of my ds with someone. the 'educational' activuties are secondary to the other stuff imo. anyway, all activities are educational to a child under 2 and as he is there ft i would want someone who replicates normal pre school life with mum.
it sounds as though your cm is good,she takes him out and about. i send home few pieces of artwork with one of my mindees as he much prefers the big cars/sandpit etc - doesnt mean he isnt doing messy play at groups.
and the tv thing,mine is normally on vetween 8am-8.30 before school when my boys are home and again while i prepare dinner - again, doesnt mean its on all day! i would be careful about how you word any 'concerns' with your cm if you are generally happy. i know its hard but at tge end of the day it is her and her dc home so sometimes you need to accept we all do things differently!

SamSmalaidh Thu 10-Jan-13 20:45:09

Home corner just needs to be stuff they can use to "play house".

moogy1a Thu 10-Jan-13 20:11:16

Oh, I see re. the home corner. Kitchen play stuff etc.
In that case I have about a dozen home corners!!

fivesacrowd Thu 10-Jan-13 20:07:41

I'm a childminder with a " home corner". I'd rather they had a play kitchen than played in my kitchen if you catch my drift. Next week it'll be the happy land corner and the following week it'll be something else or maybe home corner again. Kind of depends on what the mindees want really. Also do lots of cuddles and stories.

moogy1a Thu 10-Jan-13 20:04:39

ps. The TV thing is more than I have it on, but I do put it on about 5'ish for the older ones and a bit of cbeebies.
If she's getting out and about to playgroups / parks etc. and your ds is eating / sleeping well I think she sounds like she's doing a fab. job. Make sure you approach any conversation very carefully so there's no bad feeling.

moogy1a Thu 10-Jan-13 20:00:55

The CM won't have a home corner as the whole environment is a home!! What would she put in it?!!
I also find it a bit odd if a cM had a set storytime rather than reading to lo's as and when.
CM's do not need the structure of a nursery as things can be done at any time at a far more personal level / timetable.
I also don't do crafts at home but do loads at playgroups. When at home it's more free play / cuddles / reading

SamSmalaidh Thu 10-Jan-13 19:12:04

So she doesn't read them books or have any toy tea sets/cookers/dolls etc?

lechatnoir Thu 10-Jan-13 18:52:43

I would ask that TV is limited or your dc is taken out of the room as fine if she wants to let the older ones watch it before / after school but with after lunch TV & that's a lot of TV for a tot.

fivesacrowd Thu 10-Jan-13 17:48:40

Yay well done HSMM.
I've just spent the day with two mindees both 2 ish. Had planned to make spider web pictures with them but spent so long outside in fog looking at frozen cobwebs that by the time we got back we didn't have time, plus they were very busy in the house corner and playing with cars. They both have diaries but I just write what we've done - maybe I should also write what we would have done if we hadn't run out of time hmm
Talk to your cm and raise your concerns, but remember why you went to cm rather than nursery. I have one set of sibling mindees who get totally wound up about five minutes before ther mum arrives so I now put on tv and they'll sit quietly watching until mum comes. So, she could think all they do at mine is watch tv if she didn't have their diaries, plus we discussed ways of calming them down as chasing them round the house when we'd all had enough for the day was grim!

thefudgeling Thu 10-Jan-13 15:50:17

Thanks Claire, yes, am going to ask for a daily diary. I think it will reassure me a bit smile

thefudgeling Thu 10-Jan-13 15:48:45

Thanks HSMM and gold , he did all those things at nursery, but I wanted more of a home from home environment, which he now has, but the CM does not have a home corner, do story time, etc. I struggle with not knowing what he's been doing all day, and am going to ask for a daily diary at the meeting next week so I can get a better idea what goes on.

I want to do my best for him, and I think I have a bit of guilt that I have to work, so I worry a lot about whether I'm letting him down.

Does your childminder do a diary for your child? George is one and goes to a childminder 1 1/2 days a week and she fills out a diary with what he's done.
The TV isn't on much (sometimes the news when I collect him after his full day). I don't think the 2 she picks up from School have it on. Mind you it wouldn't do much good with George as he'll only look at it for a couple of minutes before he decides to go off and do something else.
He has trips out tot he library etc, she writes what toys he's enjoyed playing with and they quite often have music and dance sessions!
He sometimes does art/craft work but I thinks thats when she has the older children as he generallly justs eats crayons when I give them to him at home!

HSMM Thu 10-Jan-13 15:39:17

Oh ... and definitely have a chat with your CM if you have any concerns. Do you get any kind of note/diary, so you know what he's done all day?

HSMM Thu 10-Jan-13 15:37:46

That was just to demonstrate that he might be doing lots of activities, but you are just not seeing a finished 'product'. My mindees don't have craftwork or baking to take home every day, but they will have been creative.

HSMM Thu 10-Jan-13 15:36:53

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE UNDER FIVE’S
Oh! What a busy morning,
I’ve been playing with the dough,
And with a little help upon a card I’ve even learnt to sew.
I’ve helped my friend ‘nurse’ Sarah perform an operation,
Then fixed the track together for my train and built a station.
I popped into Home Corner to make a cup of tea,
And stood beside the cooker making lunch for twenty-three!
I completed three whole jigsaws,
And played a brand new board game,
And had a turn on all the bikes, the slide and climbing frame.
I handed round the snacks at milk and snack time,
Then I listened to a story and sang a nursery rhyme.
But now the session’s over,
And the parents are all waiting,
I hope they don’t say to me,
‘Oh darling, where’s your painting?’

No I don't think it matters. Part of the appeal to me of a CM is that it's a home from.home environment and not as structured as a nursery. At home, my dd plays, watches a bit of tv, may do the odd structired activity. At her CMs it's the same (but without tv as cm doesn't have one).

thefudgeling Thu 10-Jan-13 15:33:17

Thanks for replies:

squinker - I don't think she has it on all day, just before school, after lunch and after school pick-up. It's more than I'd like or have on at home though.

Gold - yes, well, crafts definitely, every weekend (gluing, glitter, drawing), abut only baking once(!) (he just tried to eat the dough). So, do you think it matters that he is not doing this kind of thing at the CM?

Do you do these sorts of activities with him at the weekend?

squinker45 Thu 10-Jan-13 15:08:36

We don't have the TV on but we don't do activities 24/7 either - Ofsted recommended an 80/20 percent split with free play/organised activities. So we cover the organised stuff at groups then do child led for the rest of the time i.e. of they want to paint, we paint - or draw, cook etc. At just under 2 they often cannot engage in organised activities for more than a few minutes. If it's a case of TV all day though, I would find that a bit lazy

thefudgeling Thu 10-Jan-13 15:02:20

my child is nearly 2 and goes to a CM full time. He is happy there, sleeps and eats well, and they go out a lot, to groups, soft play and parks. Also, she has her own DS the same age. But he never seems to have done any activities at the house, like crafts, messy play, cooking etc. I think he sometimes does a painting etc at the groups. The TV is on every morning and afternoon, too, for her after-school mindees.

Does this matter? If she is warm, caring and they go out a lot, does it matter that she does not do activities in the home? Do other CMs have the TV on this much?

Have a meeting with her next week, should I perhaps bring this up?

Thanks.

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