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What activities do your mindees do before school?

(23 Posts)
HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sat 28-Sep-13 12:28:28

Do you plan any organised activities for before-school mindees? If so, would you share some suggestions with me please? I need some inspiration.

I start at 7.45 every morning but children arrive anytime up until 8.15. We leave for school around 8.30 and some children need breakfast during that time, too.

Most mindees are happy playing with whatever is out. One does have a tendency to wind his brother up if he's in that kind of mood but is usually distracted well enough by a piece of toast and a cup of milk smile. However, I have a fairly new starter (have looked after his sibling for over a year but this one only started at the beginning of term) who has raised a few issues and I need a few activities up my sleeve for the before-school time that he is here. He's year 1.

A few points to consider - we have 30 minutes and mindees also need to fit in time for breakfast. They're going to school so it needs to be a clean activity. Mindees range from almost 3 - 7yrs.

The mindee that this is mainly focused on likes drawing and Lego. I don't have any small Lego (I do have duplo) and am reluctant to buy any for a number of reasons.

I do have plenty of colouring/drawing materials but is it enough to just let them cover the kitchen table with pencils and paper or should I look into something more structured?

Also, it needs to be something that the children can get on with without too much help from me because I am running around making toast, letting mindees in, getting school stuff ready, taking mindees to the loo etc etc.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received smile

lovelynannytobe Sat 28-Sep-13 12:36:38

I would not be providing any organised activities before school as there is just no time for this. I have toys freely available, tv, computer and drawing equipment with colouring sheets etc. All the children are happy to choose what they want and occupy themselves while the others are finishing their breakfast.

fuzzle Sat 28-Sep-13 12:40:39

yes i think that is fine. colouring books. on mondays you can say - draw a picture of what you did at the weekend.maybe some kids magazines one day to "read". though i think they are often expensive. i dont think anyone expects you to do anything other than get the kids to school, dressed and fed.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 12:50:03

Drawing or TV (after they've eaten their breakfast) is fine.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sat 28-Sep-13 12:50:30

Thanks for the replies.

Hmm, I agree about the lack of time for organised activities but thought if I could find a couple of small activities that might grab mindee's attention long enough to stop him 'hating' coming here then I'd like to give it a try. However, time is a big factor. Also, where do your mindees do colouring etc? Mine usually do anything like that at the kitchen table but I'm serving breakfast at the kitchen table which makes the activity even shorter so that I can clear a space for the children to eat.

sadThe whole thing is getting me down this week.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 12:50:42

Oh & if some are misbehaving, how about making it a time where they have to 'earn' their turn on the computer/tv/whatever after school?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 12:51:31

TV then. It's only half an hour and you have things that need doing.

makingparentsrealise Sat 28-Sep-13 12:57:02

Nintendo DS to the rescue! Get some pokemon on those bad boys and they will be loving it. You could have show and tell with pokemon and they would love it.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sat 28-Sep-13 13:05:37

I only have Cbeebies and CBBC. Neither channel seem to be popular with my lot. Fortunately, all bar one of my mindees are happy playing with the toys I have.

I want him to be happy about coming here but not to the extent that the other feel he's getting special treatment. He only does one morning (and two afternoons which are both fine) which has its pros and cons.

The computer is upstairs and not accessed by mindees. There is an ipad that the mindees can use. However, I have to monitor it quite closely because everyone wants to play on it and sometimes it's not treated with the care that it should when there are a few lively, small children all wanting a go grin.

Maybe I just need to get up earlier and make sure that as much has been done as possible, before everyone starts arriving so that I have less to do once they're all here.

LingDiLong Sat 28-Sep-13 18:36:50

I tend to set up 'small world' stuff in the morning - it's clean, easy to tidy up and does seem to keep them busy for 20 minutes or so. If you rotate what you bring out and set it up in different ways and contexts it will always seem 'new'. I've made farms with shoe boxes, an insect house with toy bugs twigs, leaves etc in box.

The other thing I would suggest is get him to help you; can he lay the table/butter the toast or whatever?

doughnut44 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:59:07

can they help with the toast? buttering and washing up that sort of thing x

insancerre Sun 29-Sep-13 17:50:59

just get some lego- it will keep them amused for hours

LingDiLong Sun 29-Sep-13 17:53:58

Oh, the colouring we do on a small table in the playroom. Crayons only if there are littler ones in there and I can't watch closely. Or we get the aqua mats out on the floor.

Why are you reluctant to get lego? You can buy big bundles quite cheaply on ebay.

Artandco Sun 29-Sep-13 18:00:39

Have you got some ' clean' art things for in the mornings that don't have to be done at the table? Ie; etch a sketch, aqua draw, megasketchers, etc...

Surely by the time they come and eat a piece of toast/ have a drink its virtually time to get shoes etc on

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sun 29-Sep-13 18:14:02

Thanks for all the suggestions smile

My reluctance to buy Lego is a combination of 1) I have a couple of small toddlers and wouldn't want the bits dropped or left in their reach, 2) it is excruciatingly painful when you accidentally step on it when dropped/left on the floor 3) there are already a lot of things for the children to play with 4) the cost is a factor and most sets I've seen on eBay are not that cheap when you add on the postage 5) I don't believe that buying it will stop the behaviour that this mindee is demonstrating. I believe it is more to get his mother's attention.

I'm going to have a sort through the art box and all the toys, reorganise a everything and see if I can make it look a bit more appealing.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Sun 29-Sep-13 18:19:51

Artandco - yes, I have all of those things but he's not interested in any of them. Also, yes, by the time they've eaten and had a drink it is practically time to go.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 29-Sep-13 20:49:13

Our favourite before school activities are;

top trumps
board game/jenga etc.
lego
drawing/colouring
reading
homework
computer time (rarely)
wrestling (probably not what you're looking for)

If none of this is doing the job then I put them to work e.g. tidy the playroom/clean up the breakfast things/collect the laundry/help the baby with his shoes and coat/restock the changing bag etc.

(I'm a nanny not a childminder so it's easier as they're in their own house, but we have 4/5 in the morning, including a year 1 boy).

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 30-Sep-13 09:07:39

Op so you have 45mins to fill up including giving some toast for breakfast

Personally I wouldn't bother sorting out activities - or do you have to coz of ofsted and being a cm

As a nanny I arrive anytime job depending from 7/8am
7am sort out breakfast for 3 and 1 yr and get dressed about 7.50 and leave for nursery 8am as starts 8.40 and traffic hell

So no time for play

Other jobs start 7.45 and leave 8.30. Give breakie and get dressed and if ready are allowed 5/10mins of tv

Children have toys out to play with but I wouldn't organise a specific activity a just don't have the time

insancerre Mon 30-Sep-13 10:10:34

you don't need to do structured activities before school, you haven't got the time,
in fact, it mght go against you in an inspection if you were starting activities and not giving the children the time to finish them or to get really involved
I work in a nursery and we have set areas that are always stocked and ready to be used.
I realise this may be difficult in a cming situation where it is your home too but as the lad's interests include lego and drawing, then you should try to make sure these activities are available to him
I understand what you say about lego but I have it in my nursery and we have children from 2. I always make sure they tidy it up- I give them a warning 5 minutes befire tidy up time, so they know it is coming.
As for drawing, just give them plain paper and pencils- the children will do the rest

makingparentsrealise Mon 30-Sep-13 10:16:00

All you need are dses with games on them.

Saltire Mon 30-Sep-13 10:23:33

I don't do activities - and I only do before and after school childminding.

The mindees I have in the morning get dropped off between 7.45 and 8.00am and we leave the house at 8.30

I have some issues with the older one though as he wants to "make" things then gets all annoyed and stroppy if we don't have the stuff needed/time/etc.

After school we often just have 30 minutes before their mum gets here, we go to the aprk if its dry, or sometimes they play on computer or watch tv. I ahve a huge assortment of games etc and drawing stuff is always set out.

I do however have 2 other mindees after school 2 days a week and am just off to start a thread about them grin

LingDiLong Mon 30-Sep-13 12:31:03

Ok, if you think he's going to be a bit miserable whatever you do or provide then I would stop worrying about activities and just make sure that you can show you've worked with the parents and the child himself to help him settle.

Have they or the little boy been able to tell you exactly why he's unhappy or help you come up with suggestions to help him feel happier? If you've discussed it at length and worked with them to try and make him as happy as possible and it's STILL not working you might just have to accept there's no more you can do really. It could be a problem that you just can't resolve like him simply wanting to have his mum take him to school or not liking having lots of children around.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Mon 30-Sep-13 14:23:36

Thanks for the latest suggestions, I will certainly try them out smile

Mindee's list of complaints are 1) there have only been girls here when he's here and he doesn't like girls 2) my toys are rubbish 3) he doesn't get enough food.

#1 is tricky because he can't dictate which children are going to be here at any given time and his mum doesn't seem to want to teach him that girls are just as much fun to play with as boys. Also, my 2 sibling boy mindees have now started back so we'll see if that helps the situation.

#2 I have a lot of toys here that are all readily accessible to everyone. I've had a sort through my arts and crafts box and found loads of colouring books which I hope will be suitable for him.

#3 He's going to bring some cereal with him this week that he has chosen himself and I've just been to stock up on a few different breakfast things.

Re DS - I'm not sure that they would work in my setting.

Hopefully, he'll settle soon and I'll have been stressing for nothing grin

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