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Cm club:your 'must have' toys/resources & what do you have out for self-selection?(12 Posts)
I'm due my first Ofsted inspection soon so my CM mentor came round to give me some tips, check my paperwork etc and she felt that I needed to create a more child-friendly feel with better resources & more opportunity for self-selection. I do see her point as I don't have a playroom & just bring out a selection of toys each week plus am fairly new so still building up my resources.
Any suggestions for must have toys, games or resources and how do you have things set up if you don't have a playroom?
Should I get out & set up an area with happyland stuff, build some of the Lego duplo sets & a train track (for example) or is it enough to be in boxes low down for mindees to select? I've set up a little table in the living room with paper, pens, stickers etc so that's always to hand but don't have posters or art work displayed as i don't want to look like a nursery but will this work against me when Ofsted come knocking?
Any advice much appreciated.
I have several transparent art/photo hangers (from Yellow moon) and a row of wall hooks so I can put them up when in "nursery" mode and take them all away when i want the house to look more grown up. You could also put sucker type hooks on some of the windows or glass doors if you have them and hang up a load of the kids' stuff that way. I think OFSTED do like to see a lot of the children's efforts on show, and so do the children. I also put up loads of photos of us all doing things which the children will happily chat about for hours.
I wouldn't build the lego sets or put the train track together - I think that takes half the fun away for the children. Much better to let them do it.
If you need to keep the toy boxes put away, could you have photos of the toys, so the children can choose what they want you to get out. Old sheets are favourite toys for my mindees (for den building, dressing up etc). I don't have their artwork on display, because they take it home, but I do take photos of their work, which I can put on a slideshow on my laptop.
I am lucky to have a large conservatory, but toys are packed away in storage boxes for the children to select. With a few more stored in the garage.
I do a small world set up every week in a small spot tray. It is sometimes based on a child's interests and sometimes it's seasonal (I had an Arctic one last week with real snow). Some weeks it is just what I have chosen. I put my Autumn one in a lovely large round bamboo dish I bought many moons ago from Ikea.
I have little baskets / trays which I fill with finger puppets / numbers or number activity like count (animals - count the tigers / zebras / lions or sort into groups)
These are accessible on the floor.
I now do all messy play and art In my kitchen diner. And store pens and paper in plastic storage drawers.
I have a really nice IKea rile play kitchen too. It's not too big.
I stick pictures on the wall, but I am definitely interested in the hanging display things mention up thread.
I have a couple of these for artwork. You can put them up and down easily if you want to.
Other things I consider vital.... I always have a trunk of dressing up clothes, lots of happyland and peppa pig figures (all my little mindees love them), stickers and crayons on a table, some sort of construction activity - stickle bricks, megabloks, wooden blocks etc, vehicles for brmmming around the floor, dolls with clothes blankets bottles etc, kitchen role play stuff. Outside toys - swing and slide are always there but I bring out ball pit, ride on toys, water table etc as required.
You can't really put everything out at once, but I think Ofsted will be looking for evidence of you covering all areas of learning with the resources you do have available.
Sorry read the responses & forgot to reply to say thank you all so much for the input feeling much clearer & some good ideas to implement too
I only look after one child during the day. I don't get anything out for him but the toys are easily accessable and he chooses what he wants. (if it doesn't have wheels its a no go lol)
I have a coffee table with 6 slots for crates in the living room and most of the things he wants is kept there. I do have a playroom with bigger toys in but he justs asks for them when he wants them.
You all sound fab and I really regret that I didn't go with my instincts that my childminder wasn't that great. As a result it had put me off but I can see that some people really put masses into the job and I wish I had persevered.
Another great thing to have out is a pop up tent (although) I have to put it away when the big ones get home!
It great for providing a space for communication, reading in, and role play. Our tent was lots of different things last week including a fire engine and ship. It's lovely to hear their ideas unfold.
You could theme it with a child's interests e.g. A dinosaur explorers den etc.
I have a home corner with pots/pans and play food,dolls,pram,buggys etc,a train table,puzzles and games,books,"small world" people,garage and trucks and cars available all the time. Also coloring pens/wax crayons/paper/scissors/chalks. Every thing else is in labeled boxes which the children can ask to have out. some stuff is in the toy shed out of sight so I have a album with photos of every toy I own in it so the children can choose. I rotate the toys like duplo,pop-poids etc on a 2/3 week bases anyway
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