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Not being kept interested at busy happy nursery

(17 Posts)
Looseleaf Fri 21-Nov-14 13:02:26

I thought of posting on the preschool topic but sure I'll sound ridiculous to people so hoping for wise words / advice here if anyone happy to help.
DS is at such a lovely nursery with active, cheerful teachers and all manner of things to do - painting, climbing, reading, gluing... He is 3 and has had 6 weeks to settle and has bonded with the lovely teachers so this doesn't seem to be an issue.

But he keeps hiding to avoid going in, gets undressed again in the hope he doesn't have to go and complains again and again that the toys are boring and that nursery is boring. I heard him say this to the teachers directly but don't really know what to do as they have already created a wonderful, playful environment. My instinct is he does find the toys boring as he has never engaged with toys at home and always seeking new information- from maps he can learn new cities on, new library books that teach things and his sister's maths books which he asks to do a lot when DH is around as maths not my thing much.

Would you raise it as I don't know how to help him when the teachers' job isn't to challenge him intellectually (he is fine at home as fits in with our older DD) plus he's one of many children there. DD who is 8 thrived and learnt so much through play at hers.

We wonder whether to give it longer but it already feels so long when he's resisting it still or has anyone kept their child at home for longer in this situation? DS is quite slow to interact with his age group so I hoped nursery would help this but maybe it won't. He plays well with older children at home.

His teachers mentioned they moved him to the older children for storytime .
Sorry this is long but I feel so unsure what to do as he's such a bubbly bouncy and sweet little boy it feels sad to see him so negative.

Heels99 Fri 21-Nov-14 13:19:32

Even if he doesn't play with toys, is he not interested in the other activities you mention, the climbing, reading, gluing, painting? Do they also have a garden, water play, sand play, mark making, dressing up, computers, arts, crafts, singing, cooking, musical instruments etc?
It would seem an unusual child who is not interested in any of that. If he needs help to access all on offer could you stay for an hour with him one day? What do the nursery staff say he plays with or does all day? Does he need prompting to join in for example. Is he able to identify and start activities by himself or does he need adult support.
If there are specific books he likes at home could he take them with him?
It is early days sounds like he is still finding his feet. Give him a it more time to settle in.

Looseleaf Fri 21-Nov-14 14:03:19

Thank you so much as so useful to have a response and in a way I'm heartened you feel it's early days still.
Yes there are all the wonderful things you mention and maybe he just feels lost without someone to do things with- he looks so alone and solitary while the other children move and play together. The only interaction I've seen has been a boy pushing him when he was asked to line up next to him.
His key worker just says he's been good or fine every day but then when I arrived early one day the lunchtime supervisor said he'd been teary and sad when his key worker 5 mins later again said 'he's been fine today.'
He loves dot to dot and mazes, maybe that would be nice to bring in. His teachers did buy a huge tube map and said they'd got it with DS in mind but I don't know how much time they'd have to sit answering which line is which and which station is where.

CaulkheadUpNorth Fri 21-Nov-14 14:04:37

Sounds to me like a pretty typical three year old tbh.

WreckTheHalls Fri 21-Nov-14 14:07:51

Could the 'its boring and I dont want to go' thing be masking separation anxiety? Or the change from having 1:1 care to being in a group environment?

I agree its very early days. So much of nursery is self directed play so eventually I am sure he will find his groove and gravitate toward the things he enjoys doing.

Sympathies, though. Its hard to send them in every day if they dont seem happy. I would mention to his keyworker that he is resistant to coming in and see if she/he can spend a bit more time keeping an eye out and trying to engage him.

Only1scoop Fri 21-Nov-14 14:08:18

The nursery sound great....obtaining the map etc. My Dd is obsessed with maps....globes....jigsaws of the world....etc....

She also loves the mud pitconfused....painting in the gloop den....baking pizzas ....sticklebricks and singing....

Nursery is a great time to diversify from the 'at home' activities and let them loose smile

Without the mess wink

Looseleaf Fri 21-Nov-14 14:18:41

Thank you all. Yes he is typical in many ways but I just wish more settled and happy.
Wreckthehalls that was very helpful as an idea and yes maybe that's all it is in which case more time will help. It's been a severe change as the hours are 9-3 every day. I just feel so sad forcing him every single day. And his key worker would be quite hard to talk to about it as quite 'no nonsense' and tough about settling in etc and how important it is to stay the whole day etc.

Heels99 Fri 21-Nov-14 14:51:45

Well it doesn't sound like he is bored more that it is unsettling being a new environment where you don't know the other children and are still finding your way. The excitement of Xmas will soon hit and they always do lots of lovely things at nursery for Xmas . Is he used to playing with co adult all the time or can he do selfdirected activities?

GoogleyEyes Fri 21-Nov-14 15:23:40

Is it free play or more adult-directed? My dd1 loved and thrived in the more structured approach of Montessori but found the free flow of YR harder. Would something more Montessori work better for him?

And it's a long day at 3yo, maybe it's too long for him? My 3yo does three hours and then comes home exhausted and naps for an hour or two. Could he just do mornings, and see if that better?

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Fri 21-Nov-14 15:45:49

My dd goes to an independent preschool where they wear a uniform and learn things. She has been going there from the age of two and has thrived. They do not push then hard academically but they teach them things and it satisfies her desire to learn new words and about new things, such as the significance of Poppy Day, the months of the year, days of the week etc. the other day she identified a hexagon shaped tile, I didn't teach her that! I find this kind of environment provides a bit more for those children who are ready to explore slightly more advanced and abstract concepts, without alienating anyone, it is not about academic achievements or sitting tests, just more about learning and enriching.

Is there anything like this in your area?

GoogleyEyes Fri 21-Nov-14 15:59:31

Guilty That's exactly what I meant - we had a discussion about war and soldiers following on from nursery doing Poppy Day and the two minute silence, and also one about how fish breathe underwater. And that was just last week.

That's the sort of nursery the OP needs, I think. But it's so hard to tell what they're like, from the outside. Ours looks like a crumbling church hall, no uniform, not much outside space (they use what they have very well) and you would never know how great it is.

Looseleaf Fri 21-Nov-14 18:42:39

Yes they sound fantastic and This has been a most helpful thread as has helped me sort my thoughts. DS never liked Playgroups with me for long even when quite small as grew restless and the nurseries mentioned above sound a far better fit. It's something to think about as I don't know what else there is other than his current one (I chose it as so close, state, and a friend said how good it is which it still is).
Huge thanks for being so helpful and kind

LittleBearPad Fri 21-Nov-14 18:52:23

When DD started nursery the owner said that six weeks was the tough but for them as the novelty wears off and they learn that this is what they do now. It may simply be that he's not settled yet.

When he's at home does he play by himself (whether toys are involved or not) or does he always tag along with his sister?

tenderbuttons Sun 23-Nov-14 11:27:44

What's the environment in the nursery like? By that I mean, are there a lot of children running about from place to place or is it quite structured and orderly?

DD also never liked playgroups, in part because she was hyper-sensitive to noise and her brain almost shut down in that kind of place (she's more or less grown out of it now that she's 8). She would have hated a very busy nursery with it all going on in one room, but thrived in a Montessori where there were only 15 children in each room and the whole ethos was very calm.

All of which is to say that there might be other underlying reasons why he's not engaging with the toys or other children, and which might also mean that a different kind of nursery might work better.

It's also worth thinking about because these issues impact on school choice later on. Despite nursery telling us to put her in a small school, we went for our local one and trying to concentrate in a class of 30 nearly fried her brain. We moved her to a small school and she is now thriving. We should have listened to them in the first place.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Nov-14 11:51:48

his sister's maths books which he asks to do a lot when DH is around as maths not my thing much

Completely off topic, but I'm pretty sure you could handle the maths of a 3 year old. Please don't simply pass it onto your DH, it won't be good for your DD to see maths as something her mum doesn't do.

If you don't think your DS is good in large groups of children, have you considered a childminder instead? Or if it's simply pre-school preparation you are looking for rather than childcare, why not shorter hours? You don't need to send them from 9-3 every day, you could do a couple of days, or even a couple of mornings.

Looseleaf Sun 23-Nov-14 17:09:12

You are so lovely to help.

Tenderbuttons how interesting and I am very noise sensitive myself. As a 1 or 2 year old DS would get very worked up and shake his head when heard anything he didn't like eg out of tune music but I can't tell if the class size (30) is an issue. It feels ok to me as there's a large outdoor bit and it is orderly with teachers in each activity area.

Noblegiraffe I appreciate that about the maths and what good advice. DD's teacher said this too never to mention maths not my 'thing' so I am careful but still hesitate to engage except when homework needs.

DS' nursery seems to be 'all or nothing' otherwise I would certainly keep it part time and yes its main purpose for us is for his sake as although I'd like to work I'd prefer to wait until sure DS is in the right place.

DH and I just had a big chat about it and a lot of your thoughts helped so much. We won't change anything in haste but have decided to try until Christmas if can and to explore other options in case.
Thank you!

naty1 Wed 26-Nov-14 19:39:53

Hard to say but he doesnt siund bored just not settling. He needs to start interacting with the other kids.
(Not sure of the age that normal starts but 2.5yo dd plays with the other kids)
My DD couldnt settle when she went at 1, the staff werent interacting enough and she wasnt ready to play with the kids.
It sounds strange to be uninterested in toys as usually they like anything new

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