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What happens at your 2 year olds nursery?

(14 Posts)
BabyRuSh Thu 28-Mar-13 03:57:18

I just want to get some perspective. We r not in the uk at the moment and ds has just started nursery. There seems to be an hour of 'teaching' (a particular alphabet a week) and singing (teachers singing and the little ones siting them and watching) a break and another hour of something crafts related. Is this typical? Do your toddlers have more play??

surroundedbyblondes Thu 28-Mar-13 09:09:06

We're in Sweden. DD2 (2,5) has lots of free play, outdoor play, singing, stories and crafts. The only thing they 'teach' as such is sign language but this is also through songs and stories.

teacherlikesapples Thu 28-Mar-13 09:50:53

BabyRush- hoping I have misunderstood you, but do you mean that the 2 year olds are sitting listening to an adult for an hour at a time?!? (interpreted by you as 'teaching') Then they all have to go & do the same craft activity?

This does not fit at all with the EYFS, children should be given a range of activities & resources to choose from!! It is called free-play by many settings- but in practice it is self directed learning. The teacher is still 'teaching' and the children are given far greater opportunity to learn from a wider curriculum (rather than the limited approach of sitting & listening to one subject at a time, on an adult's schedule.)

Sitting still listening to an adult should be a few minutes maximum, and even craft activities should involve choice. Creativity is about creating from your own ideas, experimenting with materials, learning through process- not focusing on producing a product. Especially at age 2.

I would have serious concerns about a 2 year old attending a setting like you have described. As it does nothing to encourage independence, social, physical, communication skills. Or anything really. Real teaching in the early years is about planning activities in response to observations of the children's interests. The teacher should be interacting with children 1:1, in small groups, & working to prepare an environment that invites involvement & experimentation.

The teacher led activities (songs, stories etc... Should be a small part of the programme) as the child led stuff requires so much more of your time. That stuff can also happen throughout the day, in response to the children's interests.

Hope I have misunderstood you!

Meglet Thu 28-Mar-13 10:01:55

The children have freedom to do more or less what they want to do. Various activites are laid out every day, or they can look at books, build blocks, play outside etc. I'm certain they don't spend an hour sitting down at any point! I know they sit down for register for a few minutes but apart from that and the odd song then they're all on the go.

alittlebitcountry Thu 28-Mar-13 10:25:37

Hi OP.
DD is 2 and her day seems much less like a formal school day than yours.
Having said that there is a clear structure around consistent nap and meal times, but everything else I think is based around play.
Activities are described as either child or adult led. They might also be based on a theme eg drawing and paintings about weather or singing about colours. But there are no formal lessons as such yet - the alphabet and numbers are incorporated as they come up during play.
They have as much outdoor play as weather allows, crafts, singing and outings to the local park and library.

sheeplikessleep Thu 28-Mar-13 10:33:47

Other than some reading and nursery rhyme time, where the kids sit on the floor for a bit, the rest of the time it seems to be a free for all ... role play, painting, gluing, lego, cars, sand, water, free play outside on slides / swings etc ...

Meal times are consistent and I think they have a quiet time after lunch. But whenever I turn up, it just feels like child driven chaos grin. The nursery girls tend to interact / play with a few kids at a time, rotating their focus across the group. So often a few sitting at a table gluing or playing play-doh, a few reading books on the floor, someone watching kids in the garden, a few in the role play area. Oh and the occasional 'Archie, please put down the bottle of glue / throwing sand' shout grin

sheeplikessleep Thu 28-Mar-13 10:34:30

By 'reading time', I mean the adult sitting on a chair reading a few books to the kids, who all sit listening.

BabyRuSh Thu 28-Mar-13 11:50:47

Ok thanks all. It's only for 2m as we'll be back in the uk and this nursery came highly recommended. I hadn't realised how little free play there was till I had to sit in the class today as ds started crying for me. The first hour is essentially the adults singing songs while the kids watch! The alternative is to have him at home with my mum who will resort to the tv or iPad! I'm a bit concerned now though hearing your responses...

sheeplikessleep Thu 28-Mar-13 12:00:55

Where do you live BabyRush?

BabyRuSh Thu 28-Mar-13 12:07:49

I'm visiting my mum in kl (Malaysia). It's very much tiger mum territory and nurseries seem to be geared for teaching (like this one). It's for 2.5 h a day... I'm hoping to work part time with my dad and wanted him to start nursery so he (and my mum who'll be doing drop off and pick up) don't go mental by being home all day. It's for another 7 weeks. They have a huge range of toys but theyre all put in the cupboards! I assumed the kids have access to the toys but they don't!

teacherlikesapples Thu 28-Mar-13 14:28:13

Because children on that age (0-5) don't learn very well by sitting still & listening, what the adults are doing is crowd control. Not teaching.

If they are forced to sit for that amount of time I would also worry that they would begin to develop unfortunate associations with learning, i.e Storytime = boring. Teacher = rule enforcer. School = restrictions & no fun.

Young children learn better by doing & interacting. As you say, it is only for a short time, but I would definitely look for alternatives.

What you are witnessing is not teaching. It is not age appropriate, and has no known benefits, certainly none linked to any research I can think of. It is potentially harmful though. Are there any playgroups that Granny could take her to?

BabyRuSh Fri 29-Mar-13 04:02:10

Thanks all. I've decided to pull him out. My mum will have to find ways to entertain him. There is an indoor soft play close by and I've suggested she sits there with him in the mornings. I went again today as ds was clingier than ever and what I saw convinced me that this was not the place for us. When another toddler was distressed by his dad leaving, he was ignored by the staff and ended up being comforted by another child. Was heartbreaking to see.

Bearandcub Fri 29-Mar-13 04:12:29

When another toddler was distressed by his dad leaving, he was ignored by the staff and ended up being comforted by another child. Was heartbreaking to see.

Goodness that sounds cold. Good choice, op.

CheerfulYank Fri 29-Mar-13 05:43:00

When I worked in a nursery the toddler room (would include 2 year olds) did have a circle time with books, calendar, weather, letters etc but it was 15-20 minutes at most. The rest of the day was free and outside play, as well as the teachers doing arts and crafts in small groups.

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