Thank you for attending our 2-part Webinar Controlling the Chaos, we really enjoyed working with Adrian from Farran Street Education in putting this great webinar together for you and your centres.
We were asked many questions over the 2 sessions and we didn’t have the opportunity to answer them all on the day, so here are some of the questions along with our answers.
Toddler room, sometimes we find it hard to transition 10 kids with 2 staff with hand washing to lunch, please help.
We would recommend having one staff member in the bathroom with the children assisting them with washing their hands and have the other staff either sitting or standing with the children and singing a song or saying a rhyme to keep the children waiting occupied and sending the children into the bathroom one at a time as the other children move on. Once you have established this routine the children will know what is expected of them and the staff can be there to supervise the hand washing but not need to be so hands on!
How long should children who do not sleep rest for?
Our recommendation would be approximately 20 minutes. We would suggest doing some yoga or listen to a story either read by you or audio. Alternatively, you could do quiet activities on the floor with the lights off with no talking and offer puzzles or small manipulative construction activities or books.
Our centre is a mixed centre from 2-5 years. Lots of children and lots of structured time and not a lot of free play. Noise levels are very high, and our routine is changed by management nearly on a daily basis and we don’t find out until we arrive, we are confused and so are the children!
Wow, this setting is not ideal for the staff and the children. We feel unsettled with the daily routine changing, imagine how the children must feel.
Is there any chance you could discuss these issues with management and maybe suggest indoor/outdoor play to split the age groups up a bit and lower the noise levels?
And, is there any chance you and management could agree on a daily schedule which offers some basic routine with room for changes. This will create harmony with the staff and the children. As we said the children will feel safe and secure with a routine and be calmer and more productive.
What do you recommend when one person is playing in the block corner and they decide to move on, but the rest of the group is still playing?
We would recommend if the child was building their own creation that they tidy just their part up. However, if it is a group creation just remind the child when pack away time happens or when the rest of the group is finished that they will need to come back and help their friends tidy up. This will also mean you will need to be observant, so at pack away time you can remind the child to come and assist.
What time of the day do you have rest time?
We have up to 45 children a day, we follow a more Reggio style, would you have any suggestions to assist in managing this number?
It’s very important to make sure your ratios are in check and that all staff are on deck and are engaging with the children. This will calm the chaos.
Also, be super organised and have enough open-ended activities for the children to engage in as children with loads of stimulation and lots to do have little time to be chaotic.
Make sure your routine is consistent as this will help the children feel safe and settled.
Lastly, we had loads of comments about you all working towards being proactive and not reactive! (Yeah we are happy to hear that.) De cluttering your space and limiting the equipment available to the children and limiting your transitions.
We also had loads of feedback about the book Have you Filled a Bucket Today?
“We use it too and give small papers with buckets to those who are filling other’s buckets.”
“I love this book, I use it every year”😊