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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>More Than Just Crafts
kcnjason 09:26 AM 08-24-2011
I am getting a new groups of girls (just happened this way) and they are all between 2 and 3. We use to do a lot of crafts but now with the younger group I don't think we will do an many crafts as we had done in the past. I'm trying to come up with things to do with the kids other than crafts and free play. I have found that if we aren't doing some sort of craft/project then they are doing free play. I guess there is nothing wrong with free play but I feel like I should be doing more organized play/activities with them. What are some things you do with your daycare kids other than crafts? Is it normal to have a lot of free play? I do a home daycare and try to make it more like home while the parents are away. Please send ideas my way! It may possibly help others as well.
godiva83 09:36 AM 08-24-2011
I do a lot of sensory projects with my group 1.5-2yrs.
I have separate rubber maid bins for each child and either fill with colored water and boats, sand and insects shaving cream and trucks, rice and scoops anything really... They love it. We also do small group play (teacher initiated) where I will choose a bin and we will all work on it, either building box, train tracks, puzzles, colour sorting ect
thecrazyisout 11:16 AM 08-24-2011
I bought a small parachute from discount school supply for 15 bucks, and they love shaking it to make noise,...It is great in the winter when you are trying to get some energy out....they mostly like to shake it and make noise, no games really unless it is small balls and popcorn...I also use it to help emphasize colors/// Johnny, can you sit by the red triangle..Sally, how about the blue? We use it for follow the leader around the circle and dancing games...
Cat Herder 11:16 AM 08-24-2011
Check out High Reach, Funshine and Carols Affordable Curriculum.

Even if it not what you are looking for...checking out the sites may give you a few inspirational ideas.

I added tags to follow.
rjskids 12:08 PM 08-24-2011
My kids are all 9 months to 2 years and I am in the process of figuring out some type of daily routine. I do allow plenty of free play because I feel very strongly that that is an important part of social growth and natural learning. But I try to incorporate some sensory activities. We ALL sit down and have a short grouptime about twice a day where I read or sing simple songs, books, fingerplays and do some developmentally appropriate teaching. And at least once or twice a day I play fun singy/dancy music. I try to do at least 2 creative activities a week. And throughout the day we may have one of the following teacher-initiated activities (balls, musical instruments, blocks/building, puzzles, dress up play, cars etc) where we pick up all the toys and just play that specific thing for awhile. The babies kind of just come and go from the toys as their interests are peaked. These times may be very short or last longer than I expect and I don't always do this EVERYDAY, depending on the day and how independent/needy the kids are that day. I worked in a very structured center (even the babies and toddlers had some sort of curriculum) so I am used to that but I also want my house to be a relaxing, playful, "feel-at-home" type of place also. So I don't think of it so much as a curriculum but just finding fun things to do to make the time pass
Abigail 09:18 PM 08-24-2011
Today we turned on some kids songs to dance too. We have one boy who is REALLY full of energy and just can't contain himself....he is the one who runs and runs while the others bounce up and down and wave their arms to dance. SO CUTE!

I like many of the ideas already said here. I would recommend for the sensory play to try one thing at a time. Have just simple water in it one day with a few small cups and boats. Then progress onto things like sand and such which will be harder to pick up. Maybe you can start this sensory table outside? We are actually told for those under 2 (or was it 3 years) that it could ONLY be water or sand in the table and nothing else. We haven't played with ours lately. Tomorrow we're all going to the bounce house!
Tags:carol's affordable curriculum, curriculum - websites, funshine, high reach learning
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