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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Center Issues
tenderhearts 10:43 AM 11-28-2018
So I am trying to do the Center thing, allowing them to choose what center they want to be in and depending on the center allowing 1-2 children per center, I can't seem to get them to understand this, I have too many who are obnoxious just walk around just flayling their arms not finding a center to do. They want to do things such as play transformers and be loud. The book center is a joke, they just bring toys that I have to repeatedly tell them don't belong that it's for quiet play well never happens no matter how many times they are removed. Help what am I doing wrong?
kendallina 11:26 AM 11-28-2018
How old are your kids and how many do you have?

Do you have any pictures of your space? How our environment is set up is very important, maybe some people can give feedback.
littlefriends 11:36 AM 11-28-2018
It takes awhile to get them used to it! Donít give up! Mine are in each center for 12 min, I set a timer on my phone and then break the kids up depending on who I donít want together. I always have out 5-6 centers and we rotate through for 12 minutes at a time. Mine all know that you stay in your group and you stay sitting at all times!! I just constantly walk throughout them and redirect as I see them standing up or trying to move out of their area into another. Any of mine that repeatedly cause problems by not following the rules has to go sit at the little table doing puzzles or drawing in the kitchen and canít participate in centers for the rest of the time weíre doing them.
tenderhearts 12:00 PM 11-28-2018
Thank you, I will try and take some pics later. My centers are, kitchen center, dress up center, car center, block center, light table, table which is for puzzles, coloring ect, book quiet center. However I have a lot of random toys and i think they are just use to bringing out whatever and playing in the middle of the floor, which I'm ok with providing that's what they are doing. So I think that's part of the problem is that all of these kids have been raised here from very small so the change is difficult. Maybe I need to do the timer things as I haven't really set a time on it just as they are done I have them choose something else and rotate as they want. Timer maybe a good idea
flying_babyb 05:27 PM 11-28-2018
the random toys need a center, A place that they belong when playing. Otherwise the kids see the random toys as Anywere toys. Had the same issues.
kendallina 06:17 PM 11-28-2018
I agree... Random toys need a center.

My current centers are:

Art (markers, pencils, playdough, watercolors, paint, scissors, recyclables, etc etc).

Pretend (currently a hot chocolate stand with pinto beans in the sensory table and mugs and spoons. Also a few scarves and shoes). This area changes every couple of weeks.

Block (currently arch blocks, wooden unit blocks, zoo animals, greenery and cars with ramps)

Book (books, comfy chair, Huge flannel board with chicka chicka boom boom set, and two baskets of manipulatives)

Discovery Area (Currently snake magazines, scissors and paper that I drew spirals on that they can cut out and make snakes with). This area changes constantly!

Snack is also offered as a choice.

That's all. 'free play' which is what I call center time is an hour or more in the morning and all afternoon. For me, free play works best when there is not too much stuff out- I am very very careful about this! Too much stuff leads to kids who are distracted and disorganized, not focused.

During free play, they can choose any center, can leave the center whenever they want but they need to clean their things first, which they do pretty well with reminders. We also do a clean up at the end of free play for any straggler toys.

For me, one of the reasons we do 'free play' in centers is because they need to be able to make their own choices of what they want to play, who they play with, what materials they use, etc. It's a good way for them to start managing their own time. Just today when we were cleaning up a child said, 'I didn't go to snack today'. I said, 'that's true, don't forget to come tomorrow if you're hungry'.

It's not without structure, though. Most items need to stay in their center, although this is not always a hard and fast rule. And if they are being disruptive or getting too crazy then I help them make a different choice-sometimes this means I choose where they play.

Not sure if any of this helps but it's what's worked for me for many years.
tenderhearts 07:48 PM 11-28-2018
It does help thank you, it just seems my dck just don't seem to want to "play" with stuff, they would rather stand around and either be annoying to each other, or they want to play something that doesn't involve toys, such as house, transformers, dogs ect.
kendallina 07:50 AM 11-29-2018
Originally Posted by tenderhearts:
It does help thank you, it just seems my dck just don't seem to want to "play" with stuff, they would rather stand around and either be annoying to each other, or they want to play something that doesn't involve toys, such as house, transformers, dogs ect.
Does it help if you direct them to certain toys? Sometimes when I have a kids that have a hard time making choices I'll ask them to go play certain things and that works for a bit.

Earlier all of my preschoolers have decided to decorate for Christmas with chain links. Before I set out a you like chain links,to the though I always play them in a group to help set up expectations. One of the things I do with chain links is encourage patterns. So about 1/2 the children always build chain links using patterns, which I consider a win! Lol
Chains are also used to make dog leashes or belts or necklaces and all kinds of things! It is certainly not always orderly though.

After about 30 minutes of that (most kids came and went from this activity but a few stayed the whole time) someone started using the scarves as blankets and putting other children to sleep. About 1/2 of them are 'sleeping'. A totally valid activity- even if it doesn't look 'learny'. The other half of the kids got out puzzles.
Tags:centers - dress up, centers - play area
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