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  #1  
Old 12-16-2013, 10:27 AM
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Default Do You Think It Is Good-

to always be interacting with the kids you watch? The new regs thread made me think about this.
I do not think it is healthy for the kids to always be interacting with them. I purposefully leave them in the playroom to play. I am in the kitchen within earshot. I believe they truly learn to play with each other when adults leave them to do so.
I know parents have "entertainment" going when their kids are around. I do talk on the phone during childcare hours. I am online throughout the day. My children are always supervised and played with everyday for a period of the day. (generally I am the alligator chasing the monkeys outside)
A home is a different environment than a center. And for me I don't get a lunch or a break. So if I choose to watch a movie on netflix with one ear bud in during nap, homeschool my son, clean up the kitchen - what should it matter if my children are safe?
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:31 AM
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i dont think its healthy to always be on top of them. its the ages when they learn to play and work with others. and also the age when they learn important life skills. i try to give them time to play and sometimes ill join them or step in when there is an issue
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:31 AM
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No. I do not play with the kids.

I am available to assist them when and if they should require adult intervention.

I do not believe my role is to facilitate anything. I provide an environment that is supportive of their developmental needs and interests and that is all.

On occasion, I will and have got down on the floor and participated in an activity or project but for the most part I am simply available.

I don't lead, direct or tell them to do anything other than clean up and come to lunch.

The kids entertain themselves, decide what they are going to do and to what extent. I provide materials and the supervision.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MrsSteinel'sHouse View Post
to always be interacting with the kids you watch? The new regs thread made me think about this.
I do not think it is healthy for the kids to always be interacting with them. I purposefully leave them in the playroom to play. I am in the kitchen within earshot. I believe they truly learn to play with each other when adults leave them to do so.
I know parents have "entertainment" going when their kids are around. I do talk on the phone during childcare hours. I am online throughout the day. My children are always supervised and played with everyday for a period of the day. (generally I am the alligator chasing the monkeys outside)
A home is a different environment than a center. And for me I don't get a lunch or a break. So if I choose to watch a movie on netflix with one ear bud in during nap, homeschool my son, clean up the kitchen - what should it matter if my children are safe?
are you that boxelder beetle in my house watching me, because I could have written the exact same post lol!
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:40 AM
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I also find that because I don't sit and hover over them, they play better, their imaginations are huge but they are the best problem solvers in the world. Sometimes I hide around the corner and listen and I love how they include each other and make sure no one is hurt and that everything is fair--way better than some adults thats for sure!
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:53 AM
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I do not play with them. I am there and available. I do my best to stay in direct line of sight but other than that, free play is just that, free play.

I entertain/interact enough with circle, story, centers and meals. They need down time, too!
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:59 AM
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Free play is the most important part of a child's life. I interfere with that very little. If invited, I may get on the floor and play for a bit, but I would never invite myself. If kids are "bored", I will provide play ideas or take out art supplies. I am not aware of the regs you reference, but if they suggest that a provider play WITH children, I am 100% against that as a regular activity. Kids imaginations develop best without adults trying to direct their play and stifle their imaginations.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:25 AM
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Since we are a talking about free play, what is everyone's response when a child constantly shows you or tells you what they are doing?
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:26 AM
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Ditto Mrs. Steinel and BC.

This is also something I saw at the Waldorf School Kindergarten I spent the morning at. While there are times when the teachers interact directly with the children; serving meals, telling a story, etc, they are otherwise very hands off. They purposely find work to do that keeps them nearby, but NOT engaging the children.

So, they sort of "fill their buckets" with warm interactions at meals and during short teacher-led stories, songs, etc, and then they step back. They only intervene when there is danger. It was really peaceful, although those kiddos were super-busy!
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:31 AM
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My worry, concern is that we are going to be so over regulated that we will not be able to "be available" but interacting constantly!
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:35 AM
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Since we are a talking about free play, what is everyone's response when a child constantly shows you or tells you what they are doing?
OMG! I have two of these and it drives me nuts! I seriously wonder what causes kids to do that..
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by MrsSteinel'sHouse View Post
to always be interacting with the kids you watch? The new regs thread made me think about this.
I do not think it is healthy for the kids to always be interacting with them. I purposefully leave them in the playroom to play. I am in the kitchen within earshot. I believe they truly learn to play with each other when adults leave them to do so.
I know parents have "entertainment" going when their kids are around. I do talk on the phone during childcare hours. I am online throughout the day. My children are always supervised and played with everyday for a period of the day. (generally I am the alligator chasing the monkeys outside)
A home is a different environment than a center. And for me I don't get a lunch or a break. So if I choose to watch a movie on netflix with one ear bud in during nap, homeschool my son, clean up the kitchen - what should it matter if my children are safe?
I completely agree with you. I will do laundry when they are in the playroom, which is also in earshot. I have only played tag with them outside with the squirt guns last summer. I also have no break from 6:30 am to 4:30 pm so I do what I like during nap too, usually sleep a bit in a recliner in the living room with the kids asleep! I never would not hear them move as I am a light sleeper. They learn to solve problems by adults not always intervening.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:43 AM
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OMG! I have two of these and it drives me nuts! I seriously wonder what causes kids to do that..
Usually they are looking for some form of affirmation or recognition. Children who are OVERLY praised and OVERLY interacted with are usually this type of child. They lack the ability to play without someone constantly telling them "Good job" or "yah, you are doing great!" etc etc.....

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Since we are a talking about free play, what is everyone's response when a child constantly shows you or tells you what they are doing?

My standard reply is usually "Timmy, why don't you discuss this with your friends. I am sure they would love to talk to you about how/why you did (whatever activity etc)."

If they are really bad about it, I will outright tell them to stop and that I don't want to continually discuss what they are doing or how they are doing when I would much rather they play while I supervised verses interacting.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:46 AM
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Since we are a talking about free play, what is everyone's response when a child constantly shows you or tells you what they are doing?
Would LOVE to hear what other people do! 4 out of 5 of my kids do this constantly!!

I usually say, "Wow cool buddy! Go play!"
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:51 AM
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Since we are a talking about free play, what is everyone's response when a child constantly shows you or tells you what they are doing?
I have been thinking about this a lot lately and I haven't yet found a good solution. I only have one who DOESN'T ask for constant feedback. I couldn't put my finger on what is so draining about my current group, then I realized DH and I were able to have a conversation while my last-pickup dcb played. There is no way that would happen with any of the other dcks.

Right now (quiet time) I have a DCG laying on a cot with a book, a quiet activity, and cartoons on. She has her back to the tv, book and activity are on the floor, and she is staring at me. If she catches my eye she smiles and asks me something.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:56 AM
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No. I do not play with the kids.

I am available to assist them when and if they should require adult intervention.

I do not believe my role is to facilitate anything. I provide an environment that is supportive of their developmental needs and interests and that is all.

On occasion, I will and have got down on the floor and participated in an activity or project but for the most part I am simply available.

I don't lead, direct or tell them to do anything other than clean up and come to lunch.

The kids entertain themselves, decide what they are going to do and to what extent. I provide materials and the supervision.
This!
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:14 PM
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I think free play is the most valuable time for children. I love watching and/or listening to the kids interact with each other!

I do play with my dck's, but minimally and it's mostly when we are outdoors (I love to do physical activities with them). I mostly do what I have to do, but occasionally I will build or read or do whatever with them.

I don't think that a lot of these people who are writing/enforcing these regs ever have worked in a fcc environment or even a center environment. Some may have some type of education, but not any real world experience. I wish the state would get our input in some way.
This is why I'm on the fence about our Stars program. I have 3 stars and they keep pushing me to get 4 and I'm not so sure I want to move forward because of some of the stuff they require you to do.
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:36 PM
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No. I do not play with the kids.

I am available to assist them when and if they should require adult intervention.

I do not believe my role is to facilitate anything. I provide an environment that is supportive of their developmental needs and interests and that is all.

On occasion, I will and have got down on the floor and participated in an activity or project but for the most part I am simply available.

I don't lead, direct or tell them to do anything other than clean up and come to lunch.

The kids entertain themselves, decide what they are going to do and to what extent. I provide materials and the supervision.
Yes.
When I play with the children I have found that they see me as a playmate instead of a teacher or authority figure. In addition, when I watch every move they make, and do not give them the space they need to negotiate, resolve conflicts, and use their imagination I find I tend to micro manage them and they rely on me to solve problems for them and entertain them.
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:39 PM
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Yes.
When I play with the children I have found that they see me as a playmate instead of a teacher or authority figure. In addition, when I watch every move they make, and do not give them the space they need to negotiate, resolve conflicts, and use their imagination I find I tend to micro manage them and they rely on me to solve problems for them and entertain them.
This.... I learned a while back that my most annoying habit when it came to my method of playing with the kids was constantly micro-managing.

The BIGGEST lesson learned was what I viewed or considered as fair isn't the same as what the kids view and/or consider fair.

Fair does NOT mean equal.

By staying OUT of their play and especially their conflicts, children can learn skills that are necessary for surviving in the "real world".
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:52 PM
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No. I do not play with the kids.

I am available to assist them when and if they should require adult intervention.

I do not believe my role is to facilitate anything. I provide an environment that is supportive of their developmental needs and interests and that is all.

On occasion, I will and have got down on the floor and participated in an activity or project but for the most part I am simply available.

I don't lead, direct or tell them to do anything other than clean up and come to lunch.

The kids entertain themselves, decide what they are going to do and to what extent. I provide materials and the supervision.
Yeppers
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:59 PM
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The children that come into care a little bit older and have helicopter parents are the ones that can not do any thing without a step by step "attaboy".

There is a difference between Praise and Encouragement. When my children were little we were taught to praise everything they did and they became the "entitled" generation and are now trying to raise their kids the same way. They are incapable of doing anything w/o an adult saying how great they are.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:07 PM
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I play with the kids & interact with them at times. Of course its not the whole or even most of the day or they have this place looking like a hurricane passed through it. Plus whos going to keep their tummies full?!

Did I mention how much I enjoy nap time?
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:16 PM
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So what do you do all do while the DCKS play? I try to appear busy and have even installed a baby gate in the hallway before my laundry room so I can go fold clothes without being bothered by "What are you doing" and followed while trying to get some things done.

I tidy the play area and prepare crafts or activities but I run out of things to do...LOL Help!

Also how much time do you all dedicate to structured activities, crafts and learning per day?
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:28 PM
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I use to get out of the way and allow them to do their thing. It's different now, and I find myself in the thick of things all the time. I have a child with SPD. I do extensive therapy with him-he is hyposensitive and if left alone, he just wanders aimlessly. I spend tons of the day in the floor teaching him to play-usually hand over hand. Naturally, if I'm in the floor, the others want to get involved with me. Since I only have 3 kids, it isn't too much of an issue. The oldest one will get bored and wander off on her own, but the 2 youngest spend almost all of their time playing with me. (The youngest also has issues and I do a lot of therapy with him too-2 birds with 1 stone.) I know it isn't ideal, but I work with what I have.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Soccermom View Post
So what do you do all do while the DCKS play? I try to appear busy and have even installed a baby gate in the hallway before my laundry room so I can go fold clothes without being bothered by "What are you doing" and followed while trying to get some things done.

I tidy the play area and prepare crafts or activities but I run out of things to do...LOL Help!

Also how much time do you all dedicate to structured activities, crafts and learning per day?
I do 15-30 minutes of circle time a day, depending on how long the kids are interested. I do arts and crafts a few times a week and depending on how interested the kids are in the activity is how long we do it for. Other than that, I'm cooking, cleaning, watching them interact with each other, intervening when I have to (mostly due to a child being mean to another) etc... My kids are all 2 and under (except for one) so that seems best for us.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:38 PM
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I am so happy to read all of your replies. I have a "no play" policy too, but have wondered if it is the right thing to do. I have a newer dcb who is in 4yr old preschool. He is one of those that just sits and stares if someone is not interacting with him. I just suggest every once in awhile that he find something to play with..if he doesn't, I just leave him be. His mom one day at drop off said to him(for my benefit) "Why don't you ask Lori to play with you today." WOW! If I did not really need the money, I would have told her to find another daycare. I just ignored her, and when he asked me to play later on, I told him I do not play, I have too many other things to do. I have heard through the grapevine that he is also having a hard time adjusting to the preschool environment. Does a lot of crying, has trouble interacting with other kids at school.

I have 2 dc boys that need the constant praise. The one mentioned above, and a 7 yr old. The 7 yr old talks incessantly, drives me nuts in the summertime. He is also an "informer", telling me what everyone else is doing. I have tried telling him I don't need to know everything that goes on with him or others...but he keeps doing it..so I have taken to ignoring him, or just going "uh huh" without even looking.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:38 PM
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So what do you do all do while the DCKS play? I try to appear busy and have even installed a baby gate in the hallway before my laundry room so I can go fold clothes without being bothered by "What are you doing" and followed while trying to get some things done.

I tidy the play area and prepare crafts or activities but I run out of things to do...LOL Help!

Also how much time do you all dedicate to structured activities, crafts and learning per day?
lately ive been working on christmas stuff or cleaning
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by coolconfidentme View Post
Since we are a talking about free play, what is everyone's response when a child constantly shows you or tells you what they are doing?
I usually say "ok' "cool" or "wow". When they don't stop, I tell them that i need to_____ (fill in the blank) so i can't watch/talk right now but their friends might want to can watch/talk.

occasionally when they really wont stop I tell them to go play.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Soccermom View Post
So what do you do all do while the DCKS play? I try to appear busy and have even installed a baby gate in the hallway before my laundry room so I can go fold clothes without being bothered by "What are you doing" and followed while trying to get some things done.

I tidy the play area and prepare crafts or activities but I run out of things to do...LOL Help!

Also how much time do you all dedicate to structured activities, crafts and learning per day?
I am usually taking photos, making notes or simply observing the kids.

The information I gather when observing is how I know what activities and materials I will need to get, put out of find in order to support and encourage their thinking, playing and learning.

I also do paperwork for the food program, DHS and families using state assistance.

I also use the time the kids are playing one activity to set up for the next activity.

I spend time on the forum in the mornings (my DCK's have outside activities) and/or during nap time after (and sometimes during) my lunch.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:38 PM
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It depends on the ages and behavior. Six months ago I had 3-4 yos. They did not need me unless it was to show them how to play a new game. Also, I know it is a good age to have them figure it out when it comes to social behavior. I may have gave them the tools, but they needed to use them.

Now I have 0-2 yos. I am on top of them for many reasons. They simply do not know how to play. Several are hitters and pushers so I am teaching them the tools. I am getting results so hopefully I will see changes in a month or so. Also, several of them of special needs such as Autism and Speech Delays. If I left them, they would isolate themselves and the other kids wouldn't bother them because they are so quiet. It is so important they get in there and socialize.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:47 PM
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The BIGGEST lesson learned was what I viewed or considered as fair isn't the same as what the kids view and/or consider fair.

Fair does NOT mean equal.

By staying OUT of their play and especially their conflicts, children can learn skills that are necessary for surviving in the "real world".
I agree 100% with this.

I stay out of the way as much as possible. I will step in if needed but otherwise enjoy watching them play, and figure things out, on their own.
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:46 PM
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Since we are a talking about free play, what is everyone's response when a child constantly shows you or tells you what they are doing?
When I've had this problem, I redirect with a "thanks for sharing that, now go talk to your friends about it."
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
I do not play with them. I am there and available. I do my best to stay in direct line of sight but other than that, free play is just that, free play.

I entertain/interact enough with circle, story, centers and meals. They need down time, too!
This.

I supervise, document cute/insightful things they say, take pictures, intervene when necessary and say funny things. I do like to ask them about what they're playing, but I don't play with them. Their friends are 100 times more interesting than I am.

Plus, we are accredited by so many organizations and have so many special activities going on that there's always something for me to do besides hover over the kiddos.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:39 PM
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No. I do not play with the kids.

I am available to assist them when and if they should require adult intervention.

I do not believe my role is to facilitate anything. I provide an environment that is supportive of their developmental needs and interests and that is all.

On occasion, I will and have got down on the floor and participated in an activity or project but for the most part I am simply available.

I don't lead, direct or tell them to do anything other than clean up and come to lunch.

The kids entertain themselves, decide what they are going to do and to what extent. I provide materials and the supervision.
Amen! Preach it! lol

I actually do a few things, if I am invited. I will audience a "talent show" or puppet show. I admire their artwork, once per art piece. We sort of have circle time...we talk about what is on our board, three to five times a day. If I feel like it or they seem to be having trouble figuring out how to operate something (like how to stabilize the marble run by starting with the bases) I might play a little while to give them a start.
95% of the time, when they are playing, they play with each other, or alone if they choose. I feel they learn better when given large blocks of time to actually play, without an adult directing that.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:42 PM
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My standard reply is usually "Timmy, why don't you discuss this with your friends. I am sure they would love to talk to you about how/why you did (whatever activity etc)."

If they are really bad about it, I will outright tell them to stop and that I don't want to continually discuss what they are doing or how they are doing when I would much rather they play while I supervised verses interacting.
I do the same thing. "Why don't you go show your friends?"
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:54 PM
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Since I only have 1 dcb right now it's hard not to get involved with his play sometimes. He's almost 2 and just starting to keep himself occupied better. He still comes to me every so often with a toy or a book. And he's so sweet sometimes I just have to grab him for some hugs! I'm hoping in a couple months to be able to find a couple more kids because I think he needs someone besides me to play with.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:22 AM
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Maria2013 Maria2013 is offline
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Originally Posted by athacker View Post
i dont think its healthy to always be on top of them. its the ages when they learn to play and work with others. and also the age when they learn important life skills.
I do play a lot with them but I also encourage self entertainment
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:54 AM
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MrsSteinel'sHouse MrsSteinel'sHouse is offline
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Originally Posted by Kelly View Post
Since I only have 1 dcb right now it's hard not to get involved with his play sometimes. He's almost 2 and just starting to keep himself occupied better. He still comes to me every so often with a toy or a book. And he's so sweet sometimes I just have to grab him for some hugs! I'm hoping in a couple months to be able to find a couple more kids because I think he needs someone besides me to play with.
But that is different. One and a little guy, yeah you play. But you also encourage him to play by himself for bits so he learns how to. I sit start them playing with something and then back off. Self entertaining is a big skill to have, then the don't complain of being bored.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:30 AM
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I use to get out of the way and allow them to do their thing. It's different now, and I find myself in the thick of things all the time. I have a child with SPD. I do extensive therapy with him-he is hyposensitive and if left alone, he just wanders aimlessly. I spend tons of the day in the floor teaching him to play-usually hand over hand. Naturally, if I'm in the floor, the others want to get involved with me. Since I only have 3 kids, it isn't too much of an issue. The oldest one will get bored and wander off on her own, but the 2 youngest spend almost all of their time playing with me. (The youngest also has issues and I do a lot of therapy with him too-2 birds with 1 stone.) I know it isn't ideal, but I work with what I have.
God bless you for taking these two little ones and giving so much extra. There was no preschool programs in my area for special needs kids outside of the public school system. We finally got a spot for my 4 year old and the program is great! but hard to get leaving other parents with no options and certainly no options for babies and toddlers, that I am aware of. I am positive that no provider would deal with my special needs girl dishes out....and if they were willing to keep her, I would assume it was out of desperation for income. anyway, your daycare parents are so lucky to have you!!!
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:01 PM
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Thank you Cheerfuldom. I seem to have found my niche. My therapists have declared that from here on out, I will only be a therapeutic home. I guess it's really hard to find anyone here too. For the first time in many years, I feel like I'm actually doing something useful.

Way back when I was in my early 30's, I made a list of 100 things I wanted to do before I died. One of them was "make a difference in a child's life". It took me a few decades, but I think I can check that one off the list now.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:22 PM
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I am so glad to read this post. I was feeling guilty about not playing with them all of time but I used to and it got to the point where they were all getting so needy. Once I let them just play freely, it is so much easier on me and they do SO great! I have also learned to rotate toys more, I used to have everything out and it caused 2 issues-1. The playroom could get into a mess fast because there was simply too much stuff, and 2. They had too many choices and acted more bored. Sometimes less is more.

My laundry room is right across from my playroom so I have full view of the kids and I just fold the laundry on my kitchen table which also has full view of the Playroom. My kitchen also is in full view so I am pretty lucky in those regards.

Free play is the way to be!
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