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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Play Area's and Teaching in Home Daycare ?!?
Provider_Manda 11:49 AM 07-30-2012
I am coming up on my 1 year of having my home daycare and love to be able to be with my son and have do have some great kids. But my home is small and I do not have the area's set up such as blocks, art, and so forth. And teaching is so hard with the schedule that they all have..How do I make it more so of a "daycare" then just a babysitting job. I want the kids to learn, because not only will they benefit from it, but so will my son. I use to work at a center and in my classroom I had it all setup with centers, and kid furniture, but here at the house its just a playroom..And I hate the fact that they just "play" all day. I really need some advive on how to make it more constructive
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cheerfuldom 11:52 AM 07-30-2012
Originally Posted by Provider_Manda:
I am coming up on my 1 year of having my home daycare and love to be able to be with my son and have do have some great kids. But my home is small and I do not have the area's set up such as blocks, art, and so forth. And teaching is so hard with the schedule that they all have..How do I make it more so of a "daycare" then just a babysitting job. I want the kids to learn, because not only will they benefit from it, but so will my son. I use to work at a center and in my classroom I had it all setup with centers, and kid furniture, but here at the house its just a playroom..And I hate the fact that they just "play" all day. I really need some advive on how to make it more constructive
what are the ages of the kids? how many do you have?

Its important to keep your expectations reasonable too. I would imagine that you have more of an age range than you had as a center teacher and you obviously have less space so its never going to be exactly the same.
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Heidi 11:55 AM 07-30-2012
I have the same problem. My playroom is on the main level, and it's only 8' x 10'. On that level is also my 11 yo son's room (off limits), a bathroom, stairs up and down (gated off), and a kitchen/dinning/livingroom combo. I am always messing with trying to make it kid-friendly but also adult friendly.

Now the 9mo is crawling and cruising, so I am reconfiguring again. The older toddlers know what's off limits, but little man doesn't get it yet, so I have to baby proof a little better.

I'll post some pics of what I have so far...inviting comments. I hope I'm not hijacking, but I was going to post the same thing today, so I'm hoping we'll both get ideas!
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Annalee 11:58 AM 07-30-2012
I have a home child care as well in Tennessee. Children are learning while they play, but you might try setting up little play centers with materials like blocks, art, housekeeping, reading, manipulatives, etc..... You don't necessarily have to do all centers at once....you could alternate monthly with themes bringing in restaurants with menus, farmers market, dr. office, fire station. Sounds like you have the ideas rolling, just need to put it altogether. I have found that by being more organized, the children learn to place things where it goes and I have less behavior issues. Good luck!
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Heidi 12:07 PM 07-30-2012
Ok...here goes...

Pic 1 is my reading corner in the livingroom. Kids sized chairs, a book rack in the corner, and some stuffed animals in a basket (usually "wildlife ones...to match my house..lol)

Pic 2 is my playroom. Small, so hard to get a good picture.

Pic 3 is the art table. It's right by the dining table, so if more than 2 want to color, they move there. I also have all my puzzles on the counter nearby so that while I'm making lunch, they work on those. It's cut down on the crazy.

Pic 4 is another shot of the dining area. The art table is behind it.

Edited to add: Gosh! It looks so much cleaner in pictures...
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Provider_Manda 12:12 PM 07-30-2012
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
what are the ages of the kids? how many do you have?

Its important to keep your expectations reasonable too. I would imagine that you have more of an age range than you had as a center teacher and you obviously have less space so its never going to be exactly the same.
I have two 1 year olds, two 2 1/2 year olds, a 4 year old, 5 and 10. Of course the 5 and 10 year is getting ready to go back to school. And then I will have another 1 and 2 year old suppose to be starting in fall.
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cheerfuldom 12:14 PM 07-30-2012
Originally Posted by Heidi:
Ok...here goes...

Pic 1 is my reading corner in the livingroom. Kids sized chairs, a book rack in the corner, and some stuffed animals in a basket (usually "wildlife ones...to match my house..lol)

Pic 2 is my playroom. Small, so hard to get a good picture.

Pic 3 is the art table. It's right by the dining table, so if more than 2 want to color, they move there. I also have all my puzzles on the counter nearby so that while I'm making lunch, they work on those. It's cut down on the crazy.

Pic 4 is another shot of the dining area. The art table is behind it.

Edited to add: Gosh! It looks so much cleaner in pictures...
wow, thats all really cute. you did a great job utilizing space!
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Heidi 12:18 PM 07-30-2012
Originally Posted by Provider_Manda:
I have two 1 year olds, two 2 1/2 year olds, a 4 year old, 5 and 10. Of course the 5 and 10 year is getting ready to go back to school. And then I will have another 1 and 2 year old suppose to be starting in fall.
Do you do provider (teacher) led activities? If not, make it your goal to do 3 a week. There are so many ideas available here on the 'net. You don't have to do worksheets or crafts (in fact, it's usually discouraged by the experts). You can make playdough, cook something together, get a huge piece of paper and make a group painting or drawing, put out a pile of misc. art supplies and let them go for it, etc. You could do these things around a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly theme.

Don't forget to communicate with your dcp's about what you are doing, and to display the children's artwork somewhere. I also have a dry erase board by the front door where I give a summary of our activities today.

I usually read a story at mealtime each day (which meal varies). That way, I have a captive audience!

here is our daily schedule for the fall. Mine will be 10 months-4 years. The baby takes a name during our morning group activity time.


OUR DAILY SCHEDULE

Fall 2012

7:30-8:30 Indoor Free-play

8:30-9:00 Family Breakfast

9:00-10:00 Group/Preschool Activity

10:00-11:30 Neighborhood Walk & Outdoor Play

11:30-12:00 Prepare lunch/table activities

12:00-12:30 Family Lunch & Story Time

12:30-3:30 Afternoon Nap/Quiet Play

3:30-3:45 Snack

3:45-4:45 Indoor or Outdoor Free-play


Structure is an important parts of your childs day, as is the need for flexibility. Therefore the times listed above are approximate.
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cheerfuldom 12:20 PM 07-30-2012
Originally Posted by Provider_Manda:
I have two 1 year olds, two 2 1/2 year olds, a 4 year old, 5 and 10. Of course the 5 and 10 year is getting ready to go back to school. And then I will have another 1 and 2 year old suppose to be starting in fall.
yeah that is what I was thinking was going on....very hard to keep that huge age range on a schedule and all happily occupied. I think my goal would be to get as many as possible on the same schedule in the fall and plan activities that work with the 2 to 4 year old crowd. Let the babies play until they are interested and capable of keeping up with the big kids....and when it is safe to include them. Dont worry about letting kids under 2 do a lot of free play. Dont discount the amount of learning they are doing thru play and if they are happy, just leave them be and dont feel that you have to be doing something at all times with them. Focus on that schedule. Find blocks of times where you can a circle time with the big kids, art, craft, etc. It will be a little harder to juggle because you are using probably the same table for meals and activities and that sort of thing so I would start working in small doses of structure. See what the kids are capable and interested in doing, what the schedule accommodates, what your sanity can handle Just keep in mind that there is a big difference between centers and home daycare and its not all bad being a home daycare. Your kids there will get things that they may never get at a center....smaller ratio, security with the same provider and same kids day after day, homey feeling, etc, etc.
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Sprouts 01:53 PM 07-30-2012
Where did you get those reallt cute reading chairs?? =)
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Heidi 01:55 PM 07-30-2012
Originally Posted by Sprouts:
Where did you get those reallt cute reading chairs?? =)
Target online. they were only $48 each! Linen-ish covers though, so I've got to watch the hands!
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itlw8 02:14 PM 07-30-2012
a center does not have to be permanent. It can be a tub of toys you bring out and put in an area for the day and store away at the end of the day or on Friday nights.

Do science in the kitchen or outdoors. Same with art.

Is it not the center that make a difference in play it is what you add to the play. the books, the songs, the observing the conversations. Play is how they learn then you scaffold on what they are doing and expand the subject.
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itlw8 02:19 PM 07-30-2012
Oh go to the library and check out Creative Curriculum for family childcare it has loads of great information. Hopefully your library has a section of resource materials on preschool development. That is one of the best ways to learn new ideas.
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Countrygal 01:35 PM 07-31-2012
I, too, have a home daycare with very limited space. Recently a nice daycare lady (thanks, Heidi! ) suggested I move all of my daycare into one larger room and make the rest of the house off-limits except for limited use. I liked the idea and went with it. I love it now. I have a living room back and the kids have their own room where they can play and I am not always worried about them damaging my furniture or putting a car through my china cabinet.

At one end of the room I put a long, child sized table (I was going to cut down a kitchen table, but ended up trading my dining room set for a child-sized table). Now we do all of our crafts, coloring, painting, and school at this table. It is so nice to have that spot! If we have a craft out before lunch, I don't have to worry too much about clearing the table before lunch - we can go back to it afterwards!

As for your questions about how to "teach" more, I pretty much just look for teachable moments. Let me give you an example. If we are reading a book about racecars, and the dcks seem interested, we may look up some different types of race cars on the internet, or watch a kids movie about race cars, and follow through by making a toilet paper tube race car craft.

This type of learning happens several times a week. We don't take a walk. We walk an experience. We smell, feel, look, explore, dig. We look for caterpillars and try to ID them, we watch for deer prints or turkey droppings, we see how many different "bugs" we can find and then proceed to learn that spiders aren't bugs and daddy longlegs aren't spiders!!! We listen. I don't take a walk without a quiet few minutes just to listen and share what we heard.

Even going out to McD's is a field trip. We discuss different people we see, different clothing, the healthiness (is that a word???) of different foods on the menu. It makes everything an adventure for a 2 year old or up!

I'm not saying we never just "play". We do. But I find that by just spending time telling and sharing and investigating with them, they learn sooooo much! During the winter months, when we can't get outside much, I do plan curriculum every day and try to include things such as song, dance, music, poetry, stories, finger plays or puppets, games, crafts, art, cooking. Over a week we cover most of these areas.

Personally, I think the major obstacle to teaching young ones is to fall into the trap that learning has to be from a classroom. IMO, the best learning comes from a love of investigating. From wanting to know "WHY??" And from learning how to love finding out.
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Provider_Manda 07:10 AM 08-01-2012
Originally Posted by Countrygal:
I, too, have a home daycare with very limited space. Recently a nice daycare lady (thanks, Heidi! ) suggested I move all of my daycare into one larger room and make the rest of the house off-limits except for limited use. I liked the idea and went with it. I love it now. I have a living room back and the kids have their own room where they can play and I am not always worried about them damaging my furniture or putting a car through my china cabinet.

At one end of the room I put a long, child sized table (I was going to cut down a kitchen table, but ended up trading my dining room set for a child-sized table). Now we do all of our crafts, coloring, painting, and school at this table. It is so nice to have that spot! If we have a craft out before lunch, I don't have to worry too much about clearing the table before lunch - we can go back to it afterwards!

As for your questions about how to "teach" more, I pretty much just look for teachable moments. Let me give you an example. If we are reading a book about racecars, and the dcks seem interested, we may look up some different types of race cars on the internet, or watch a kids movie about race cars, and follow through by making a toilet paper tube race car craft.

This type of learning happens several times a week. We don't take a walk. We walk an experience. We smell, feel, look, explore, dig. We look for caterpillars and try to ID them, we watch for deer prints or turkey droppings, we see how many different "bugs" we can find and then proceed to learn that spiders aren't bugs and daddy longlegs aren't spiders!!! We listen. I don't take a walk without a quiet few minutes just to listen and share what we heard.

Even going out to McD's is a field trip. We discuss different people we see, different clothing, the healthiness (is that a word???) of different foods on the menu. It makes everything an adventure for a 2 year old or up!

I'm not saying we never just "play". We do. But I find that by just spending time telling and sharing and investigating with them, they learn sooooo much! During the winter months, when we can't get outside much, I do plan curriculum every day and try to include things such as song, dance, music, poetry, stories, finger plays or puppets, games, crafts, art, cooking. Over a week we cover most of these areas.

Personally, I think the major obstacle to teaching young ones is to fall into the trap that learning has to be from a classroom. IMO, the best learning comes from a love of investigating. From wanting to know "WHY??" And from learning how to love finding out.
I love the idea of moving it all into one room, but the way my home is set up that could never happen ! DCP and kids walk right into my living room..and down the hall on side is my laundry (closed off) and the across there is the daycare room..on down that hall is the kitchen and bathroom..So everything down stairs other then the laundry room is touched by them..lol I would love to have a child size table and chair..We have a little tikes picnic table in the kitchen for them to eat at..but the playroom really needs a table !!
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MaritimeMummy 07:17 AM 08-01-2012
Wooo! Great thread, I'm stuck in this same position! Lots of free play/creative play, but not much of a "curriculum". Very small house, just a 2 bedroom, one-level bungalow. I was just thinking about this issue this morning!
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Heidi 08:59 AM 08-01-2012
This is a common activity here...open ended art. Very often, they stick things together, then put them BACK into the art bin...
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Tags:areas, home daycare, teaching
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