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Old 04-10-2012, 03:13 PM
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SunshineMama SunshineMama is offline
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Default Need Ideas To Keep The Littles Busy Before Pick Up

I need ideas for the last hour of daycare before pick up.

I have 6 kids total, and 4 leave around the same time. The last hour before pick up is chaotic. I don't have any formal activities planned, and we can't stay in the play room because it is on a different floor and I cant leave the kiddos to get to the door. I have toys/activities where they can play before pick up, but the kids always want to run around, check to see if mom and dad are here yet, etc.

I need quiet, calm activities that will keep them consistently busy everyday, for a minimum of 30 minutes. All kids are 1, 1, 3, 3, and 4, 4. I am mostly concerned with the 1 and (very young) 3 year olds.

One of the 1's (my dd) always whines and wants to be clingy and held before pick up time. The other 1 is still only crawling and wants to crawl all over the house. The 3 year olds are sibs and want to go nuts.

Everyone is usually so well behaved! Play doh gets messy but works. Need more ideas thanks!
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:19 PM
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We do coloring and other activities at my dining room table. Everyone goes in a booster seat or high chair so there is no chaos at the door and that type of thing. We dont have a TV in our playroom but sometimes I will put on a movie for that last 30 minutes or so because like you said, it does get crazy and they all want to go when the first one leaves!
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:46 PM
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We do Tot Trays (google it for ideas) for the last half-hour if we're not outside playing. I only get the trays out at this time (I actually use containers with lids, so that everything is easily storeable and ready to go when I need it), and everyone works on one tray at a time. They can trade with someone else when and if someone else wants to trade.

It works pretty well most of the time. It keeps the playroom clean, everyone's contained and occupied and there's no fighting or silliness while I'm talking to parents when they pick-up. Usually the kids are so focused, I have to tell them their parent is there, even though they can see them coming out the window .
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:31 PM
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I read stories to them or we all sit on the floor and work on puzzles. When it's nice we will go outside and play ball, bubbles or chalk while waiting for everyone to get picked up.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:40 PM
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We turned one of the bedrooms at the end of a hallway (house is one level) into a media room. After we clean up the playroom, we wash up, have a drink and then head down to the media room. My son goes with them and they do a variety of quiet activities. He reads books, they color, they do floor puzzles etc. I do not have any TV service at all, but we sometimes watch a movie DVD if it's a holiday time or if it falls in with our weekly themes. For instance we watched Finding Nemo when we did our ocean week.

The children know that they are not allowed to run down the hallway when the doorbell goes. I answer the door and will call the child being picked up. Only that child is allowed to come. That way I get one on one with the parent if I need to talk about anything. The child is not distracted by anything and goodbyes are usually quick.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:33 AM
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We go outside and chalk in the driveway, go out in the yard or the kids sit at the table with sensory type stuff. Puzzles, sensory bins (pasta and rice, not messy ones), blocks etc. The playroom is closed down at 445pm everyday.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:04 AM
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Thanks for the ideas!

I like the idea of tot trays and having them all sit at the table, I am going to be Pinteresting that today! I need to teach them to come only one at a time- even if they are at the table they all get up and run to the door. (I have tried to teach them before and gave up- any good strategies for this?)

I definitely think TV or a movie would work for those last few minutes, but I am afraid that if I have it on during that time everyday the parents will think it's on all day. (The whole- perception is reality idea). At interview I really stressed no TV unless and I want to honor that, although the parents know that I will put on an educational program if I am making lunch or need a few minutes of quiet time. If I did that, how should I approach the parents? Let them know that during pick up only we will have one 30 minute program?

Sensory bins and puzzles are awesome ideas but I ideally would like to have the daycare all cleaned up before the last one goes, and they all pretty much go at the same time. I dont want to be picking up little pieces of puzzle or rice, etc after they leave. I'm potty training 3 toddlers right now and am jut about to die at the end of the long day lol.

Can't they all just sit in a nice quiet row and look at books- without touching each other, running around, yelling, taking each other's stuff, etc? lol
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineMama View Post
Thanks for the ideas!

I like the idea of tot trays and having them all sit at the table, I am going to be Pinteresting that today! I need to teach them to come only one at a time- even if they are at the table they all get up and run to the door. (I have tried to teach them before and gave up- any good strategies for this?)

I definitely think TV or a movie would work for those last few minutes, but I am afraid that if I have it on during that time everyday the parents will think it's on all day. (The whole- perception is reality idea). At interview I really stressed no TV unless and I want to honor that, although the parents know that I will put on an educational program if I am making lunch or need a few minutes of quiet time. If I did that, how should I approach the parents? Let them know that during pick up only we will have one 30 minute program?

Sensory bins and puzzles are awesome ideas but I ideally would like to have the daycare all cleaned up before the last one goes, and they all pretty much go at the same time. I dont want to be picking up little pieces of puzzle or rice, etc after they leave. I'm potty training 3 toddlers right now and am jut about to die at the end of the long day lol.

Can't they all just sit in a nice quiet row and look at books- without touching each other, running around, yelling, taking each other's stuff, etc? lol
I know my 4 that I have could never sit down all quietly!!! I have them by the door, and they are all getting ready for departure, 10 min before closing time. I of course have to help them all.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineMama View Post
Thanks for the ideas!

I like the idea of tot trays and having them all sit at the table, I am going to be Pinteresting that today! I need to teach them to come only one at a time- even if they are at the table they all get up and run to the door. (I have tried to teach them before and gave up- any good strategies for this?)

I definitely think TV or a movie would work for those last few minutes, but I am afraid that if I have it on during that time everyday the parents will think it's on all day. (The whole- perception is reality idea). At interview I really stressed no TV unless and I want to honor that, although the parents know that I will put on an educational program if I am making lunch or need a few minutes of quiet time. If I did that, how should I approach the parents? Let them know that during pick up only we will have one 30 minute program?

Sensory bins and puzzles are awesome ideas but I ideally would like to have the daycare all cleaned up before the last one goes, and they all pretty much go at the same time. I dont want to be picking up little pieces of puzzle or rice, etc after they leave. I'm potty training 3 toddlers right now and am jut about to die at the end of the long day lol.

Can't they all just sit in a nice quiet row and look at books- without touching each other, running around, yelling, taking each other's stuff, etc? lol
If you think a tv show would work best with your group then go with it. I would just tell the parents that you've been having a hard time at the end of the day because all the kids seem to have the crazies so for the time being you're going to try a 30 minute show to see if that helps to manage the chaos. As a parent I would be ok with that and I wouldn't think the tv was on all day.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:19 AM
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We pick up and organized the toys, gets socks & shoes on...then get out the duplo/bristle blocks bin. I never keep in out for open play, and this is the only time it comes out. the kids LOVE thme...(i have half a large storage bin). They treat it much like the sensory bins I see on here. The older kids build, the little guys make as much noise as possible.

Sitting at the table doesn't work at the end of the day for my crew. We have 4 very, very active boys at 5pm just waiting to break out.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solandia View Post
We pick up and organized the toys, gets socks & shoes on...then get out the duplo/bristle blocks bin. I never keep in out for open play, and this is the only time it comes out. the kids LOVE thme...(i have half a large storage bin). They treat it much like the sensory bins I see on here. The older kids build, the little guys make as much noise as possible.

Sitting at the table doesn't work at the end of the day for my crew. We have 4 very, very active boys at 5pm just waiting to break out.
That's minimal clean up too- maybe I should only get them out for pick up time.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:30 AM
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I have come to realize that the parents only get a visual of what we do during the day while they are here for a few minutes at drop off and pick up time. So, yes, if the children are watching tv often at pick up time, there's a good chance that your parents will think that they watch tv all day.

The activies that I do wouldn't work for your 1 year olds. I just wanted to agree with you about the tv thing.

Even though my activities aren't what you are looking for, here's what we do.

I make sure to do things at pick up time that I really want parents to see (as proof) that I do with the children. I am really big on hands on educational activities here. Since they are hands on, the parents just have to take my word for it that we do them! So, if we are doing them at pick up time, the parents see that we really do them.

We work with one activity at a time (only one thing to clean up at a time!) counting bears- put them in color groups, in order by size, create patterns, count, add, subtract; work with vehicle counters and do the above activitie as well as divide them into the different types of vehicles, use the strings and letter beads to spell their names and words, use magnetic letters for the same purpose, etc.
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