Default Style Register
Daycare.com Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Separate Playareas--Anyone Do This?
BusyBee 12:31 PM 05-17-2012
Hi! I am thinking of splitting things up this summer for mine and my SAgers' sanity. Here is my thought:

I have several toddlers (about to turn PS age) and I have 5 kids that are either SA or will be in the fall. Currently my dc space is mostly in the basement, so I was thinking of putting the older kids down there. I have a room in my main level that I could make into another playroom for the smaller kids. It is right off the kitchen so we would have most of the level to use.

My reasoning behind this stems from the fact that I have a toddler who I affectionately (to myself only!) call Mr. Destructo. He is such a sweetheart but has no control with toys, taking toys, breaking,throwing, etc... I just know that this will cause a lot of conflict with my older kids once school is out. So I thought I could move all of the big toys (legos, etc) to one area downstairs and have all the younger kids toys up. Of course we would all be together a lot of the day, this is just for free play time.

Where I live, the dck age PS and up only need to be able to be seen OR heard. I would put the gate at the top of the stairs so I would be able to hear them. The playroom we would use is in close proximity to the top of the stairs... The big kids have played down here before while I make lunch or snack, and they do really well for the most part. I would obviously be upstairs with the littles.

The big kids would not have to go down, they would have the option to stay upstairs with me, obviously. But I have a feeling they are going to want to have free play without being bothered by the little ones.

Any thoughts? Good idea, bad idea?
Reply
Blackcat31 12:38 PM 05-17-2012
I have 3 separate areas.

One for infants (under 12 months)
One for toddlers (13 months- 2ish yrs)
One for preschoolers (2+ - 5 yrs old)

I don't take school age children at all but as far as separate play areas go I wish I had been smart enough to separate the ages/stages years ago......
Reply
Heidi 12:44 PM 05-17-2012
I think that would work for you, if you are lucky to have a group of older children that get along. Maybe you could keep art supplies on the main level near the dinning table for the older kids as well? That way they have access with a little more supervision, and if they are lonely for you, they have something to do. Also, if there is squabling, you can seperate the squablers a little more.

If your living room isn't off limits and also nearby, I suggest a shelf or basket of sa friendly books or magazines as well. That would be the "quiet area".

I think earning the right to be a little less supervised is a good thing!

BTW, my state is the same, but for all ages. Sight OR Sound. That doesn't mean it works for every kid, though. I have a 2 year old that would be great with that, and an almost 4 year old that is 100% sight AND sound at all times!
Reply
BusyBee 12:46 PM 05-17-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I have 3 separate areas.

One for infants (under 12 months)
One for toddlers (13 months- 2ish yrs)
One for preschoolers (2+ - 5 yrs old)

I don't take school age children at all but as far as separate play areas go I wish I had been smart enough to separate the ages/stages years ago......
Good! I was hoping to hear that someone does this! I am actually pretty excited about it as I think it will relieve some stress.
Reply
BusyBee 12:50 PM 05-17-2012
Originally Posted by Heidi:
I think that would work for you, if you are lucky to have a group of older children that get along. Maybe you could keep art supplies on the main level near the dinning table for the older kids as well? That way they have access with a little more supervision, and if they are lonely for you, they have something to do. Also, if there is squabling, you can seperate the squablers a little more.

If your living room isn't off limits and also nearby, I suggest a shelf or basket of sa friendly books or magazines as well. That would be the "quiet area".

I think earning the right to be a little less supervised is a good thing!

BTW, my state is the same, but for all ages. Sight OR Sound. That doesn't mean it works for every kid, though. I have a 2 year old that would be great with that, and an almost 4 year old that is 100% sight AND sound at all times!
I am really lucky that way! They really never fight, they usually get into trouble for doing something I wouldn't like such as getting too carried away and throwing toys or jumping on the furniture. lol But I am going to count my blessing that they all get along!

I had plans to keep a rotation of things on the kitchen table for the big kids to choose from and maybe bring up a smaller table for the little ones to have their choices. I think it will be fun to change things up! I am getting burnt out and I think changing things up in any way can help with that!

The LR is usually off limits, but I could certainly trust the SA to have a reading nook in there! Good idea.
Reply
daycare 01:15 PM 05-17-2012
Did you get those felt squares yet?????
Reply
daycare 01:17 PM 05-17-2012
Originally Posted by daycare:
Did you get those felt squares yet?????
please disregard this posting...lol I thought that it was from Honie bee.....hahah never mind....sorry
Reply
Lianne 02:39 PM 05-17-2012
I have separate play spaces. I use my living room and an adjoining bedroom for my toddlers and a second, separate, bedroom for my preschoolers. The preschoolers are welcome to play in either space as long as they aren't going back and forth and being disruptive. Older toddlers are allowed in the preschool room if there's a preschooler in there playing and if I can generally trust them not to put things in their mouths. The preschool room has toys with smaller/multiple pieces.
Reply
itlw8 06:23 PM 05-17-2012
No way for short time maybe but not on a daily basis. That is when you find them playing dr. and the big kids teaching the younger ones bad words.

Besides how can you guide their learning and build on their ideas if you are not with them. Seperate areas yes but with an adult with them.
Reply
Unregistered 09:00 PM 05-17-2012
I do it daily. Have never allowed them to play alone downstairs but in seperate areas where I can see and hear.

I suggest a camera so that you can keep up on what they are doing, possibly without them being aware. :-)
Reply
BusyBee 09:11 PM 05-17-2012
Originally Posted by itlw8:
No way for short time maybe but not on a daily basis. That is when you find them playing dr. and the big kids teaching the younger ones bad words.

Besides how can you guide their learning and build on their ideas if you are not with them. Seperate areas yes but with an adult with them.
I can hear them clearly from where I am, trust me I pay attention. They also know me and my rules, respect me, and never give me any major grief.

I trust these kids, they have proven to me that they can play separately from me without being inappropriate. I will guide them during the times that I am with them. During their free play they learn from one another and don't need me to play with them. If I had another adult, I wouldn't have had the need to ask this question. I do have one pt kid that will come once a week for the summer, I do NOT trust him at all--they will not be playing down there without me on that day for sure!

My toddlers on the other hand, need that guidance and need me to model proper play.
Reply
itlw8 10:16 PM 05-17-2012
Some of the best kids I have had (and I could hear them ) pulled some stuff that lost them the privilage of playing where I could not see them.

I just have trouble picturing running up and down the steps to check on them every 10 minutes and the problems the littles could get into during those few minutes.

It would not be allowed by licensing here anyway to have them on a different floor.

I have found a gate works for me that allows the bigs use small things and do projects without the littles in danger or causing problems.
Reply
CheekyChick 05:52 AM 05-18-2012
I could be wrong, but I believe when licensing says that you need to "see OR hear" them - that means when you have to make meals or run to the restroom - NOT for free play which could be for long periods of time in the summer.

As much as you trust these children, I don't believe young SA'ers should be left alone. What if there was a fire and they were stuck in the basement without an adult to get them out? What if there was an injury? How could you explain to the parents that you never saw what happened because you were upstairs tending to the younger children?

IMHO, I would not feel safe doing this. I would divide the basement into two sections. One side for the older children and one side for the younger children. This way, the SA'ers have their own "space" away from "Mr. Destructo" and they will still be supervised.
Reply
Hunni Bee 06:08 AM 05-18-2012
Originally Posted by daycare:
please disregard this posting...lol I thought that it was from Honie bee.....hahah never mind....sorry
LOL...here I am. And no, but I had been doing something similar for the past few weeks. I had these old flashcards (I dont use flashcards) and told them to put their bottoms on them, and if I saw the picture on the cards they needed to leave the circle.

Well, they just tattled on each other when someone would shift a little and their card would show, and tried to pull the cards from under each other, and complained that someone had the card they had yesterday, etc etc etc...so it didn't work.

So, im still trying to find something that works.

Sorry to hijack the thread.
Reply
makap 08:54 AM 05-18-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I have 3 separate areas.

One for infants (under 12 months)
One for toddlers (13 months- 2ish yrs)
One for preschoolers (2+ - 5 yrs old)

I don't take school age children at all but as far as separate play areas go I wish I had been smart enough to separate the ages/stages years ago......
I do this too! I have 4 "divided" sections.

I only do full-time care and I do not get full-time infants as in Canada maternity leave is for a year. I get all my full-timers at around 11 months. I also do not do care for children past 4 years of age.

My divided sections are
one section for 11 months to walking in a large gated area
one section for walking to 18 months in another large gated area
2 separate sections one for 18 months to 2.5 years & one for 2.5 years to 4 years (no gates as they know the boundaries of where they are allowed to go and not go)

It has worked very well for me.
Reply
Blackcat31 09:02 AM 05-18-2012
Originally Posted by Achelea:
I do this too! I have 4 "divided" sections.

I only do full-time care and I do not get full-time infants as in Canada maternity leave is for a year. I get all my full-timers at around 11 months. I also do not do care for children past 4 years of age.

My divided sections are
one section for 11 months to walking in a large gated area
one section for walking to 18 months in another large gated area
2 separate sections one for 18 months to 2.5 years & one for 2.5 years to 4 years (no gates as they know the boundaries of where they are allowed to go and not go)

It has worked very well for me.
I think it works wonderful as well but feel I should clarify that I have an entire house that is devoted to childcare only so for me, I have completely separate rooms set up for kids of certain ages.

In the infant room is infant appropriate toys and stuff for them ONLY as well as the other rooms. I have cameras and mirrors (like they have in convenience stores)the layout of my child care home is one that the kitchen/dining room is the center of the home so all of my other rooms are off that area so while I am in the center room, I can see ALL the nooks and crannies of everyother room.

However, if I lived in a home and ran child care from it, I would still separate the ages/stages as one of the biggest advantages I have noticed since separation is the older kids are alot less sick since my mouthers and droolers are separated from using the same toys and areas as the non-mouthers. IMHO, it keeps the germs and stuff contained to just one area and I think it has had a big effect on the overall health of the others.
Reply
permanentvacation 10:06 AM 05-18-2012
I seperate my kids by age groups. It keeps them from fighting as much and allows the older ones to have toys, games, and art project supplies (for the older ones, these almost always have small pieces) available to them at all times while keeping those items away from the younger ones.

I currently only watch infants - 4 year olds. I have the infants and toddlers in the living room and the preschoolers in the dining room. When I watched school kids as well, they had the kitchen.
Reply
My3cents 10:24 AM 05-18-2012
I think you need to see them. IF something happens how can you verify it with the parents being upstairs with the little kids. If you want to separate then you should have an assistant. It only takes a sec for a freak accident to happen, fire, child get's hurt, the possibilities are endless. I don't care how good of a bunch of kids you think you have. If I was a paying parent- I would want to know that I am paying you to watch my child at all times, and not let them watch themselves because you feel they are ready to. I don't feel they are ready that is why I have hired you to watch my child when I can not and I expect you to be doing that all the time. Not trying to be harsh but actually trying to help you- not professional either. Your kids- a whole different story, someones else's children........no way. Your asking for trouble. Your talking about two separate floors- not an open viewable space- nope Sorry don't mean to be a Debbie Downer but just not a smart move in my 3cents- Safety issue
Reply
BusyBee 01:00 PM 05-18-2012
Well, I called my licensor and she thought it was a great idea! She said considering that I could both see AND hear the schoolagers it is even better than just one or the other. I am completely within the regulations. It is even better that the playarea doors are right by each other, one is just up and one is down.

I guess I am the only one who knows what will work for my daycare and I know my kids and my parents, who would not be upset at all by the way. They would either not really care or totally understand where I am coming from. I think free play for 1/2 hour in the morning and 1/2 hour in the afternoon during the summer is completely acceptable. Considering the fact that we will be going to the park when it is nice, playing outside here, doing crafts, etc. I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't think I need to sit there regulating the SA every move.

Thanks for the input!
Reply
Blackcat31 01:02 PM 05-18-2012
Originally Posted by BusyBee:
Well, I called my licensor and she thought it was a great idea! She said considering that I could both see AND hear the schoolagers it is even better than just one or the other. I am completely within the regulations. It is even better that the playarea doors are right by each other, one is just up and one is down.

I guess I am the only one who knows what will work for my daycare and I know my kids and my parents, who would not be upset at all by the way. They would either not really care or totally understand where I am coming from. I think free play for 1/2 hour in the morning and 1/2 hour in the afternoon during the summer is completely acceptable. Considering the fact that we will be going to the park when it is nice, playing outside here, doing crafts, etc. I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't think I need to sit there regulating the SA every move.

Thanks for the input!
I think with school age kids this is the perfect thing to do to help them build those skills that they will need to become independent and be able to stay home alone as they age. It is important to allow them that space away from "babies" and other kids who are not on the same developmental level....I think it is a great thing that you are actually buiding their self confidence and their ability to be unsupervised.
Reply
BusyBee 01:05 PM 05-18-2012
Thank you, Blackcat! That is exactly it! They are such awesome kids--I want them to see that I trust them and give them a chance to prove themselves!

The last poster made me feel like a bad provider--like I am going to put them down there all day and shut the door. I just know that they are going to be so excited to not have to worry about the little kids getting into their stuff. They love the little ones and show them lots of love, but they have the right to play what they want uninterupted!
Reply
Lianne 10:27 PM 05-18-2012
Originally Posted by BusyBee:
I guess I am the only one who knows what will work for my daycare and I know my kids and my parents, who would not be upset at all by the way.
And, just because you decide to try something different, doesn't mean you have to stick with it if you find it doesn't work. Try separate play areas and if it doesn't work, change things back again or try something different Good luck!
Reply
lovemyjob 04:26 PM 06-04-2012
I do separate my play areas for portions of the day. After breakfast, each of my older SA kids has a younger buddy that they are assigned to for the week. On the days that I know we will need some "sanity," we have pick-a-room time. I gate off each of my rooms (I am only licensed for our main level) and the pair get to play with whatever is in that room for the time being. It might be for 20 minutes, then we switch..or for the entire time that day. Gives little ones 1-on-1 attention they crave, and the older kids get practice working with a different age kiddo. Later, the older kids get to be "gated" in a room or 2 for big kid time as well while I play with the toddlers/infants. Works like a charm.

If big kids want to do something that little ones should not be a part of, they get to sit at the dining room table or in my porch. I just keep the little ones in the "play" room for those times. Big kids do need their time too.
Reply
Tags:separate areas
Reply Up