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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Entertaining the Kids All Day?
thelearningtreetx 05:50 AM 08-07-2018
I am a new provider and I'm curious about whether or not you entertain the kids all day?
I only have two right now (plus my own two) and I feel this (imaginary) pressure to be on the floor with them all day.

So my question is, do you play with the kids all day? Are you ever on your computer when children are present? Do you constantly have them engaged in something or do they sometimes just play while you do things around the room/house?

I don't want to put this immense pressure on myself that isn't necessary. Part of the reason I wanted to be home was to be able to get things done around the house (laundry, dishes etc) and yet I find myself saving all of that until the end of the day and then taking another hour or so to tidy up the house.

TIA!
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Cat Herder 06:56 AM 08-07-2018
I set up centers that correlate to our theme before arrival. After breakfast is circle time then they are off to centers for free play.

I supervise from my desk (like right now) but do not interfere unless there is a safety issue. I purposely look busy (computer, book or writing) so they won't seek my constant praise, assistance or approval (a real problem sometimes with so much learned helplessness and praise for expected behavior).

I want them to think, create and build independently.

They play freely until time to clean up, have snack and go outside. Repeat after nap.
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Blackcat31 07:14 AM 08-07-2018
Other threads on the same topic https://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.p...ying+with+kids

And of course an oldie but a goodie:
https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...ht=grandmother
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MarinaVanessa 08:04 AM 08-07-2018
I interact a lot with the kids while they're here. I'm not "entertaining" them but we do play a lot together and do things. I guess for you it depends on what you want to do in your own daycare and what you offered your clients. Is it more like "grandma care" where you keep the kids safe, supervised and offer them a place to play or do you want to offer a more hands-on approach with activities, lessons etc. Lots of different ways to run your daycare.
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thelearningtreetx 08:37 AM 08-07-2018
Thank you for the responses and for posting other threads.

I do offer preschool lessons and we do circle time, but I don't want to be on the floor all day with the kids. I guess I offer both that were mentioned above. The kids get plenty of free time to play, but we also do fine motor activities, circle time, curriculum, art etc. almost everyday.
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Cat Herder 08:45 AM 08-07-2018
Originally Posted by thelearningtreetx:
Thank you for the responses and for posting other threads.

I do offer preschool lessons and we do circle time, but I don't want to be on the floor all day with the kids. I guess I offer both that were mentioned above. The kids get plenty of free time to play, but we also do fine motor activities, circle time, curriculum, art etc. almost everyday.
Sounds like a great mix to me.
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MarinaVanessa 08:46 AM 08-07-2018
Originally Posted by thelearningtreetx:
Thank you for the responses and for posting other threads.

I do offer preschool lessons and we do circle time, but I don't want to be on the floor all day with the kids. I guess I offer both that were mentioned above. The kids get plenty of free time to play, but we also do fine motor activities, circle time, curriculum, art etc. almost everyday.
Sounds like a great balance to me. It's also important that the kids learn to play on their own and also for you to maintain a clean space.
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thelearningtreetx 09:00 AM 08-07-2018
I think my mindset has a LOT to do with the school I worked at last year. We were a NAEYC accredited preschool and while I LOVED it, it was exhausting. We were not allowed to do ANYTHING while the kids were awake besides BE with them. On the floor, all the time. We got in trouble if we sat in a chair while the kids were on the floor. As a matter of fact, there were NO adult chairs in the classroom except the ones locked away for Staff Meetings. If we weren't on the floor, we were sitting at the table with them doing an activity. Basically, the kids had to be engaged in play at all times. We didn't do any sort of paperwork until nap time and we did minimal cleaning (wipe tables and quickly sweep) while our co-teacher would play with the kids.
It was HARD and mentally a challenge when we had assessments, PT conference paperwork, licensing paperwork, lesson plans, weekly and monthly newsletters, potty training and SO MUCH MORE to do besides just playing with them.
We also practiced Conscious Discipline which was time consuming, especially for some children who did not take to it as easily.

I need to get out of that mindset now that I am on my own. I remember vowing that I would NOT run my program like that because of the way I felt, and yet I feel guilty for not being on the floor constantly because it was so ingrained in my head.
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CalCare 01:41 PM 08-07-2018
Originally Posted by thelearningtreetx:
I think my mindset has a LOT to do with the school I worked at last year. We were a NAEYC accredited preschool and while I LOVED it, it was exhausting. We were not allowed to do ANYTHING while the kids were awake besides BE with them. On the floor, all the time. We got in trouble if we sat in a chair while the kids were on the floor. As a matter of fact, there were NO adult chairs in the classroom except the ones locked away for Staff Meetings. If we weren't on the floor, we were sitting at the table with them doing an activity. Basically, the kids had to be engaged in play at all times. We didn't do any sort of paperwork until nap time and we did minimal cleaning (wipe tables and quickly sweep) while our co-teacher would play with the kids.
It was HARD and mentally a challenge when we had assessments, PT conference paperwork, licensing paperwork, lesson plans, weekly and monthly newsletters, potty training and SO MUCH MORE to do besides just playing with them.
We also practiced Conscious Discipline which was time consuming, especially for some children who did not take to it as easily.

I need to get out of that mindset now that I am on my own. I remember vowing that I would NOT run my program like that because of the way I felt, and yet I feel guilty for not being on the floor constantly because it was so ingrained in my head.
I thought FCCERS and ECCERS specifically required you have adult seating AND I heard when they observe you for your score, they have to SEE the adult seating used or it doesn't count. So I would think an NAEYC place with no adult seating used was actually lowering their standards..?
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thelearningtreetx 01:46 PM 08-07-2018
I'm honestly not sure, but our director always said that we were not allowed to sit in adult chairs. It was VERY hard on my back and knees (and I'm only 28!). Even our lab students that would come observe were told to sit on the floor with the kids. It was odd to say the least. It could have just been her own personal "rule" for us. We also couldn't have beverages that were not water out for the children to see in case the children wanted it and had to be told "no.".....God forbid.

It was a GREAT place, but some of the policies were a little odd and made for an uncomfortable work environment.
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Unregistered 05:19 PM 08-07-2018
Originally Posted by thelearningtreetx:
I'm honestly not sure, but our director always said that we were not allowed to sit in adult chairs. It was VERY hard on my back and knees (and I'm only 28!). Even our lab students that would come observe were told to sit on the floor with the kids. It was odd to say the least. It could have just been her own personal "rule" for us. We also couldn't have beverages that were not water out for the children to see in case the children wanted it and had to be told "no.".....God forbid.

It was a GREAT place, but some of the policies were a little odd and made for an uncomfortable work environment.
I'm not allowed to do that either and I do in home care. We're supposed model healthy eating. It could be a liability issue if a child drinks it.
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thelearningtreetx 05:29 PM 08-07-2018
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I'm not allowed to do that either and I do in home care. We're supposed model healthy eating. It could be a liability issue if a child drinks it.
That makes sense! I figured it was just one of the weird rules she set forth.
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Lovisa 09:10 PM 08-07-2018
I read to my kiddos, we do crafts a few times a week, but a MAJORITY of the days are spent doing free play. We go outside a lot too and have fun getting dirty! All parents are different with what they want for a daycare for their kids but all my parents over the years have been super happy with my very laid back, non structured setting. We eat and nap at certain times, otherwise we just kinda have fun and do whatever! And I also do things around the house that need to be done while they are playing (always checking on them often, mostly doing stuff in the same general vicinity the kids are in). Being too structured with everything at a certain time every single day would stress me out lol.
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LK5kids 09:32 PM 08-07-2018
I say do what feels right to you and what YOU need!

I think it's great to be on the floor for say 10-20 min. With the kids but I feel strongly that kids do not need to be entertained! I don't even think you need to be on the floor each and every day. Do it when you want to.

Kids need large blocks of time to explore and while they love adult interaction, we adults change the dynamics of play.

Kids are the experts at play and we can follow their lead, be there for support, observe and record anecdotal records, etc. but really there is nothing wrong with letting kids "do their own thing!" In fact it's preferable!

I follow a schedule. We do art about 2-3 times a week. A short circle time each day. A cooking or snack activity regularly, music and movement daily. Still they have large blocks of indoir and outdoor free play!
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momofsix 11:18 AM 08-08-2018
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I'm not allowed to do that either and I do in home care. We're supposed model healthy eating. It could be a liability issue if a child drinks it.
You mean you can't drink what you want in your own home?!?!? Now I've heard it all (besides alcohol of course)

When I worked at a center we had to be on the floor also and had no adult seating.
Here in my own home I do a mixture. Sometimes I'll help them get started with something if they're feeling stuck. I'm on the floor for books, circle time, and interacting with babies and younger toddlers. I don't play with bigger kids unless we're playing a game.
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Blackcat31 11:36 AM 08-08-2018
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I'm not allowed to do that either and I do in home care. We're supposed model healthy eating. It could be a liability issue if a child drinks it.
Per state licensing rules or per accreditation (via NAEYC etc) rules?

If it is a state licensing rule can you post how that is worded?
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CityGarden 01:08 PM 08-08-2018
Like others have said you need to find your balance and what works best for you.... My program has shorter hours so other than nap time or time my assistant is focus on the dcks or they are napping I am fully engaged with them.

Engaged (for me) does not mean on the floor entertaining or guiding their play.... I have a circle time each day, and plan centers (some centers are guided, i.e. cooking or preparing snack together others are self-directed, i.e. play kitchen / dress up area) but the bulk of my engaged time is observing and allowing them to direct or engage me in their play..... being available (not my my phone/laptop of cleaning) to be invited into their world, listen to their stories, etc. it also means I am more available when there are conflicts to catch them early on and making them learning opportunities. I try to give myself busy work, like knitting or drawing so I am not intrusive in their play but so they know I am close by available to them.... this was something I took from my Waldorf/RIE parent classes that resonated for me.

Giving this kind of attention is not something I could sustain from 6am-6pm or even 8am-5pm and is one of many reasons my program is short hours, for me it would have to be different if it were a full day program.

Also there are floor chairs that are great! Floor Chairs
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coloradoprovider 10:08 AM 08-09-2018
The thought that we need to "entertain" children does a disservice to them and to us. Children have enough entertainment with movies, television etc. outside of daycare hours. We need to provide educational opportunities and give them free time to follow their own interests. They need a balance of adult directed and self directed play. Keeping them "entertained" would be exhausting for the adult and damaging to the child's development. I like the article at this website: http://www.screenfreeparenting.com/f...edom-children/

Being bored isn't bad, it's to be welcomed as an opportunity to develop creativity.
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Georgiads 03:55 PM 08-09-2018
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
I set up centers that correlate to our theme before arrival. After breakfast is circle time then they are off to centers for free play.

I supervise from my desk (like right now) but do not interfere unless there is a safety issue. I purposely look busy (computer, book or writing) so they won't seek my constant praise, assistance or approval (a real problem sometimes with so much learned helplessness and praise for expected behavior).

I want them to think, create and build independently.

They play freely until time to clean up, have snack and go outside. Repeat after nap.
You perfectly articulated the problem with young children today. “Learned helplessness and praise for expected behavior.”

I have a 3 year old boy who has to announce everything the does and will repeat it until he gets attention. His parents apparently think EVERYTHING he does is amazing. 🙄
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Cat Herder 10:51 AM 08-10-2018
Originally Posted by Georgiads:
You perfectly articulated the problem with young children today. “Learned helplessness and praise for expected behavior.”

I have a 3 year old boy who has to announce everything the does and will repeat it until he gets attention. His parents apparently think EVERYTHING he does is amazing. ��
It is a constant battle. I explain to parents that I am preparing them for school (3-6), then life among their peers. Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers have 30 students. They cannot give that level of attention to any child so teaching a child to expect it is doing them a disservice. The child will be the one feeling hurt and ignored with a normal level of individual adult attention and the teacher will grow to tune them out entirely. "boy who called wolf" or "chicken little". I have a 1/6 ratio to age 6. That is already way above a normal level in pre-k or kindergarten.

I do incorporate individual learning times, for each child, and small group activities daily. I make it work by using the various drop-off and pick-up times to my advantage. Group play and center time is about peer interaction, social emotional growth, problem solving and creative play in a safe, supervised, environment. Not adult playmates.
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AmyKidsCo 02:17 PM 08-10-2018
I'm very similar to Cat Herder, I have toys and materials out and they play. I plan and offer 1 structured activity every day and read before nap. I also read to them and play with them if they ask, but most of the time I observe and facilitate.
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Josiegirl 05:47 PM 08-11-2018
Originally Posted by Lovisa:
I read to my kiddos, we do crafts a few times a week, but a MAJORITY of the days are spent doing free play. We go outside a lot too and have fun getting dirty! All parents are different with what they want for a daycare for their kids but all my parents over the years have been super happy with my very laid back, non structured setting. We eat and nap at certain times, otherwise we just kinda have fun and do whatever! And I also do things around the house that need to be done while they are playing (always checking on them often, mostly doing stuff in the same general vicinity the kids are in). Being too structured with everything at a certain time every single day would stress me out lol.
That's my style exactly.

Originally Posted by coloradoprovider:
The thought that we need to "entertain" children does a disservice to them and to us. Children have enough entertainment with movies, television etc. outside of daycare hours. We need to provide educational opportunities and give them free time to follow their own interests. They need a balance of adult directed and self directed play. Keeping them "entertained" would be exhausting for the adult and damaging to the child's development. I like the article at this website: http://www.screenfreeparenting.com/f...edom-children/

Being bored isn't bad, it's to be welcomed as an opportunity to develop creativity.
Thanks for the link; saved for further exploration.
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Tags:entertaining, keeping it interesting, learned helplessness, praise for expected behavior, schedule
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