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Old 09-19-2019, 11:48 AM
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I would like to try doing activity centers. Right now the kids basically have free roam of my daycare room. There is a lot of fighting and frustration between the kids and I thought if I could separate them somehow things would run more smoothly but then I wonder how I would get them to stay where I tell them to without getting upset so I donít know if that would work or not. What ages do you do this with, or donít you? Also what do you do with the younger kids that are on the go all the time and how do you keep them out of the other kids activities?
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:48 PM
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I added tags to other threads on this topic as I am pushed for time. You may need to register to see and use them.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I would like to try doing activity centers. Right now the kids basically have free roam of my daycare room. There is a lot of fighting and frustration between the kids and I thought if I could separate them somehow things would run more smoothly but then I wonder how I would get them to stay where I tell them to without getting upset so I donít know if that would work or not. What ages do you do this with, or donít you? Also what do you do with the younger kids that are on the go all the time and how do you keep them out of the other kids activities?
I don't make anyone stay anywhere, but I do limit the number of children allowed at each center. It's usually two unless it's a spacious center. 2 at the light table, 4 at the sensory table (it has 4 bins), 2 per easel etc. I'm right there in the mix redirecting and reminding them until everyone naturally does it.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:19 PM
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How many children do you have?

I have 6-7 every day and don't "make" them separate, but they often do on their own. I have activity centers set up and just let them play where they want, when they want. They're allowed to take materials to other areas too if they want. Sometimes they all do the same thing, but usually there's small groups playing together.

I tell them to play on the top of the toy shelves or at the dining room table (it's adult sized) if they don't want the little ones to get into their stuff.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:34 AM
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I have a smaller, younger group now where there's a lot of free play. When I was at capacity with 4 children, including a crawler, I only limited how many could be at an activity if there just wasn't room for more. I didn't make them stay in one place, but if they were moving on they needed to clean up after themselves. I allowed them to take things to other areas as long as there was room and doing so didn't cause any issues. I would let the baby go and if the big kids had something they were building / putting together, I sent them to the table with it. I have a kid-sized 4 seater table and chairs in my daycare room that they eat at during meals. Once I get a crawler, I start teaching the older kids to use it for building / puzzles, etc. They eventually learn where the baby can't reach, which things go to the table, etc.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:16 AM
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I have more busy/stem boxes than I ever have during my child care career. This works better for the kids I have now. Some have little building materials (little legos, bolts and nuts from tractor supply with magnet, snap ons, etc.) with real items, some are STEM products from Discount school supply, odd/round blocks, etc. I had to get out of the box a little to accommodate my individual-minded children in care. I have prop boxes for dramatic play now. I have a light table with materials, but generally only one child uses it a time, all of them choose it this way. My kids just don't do well with free play with others right now. They socialize and talk but are very "me" minded like their parents. Just had to come up with something to keep me sane.

Plus I have several tables for one child to spread them out in personalized space if they so choose.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:01 AM
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Okay, it sounds like Iím doing things similar to you guys. I put a few activities out at a time but it seems they all want to do the same activity. Which would be fine except they end up fighting, whining, telling on each other, etc. Thatís why I thought separating them would help. I also have a hard time getting them to focus on one activity at a time. It seems all they want to do is wander around.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:37 AM
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1. Use a tambourine instead of your voice if you want to get kids' attention.
2.start talking only when all of them look at you.
3. indoor voice. (If they are not able to control themselves, you can name it whispering voice). Make this request by using a whispering voice too. You will be able to do it if you use #1 and #2 written above.
4. No one kids can start playing with any next toy if (s)he doesn't clean up after previously activity. If the mess is big, all kids stop playing and clean up everything. When it's done, they can play again. Rinse and repeat.
5. No one must share unwillingly. So, if a kid wants a toy that another kid is playing with, the first one must wait his turn.
6. If kids start fighting over some toy, the toy is taken away for the rest of the day.

If you use these rules strictly, everything will work for you very well. With or without centers.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:45 AM
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ok from a bit larger center but I had 10 preschoolers. Each had a banana tag with there name on it (I love monkeys). Each center had 2-4 spots for a banana. If the velcro was full they had to go pick another place to play and wait there turn. Solved the fighting completely. Another thing I tried with a wild group of preschoolers, some of whom needed to be separated for the good of the class, was groups. We had the turtles and frogs. When the turtles had free play the frogs had learning time. The kids loved it and it solved SOO many issues. The kids in both senerios still had choices and were never forced to be anywere. We had a art center, a reading center, blocks, home living, table toys, science and writing center.
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Old 09-21-2019, 02:53 PM
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I have twelve 2 and 3 year olds. We do timed centers. Each center is 10 minutes and then they clean up and everyone moves to next center. 2 per center, and depending on how it is going the get to choose a partner or we assign them. At first we needed to remind them to stay in their area, but they soon get it or the others will remind them!
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