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fitsoflaughter 03:06 PM 05-22-2015
do you have mixed age groups? how do you get them to all play nicely? What toys do you provide? Activities? This is the first year I have had such a big age difference. I literally have one in each year from 1-8. Two are 8. The 5 and unders play great with all the toys, but its the older three i struggle with. They get everyone riled up, running, yelling, and just being crazy. I think it might be because I am not prepared for the older children. All they want to do is play video games, and I really try to aim for no screen time. They are always getting the younger kids on things that drive me nuts, like "your my best friend" or "your not my best friend" or Only the cool kids can do this. My 8 yr old does not play with toys. he wants to jump on the trampoline, or ride his scooter, or play video games, or hide out in his room watching tv. I love the trampoline, but its always a fight. some kids cant be on with other kids, or they get hurt, i have some that are too young to be on it, but they are allowed at home, so they just cry the whole time. I cant send them out alone because they have to be constantly supervised, same as with playing outside. The older three can go out alone, but not the ones 5 and under, but they cant understand that. I am frustrated and dont know what to do. I don't want to have to turn away the family with the older children, but if i cant contain the situation i may have to. any suggestions for toys or activities or anything really?
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Michael 06:40 PM 05-22-2015
From another tag: https://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=mixed+ages
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childcaremom 06:50 AM 05-23-2015
I only have 3 dcks but they are 1, 3, and 5.

The 1 yo is basically content to explore on his own. I gave the 3 and 5 yo limited structure the first week here and let them feel their way around what they could do, what the rules were, what games they could play together, etc. The first week was rough but now they play together really well. They have their moments but I think that is more due to personality than age.

I try to have some activities planned for both and some specifically for the 5 yo. I set up an experiment station at the mud kitchen and she plays there all the time. I put out different containers, bowls, utensils and some coloured water, baking soda, flour, sugar, vinegar, etc and let her have it. I have also done up a treasure hunt type thing for her to find things by following the clues. She loves that.

When they have their off moments, I set up different stations and have them rotate through them.

My backyard is awesome in that I have a huge deck which is fenced and gated from the yard. So I can separate if I need to and have activities set up for olders that I can keep the littles away from. My indoor area is set up similarly but we are hardly indoors anymore.

SAers are a whole other ball of wax. I would suggest that if you allow the video games to use them as a 'reward' only. So if they play nicely in the morning, are respectful, etc (whatever it is you need them to improve on) then they can play the video games during rest period. If not, they have to do something else (books, colouring, resting themselves, whatever). It will be hard the first little while but hopefully will improve quickly.

Hope that helps!
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Tags:activities, games, mixed ages, older kids, sa, toys
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