Default Style Register Forum
Curriculum>Learning centers questions
Thriftylady 10:08 AM 08-08-2014
Ok, so most of you know I am restarting my daycare so I have questions! Before when I did daycare, I did some preschool stuff but had all ages and it was a lot of play care. Granted I was only charging for that also! Now, I want to focus somewhat more on preschool learning, but want to do learning centers as well. I am wondering what are your centers, how often do you have each one open? Are they all available every day? I am thinking I don't want all of them open every day, because I want them to be interesting when they are open.

For instance one day perhaps have out the play kitchen and food so they can play cooking and restaurant. Perhaps the next day have out the cash register and and food and shopping cart so they can play store. Some I want open all the time such as reading and writing.

I guess I am wondering what all centers you have and how many are open each day, how often do you repeat.

Also I am wondering where in the world I find dress up clothes for a price I can afford for an imagination station?
kendallina 12:07 PM 08-08-2014
I run a preschool from my home and all of my centers are available everyday. I don't find them to be bored, but I do change things out every couple of weeks (not everything, but some things). My current centers are:

- Pretend (right now we have a pet shop, but I always also keep the kitchen set and a little bit of food in there).

- Block area (wooden and cardboard blocks, dollhouse people (my dollhouse is currently broken), animals and cars, nothing really inspiring right now which is why they aren't using that are a lot)

- Book area (books, puzzles, geoboards, etc)

- Puppet show area (just donated from a former teacher)- but sometimes this space is a writing area or manipulatives area or nature area or magnets, etc.

- Art (always available, typical art stuff like glue, markers and scissors and playdough, silly putty, collage stuff, recyclable art).

- Sensory table (rice, been that way for over a month and still gets played with daily).

With the idea of changing things out everyday, it might be too much change. Of course, this depends on your ages and your group of kids, but I know mine play in different ways with the same stuff every day and they also extend how they play with it every, one day with the pet stuff, they're buying pets. The next they're playing vets with the pet stuff, the next they were the pets and were being walked around on "leashes"-scarves on their arms. I think if I had changed out what we had, it never would have developed into so many different types of play. But, you know your group best. You can always give something a try, watch how it goes and adjust.

ETA; I've gotten most of my dress up clothes from goodwill. I get pretty dresses that are like a size 8i or so to fit large on a 4-yr old. I've also found some pretty fancy shoes in slightly bigger sizes than most of my kiddos. For more costume-y type things, I usually find stuff at yard sales or after halloween sales.
MarinaVanessa 02:34 PM 08-08-2014
I provide the centers every day and I rotate the items in the centers every so often depending on the center.
Centers I have out all of the time are:
Book Nook - Rotate books out depending on what we're doing.
Blocks - I always have the wooden blocks out but I add an "extra" like cardboard blocks, Mega Bloks, or toy like cars, animals etc.
Manipulatives - I have two out at a time: Duplos, wooden train set, fish builders, bristle blocks, etc.
Dramatic Play - I have a kitchen set, a small rectangle table, a small square table and a large wooden "cubby" furniture piece with shelves and hooks. It always stores play food, wallets, purses, cook ware and dishes then I add other stuff that can be used for whatever the kids want the area to be like megaphones, telephones, costumes etc and they can add things like paper and pencils from the writing area.
Sand (sandbox) - the kids LOVE to play here so I always have the sandbox open with all of our sand toys.
Writing/Art - I have construction paper, lined paper, plain white paper, crayons, rubbing plates, tactile letters, stamps and ink pads, stickers and colored pencils all within reach. I keep the scissors, glue, collage materials and markers higher up and out of reach.
Math/Science: I keep jumbo tweezers, goggles, measuring cups, magnifying glasses and a scale on top of a short file cabinet.

I take out the paint about once a week
water about 2X's a week, more if it's hot
We also cook meals/snacks, play dough etc about 2X's a month
These I don't keep out all of the time.
AmyKidsCo 02:57 PM 08-08-2014
I do "play care" but I have a book area, housekeeping, blocks, science, sensory & art.

Everything is out all the time except sensory and some art. The sensory table is opened a couple of times a week, depending on what's all going on. For art, markers, crayons, colored paper are always out, but because we do art in my dining room paint and other messy things are only out sometimes.

I rotate toys/materials in and out randomly, depending on the children's interests, the amount of time I have, etc.
mim 05:15 AM 08-13-2014
What is "play care"
Reply Up