At Home

Resources for the children

We spend first thing at home while we wait for everyone to arrive. Unless it's absolutely pouring with rain, we then head out for our adventures.

We are always back home in time for lunch (usually by 11.45am). We all sit at the table to eat (including myself as a role model). I have booster seats on all my chairs, and a couple of high chairs if needed by younger children.

After lunch, those children who take a nap go upstairs to sleep (I have space for 4 travel cots). Those children who do not nap stay downstairs and are encouraged to stay relatively quiet and rest themselves. I often put the TV on for a short time to enable this to happen (after gaining parents' permission). I use this time for a bit of tidying up and to complete my daily notes on Baby's Days.

Once everyone is up from their naps, we tend to have a crazy time singing and dancing! I wonder what my neighbours think of me if they ever look through the window!

Children are then encouraged to play with what they want and how they want. I follow the 'Planning in the Moment' idea where children are free to make their own choices about what they do dependent on their interests and stages of development. I am just a facilitator during these times and try to be amongst the children on the floor. I model play, I question, I sort out disagreements (usually around sharing!), I make observations and take photos, I engage with the children and try to move their learning on in that moment. I also spot any interests and make loose plans to include them in what we do the following week.

I am reducing the amount of plastic toys in my setting and favour natural resources and authentic objects. For example, we have a real 'old-fashioned' telephone to use along with two old mobile phones (great for calling the Dr when those pesky monkeys are jumping on the bed!). I have a metal teapot, metal cups, real spoons and a cocktail shaker (!), and I have a habit of filling containers with loose parts which are brilliant at helping children develop their imaginative play. I try to steer away from those toys which only have one purpose, and also find that authentic resources mean that children take better care of things because they know they are 'real'.

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