In the past other teachers have used movie time to keep the children entertained - but I don't plan to do this, I don't believe daycare is a place for t.v.
Other years, my children have just been possibly abit older or a different kind of group, and were content to take out a book, while I ran about in a blur of activity.
This year my children aren't content to sit with a book, they want to play, and move.And truly I don't want to make "book time", as a punishment. (Although I have twice heard myself say "That's ENOUGH, now STOP running. SIT down now, and LOOK at your book!) This comes when I'm feeling stressed, or feeling behind.
(For a good discussion of why not to use books as "punishment" of sorts, and also why "silent
reading" with young children isn't really developmentally attainable check out Lisa Murphy's book, Play.)
After talking this through with a woman who is acting as a consultant to our center, I came up with a special box, for just this period of day filled with some relaxing, sensory and other kind of activities.
I've been experimenting with what objecs will both invite the children to use the box, and as well provide a quick cleanup.
Here's the box
|I covered the box with shiny gold sticker paper we had donated from a parent, added a picture of children involved in meditating, and on the other side a cute dog picture.|
|Inside we have small baskets with manipulative objects such as rocks, plastic bugs, finger puppets; some photo albums' a "finger piano"; and a few other things.|
So far, I'm not happy with my box, the little baskets are a bit difficult for my children to open, and there is also some competitiveness to have one or two favourite items.And at the end we tend to quickly throw everything in, requiring me to reorganzie for the next day.I also have 4 "squishy" balls which are meant as stress balls so to speak, but really the children want to throw them.
It seems I still haven't found the right mix of things for inside the box, or the box is not the answer to my problem..
I'm wondering if anyone out there may have some suggestions for me?