Do you 'sit and chat' at toddler groups?
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  1. #1
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    Default Do you 'sit and chat' at toddler groups?

    Do you do the above at groups or follow the children around when they are playing? I tend to do a bit of both but most of the time the children are happily playing and if they dont need or want me to intervene then I dont. But then I feel that people are thinking look at that lazy CM sitting there ignoring the kids! What do others think?

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    Same as you really. Only thing is when I am chatting to someone, who is not a CM, I make very little eye contact as I am scanning my mindees IYKWIM, so I must appear a bit rude.
    Why hasn't Gary Barlow come to my rescue yet?

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    It kind of depends which group it is. One group is in one large room so you can see children while sat down. Another has a separate outside area so have to be on my toes!

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    I allow my children independence and sit and chat but obviously keep my eye on them. I can see what they are doing and if they need me they will come and get me. We went to Brewsters fun factory today and they are more than capable without my help.

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  7. #5
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    I am constantly following the children round making sure they are ok....I think I get on their nerves sometimes. My assistant sits down most of the time so they always know where she is if they need / want anything. To be honest, I think I need to learn to relax a little more when I am at playgroups, I feel like I am just waiting for something bad to happen. I guess there is no wrong / right way as long as the children are safe and happy.

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  9. #6
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    My mindie has just turned 3 and I sit and chat. I sit with a group of mums who I have known for a long time. I keep an eye on what she is up to and intervene if necessary but she very happily plays and does her own thing, and appears when she wants me hold her massive basket of play food or gives us all plastic cake

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  11. #7
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    It depends on the mindee. I have one who will go off and play really well on their own or with other children and the group and tbh if i followed them round all the time I would be interfering/spoiling their activity game. But I have another who will just stand in the middle of the room and do nothing without a alot of interacting/prompting/encouragement.

    So sometimes I sit and chat, but always have one eye on the children. Mind you, most of the people i know/chat to at Toddler groups are other childminders/nannies. At one toddler group there's probably more of us that parents!

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    I sit and chat with one eye on the kids. We have so little time for free play at my house that I figure its a great opportunity to spread their wings

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  14. #9
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    It depends on the age of the child and their capabilities. I usually have a 2,3 and 4 year old and a 17 month old. I go round with the youngest and just keep a general eye on the others. There are other minders there, some just sit and chat and others follow their mindees. I suppose it's what works for you really and if it feels right, then it doesn't matter what other people say

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    I sit and chat whilst keeping an eye on the children whilst they are playing, if i have the 6 month old with me then i sit on the carpet with her and let her play with the toys near other careers so i can still join in the conversation as well.

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    I long to sit and chat but my paranoia (sp) won't let me. I am paranoid that the kids might hurt themselves and I am (to a lesser extent) paranoid that other people will think I am not attentive enough.

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    I sit and watch the children and chat while i do so, I sit with a group of childminders and always in the same place and I can see all the
    room and the door.
    Cath

  18. #13
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    I think it's wrong when you can't work out who a child belongs to, when there's a group of childminders sat down chatting & theyre one of their Mindees.

    The EYFS says to give them time on their own but you're still meant to be supervising and being close enough to help scaffold their learning or provide subtle support in their interactions with others

    Childminders sat down chatting for 80% of the time drives me nuts at my local groups and it gives childminders a bad name.

    As either rightly or wrongly the CMs give them the impression they sit on their bottoms all the time, even at home.

    Sprry everyone but It's not a good advertisement for CMs

    Sorry, it'a something that bugs me...
    Sweetpea x

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  20. #14
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    We have a group of CMs that sit in a circle at one of our local groups so they can 'see everything'....

    Makes me laugh as they're too busy chatting they never see their children having difficulties or needing help with taking turns.

    They're notorious at this particular groups, all the parents talk about them
    Sweetpea x

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    Sorry, I'd better calm down now, not everyone is like this... Sorry for ranting x
    Sweetpea x

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    When my little boy was younger I would take him to play groups and all the mothers thought the childminders were lazy, just sitting chatting. They thought they were looking after their kids but they were running riot without them knowing, pushing and not taking turns etc. So on that basis I will sit and play with the children I take to groups and not sit around having a chat. I guess everyone has different opinions and will do what is best for them.

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  24. #17
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    Well the lo I look after has after 6 months finally got the confidence to leave my side at a toddler group. So no I dont follow more than often he brings a toy for me to play with him. He also is beginning to enjoy going in a car.

    I would never allow one of mine to go round causing havoc but sometimes when they are with friends I am the intruder in their play so I leave them to it :-D
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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  26. #18
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    I attend a childminding group once a week and it is in a room that is secure and the children are able to play together and learn about socializing and enjoying playing with other children, we childminders do sit and discuss childminding issues etc whilst having a coffee and the children are playing together. I can see the children at all times whilst we are there, but I feel that it is a time for them to enjoy some freedom and for us to enjoy some adult company and discuss any concerns we have as well. When we are in my home setting I play with and plan activities all the time so i do not think that when at the group i need to do this, it is nice that the children can make friends and learn socialize skills together I feel. I know that they are safe in this group setting too.

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  28. #19
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    I always know where mine are at a toddler group, I always supervise them doing craft and at snack time and watch them to make sure that
    a) they are behaving and being kind and
    b) making sure other children haven't attacked them - had 2 children scratched really badly in separate incidents at one toddler group, saw another child viciously bite another child and all this happened while the "parents" were chatting and drinking their coffee/tea
    I never get time for a hot drink as always worry about where to put it down when my mindees need me.

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  30. #20
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    I too, do both.
    I think it does the los good to have the confidence to go and explore without me being 2 steps behind them, but they know exactly where I am if they need me.
    It also helps to acclimatise them for when they go into Nursery and school and suddenly - they're on their own!
    I also keep an eye open for any Obs opportunities as they seem to be more "unaware" of me being there.

 

 
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