how structured are you?
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  1. #1
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    Default how structured are you?

    I am not very structured at all. We go out every morning, come home for lunch and if possible a sleep followed by an afternoon of what we fancy, whether that be arts and crafts, baking, singing, reading etc. Then the children have free play after school until parents come to collect.
    I was talking to a childminder yesterday who was telling me that they have set story time, set singing time and quiet time from twenty minutes before the parents come to collect.
    I know neither is right and neither is wrong - it's just personal preference but I am really interested in what other minders do

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  3. #2
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    We go out in the morning, either playgroup or park then back for lunch, nap/quiet time, then an afternoon activity at home-craft/baking/water play in the garden!

    I have only been minding for 2 weeks now and so far my routine is working my child and mindees.

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    We have a very loosely structured day.


    From arrival until 9.30am is free play with a limited selection of toys. This allows my family time to get ready and go to work and school, and for all the mindees to arrive. Although I'm obviously supervising them, I'm also getting my family sorted and seeing to arrivals. From 9.30 till 10.30 it's still free play, but with a bigger choice of resources that I have selected for a reason (eg to follow planning or interests). Although the children are free playing, I will give my input with suggestions, questions etc.

    Around 10.30 we pack away and have a snack. The hour and a half until lunch time is taken up by outdoor play, going out, craft etc.

    While I make lunch the children play quietly, often with a busy bag. After lunch we have a story and do some singing before sleep time for any that need it. While they sleep I do guided activities with the older children. These are aimed at specific areas, such as counting, writing etc.

    When everyone is awake again it's snack time and back to free playing, either inside or in the garden.

    The children all go home at different time, but for any that are still here at 5pm we have a tidy up and do something quiet until the last one leaves at 5.30.

    But, as I said, it's a very loose plan and can easily change as we go along

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  6. #4
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    From 8am we always do free play until all the children are here, then toddler group which starts at 10. (They all do round here) back for lunch at 11.30, then nap time/quiet time until about 2ish and then usually a craft/baking/park trip/free play in the afternoon until parents collect. It's fairly structured but definitely subject to change depending on moods etc!

  7. #5
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    The only routine I follow is set by breakfast snacks and lunch. These are are set times a day and in between I don't normally plan to much. If the children are cranky it's free play as activities are a waste of time these days. If the children want to do activities or play outside I let them decide. Obviously we do do planned activities such as baking or art for special activities but not every day. For example I have been doing Easter baking and art for the last 2 weeks when the childten have been the form as I didn't want to leave it until this week to do all and rush it or try it on a day they are not in the mood. If they want dress up box or jigsaws or games the . older ones know to ask and we get them out. The children go home at 4.30, 5.00 and 5.40. An hour before last child goes home I have wing do down time. We tidy all the toys away brush floors and tidy away any dishes. Then it TV until parents come. Over the years I found this the best way as if they doing something when a parent arrives they don't want to go home yet or ask their parents to cone in while they finish as which I learnt to say we can finish this tomorrow as it's now your time to go home
    Tess1981

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    Default

    In my head its structed however on paper its very changeable
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    Quote Originally Posted by FussyElmo View Post
    In my head its structed however on paper its very changeable
    Lol !

    I tend to do free play from arrival to school run/till everyone here. Then we go out or sometimes free play till morning snack. Then maybe we go out or do adult led/planned activities till lunch ( unless very engrossed in free play in which case I extend that )
    ... so really mornings are a bit flexible as sometimes LOs meet me at sch or at activities.
    Lunch and then sleep or quiet time. Followed by story and song time and school run. Home for activities and free play and tea and home time. We usually go and read books/watch a dvd after tea and before home time once tidied up.

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    LOs dropped off at 8.15 am then school run for my Daughter who attends school in town. Different playgroup every morning.Home for lunch then nap time. Free play/making cakes/painting/playing in garden etc after nap. School run at 3.15pm then either toy library (playgroup) park or home activity until pick up time.
    Then a lovely glass of red which is ALWAYS a planned activity !!!!!!

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  13. #9
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    I am far too structured at present but can't be helped. Monday mornings look like this:
    8-8:15 LO arrives, straight into bike trailer and off to school (30 min journey there and back - straps, helmets, persuading DD to sit still takes AGES)
    8.50 Back home, take LO and DD3 out of trailer, go inside to get DD's play group bag
    9 LO arrives, straight into pushchair (other LO in back pack), walk DD to play group
    9.30 get back, snack straight away because LO needs nap
    10 nap time
    Breathe sigh of relief and play with awake LO
    11:30 lunch for LO
    12 wake sleeping LO if not awake, take pushchair and back pack again to play group pick up
    12:30 as soon as we get back: Lunch for other LO and DD

    I love my Thursday mornings when we get to just stay home and they can have uninterrupted play without me having to move them onto the next thing!

  14. #10
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    Mine is fairly structured but lots of free play! Most of my little ones arrive around nine, so if any come any earlier I give breakfast , then free play until we leave for a group about 10ish. Most mornings we do a group, others we free play with maybe an activity like painting or play doh or garden / water play. Depends on how everyone is! Regardless it's lunch by 12, naps by 1215, then up for school run at 145. Home230 my girls do homework and little ones happy to free play , then afternoon snack and tidy up / pack them up. Often a bit of tv to wind them down and ease into going home

  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by karen2010 View Post
    LOs dropped off at 8.15 am then school run for my Daughter who attends school in town. Different playgroup every morning.Home for lunch then nap time. Free play/making cakes/painting/playing in garden etc after nap. School run at 3.15pm then either toy library (playgroup) park or home activity until pick up time.
    Then a lovely glass of red which is ALWAYS a planned activity !!!!!!
    Do you ever get bored of play groups? I started to so now we do one maybe two per week. The rest of the time we go to the park, library, museum etc. I find that I have more enthusiasm than I did.
    Btw I don't mean it as a criticism - we all do things differently - I get criticised for going out and about too much

  16. #12
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    I don't go to groups none local the nearest is about 10 miles away and only have a little car can't fit them all in and on days I quiet if we go out its to visit another cm or I to town or visit friends with children
    Tess1981

  17. #13
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    Gosh I'm totally unstructured. I see what mood everyone is in in the morning then plan from there. If some had a bad night we stay in and play so they can sleep. If they all wide awake and happy we might go group. Come home lunch then nap. Then we spend the afternoon free play and getting messy.

    Although some days like today everyone wanted a morning nap so they have had it. Then we all spent two hours at the park had a picnic all because the sun was shinning and it felt like it would be fun. I try to treat all children like my own and try to do everything like I would with my own child. Which does mean we don't do the same thing each day or even each week. Parents have always been happy with that and children seem to love it too.

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  19. #14
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    I only have a 2y old ATM 1230 to 1830 four days a week and a nearly 3y on a weds tto so not v structured we do groups on a weds and park etc but he won't do arts and crafts so pretty much free play x
    I love my friends who live inside my laptop xx

  20. #15
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    I sound very like you. There is structure to mealtimes, school runs and nap times really and that's about it and even they change slightly from day to day.

    There are lots of outing in my home and lots of free play (although I say free play there are lots of activities purposely set out to follow my planning). This is what works for the children I have now however things have changed from when I started three and a half years ago. I thought you had to have structure so tried to run like a nursery and I didn't like it. I'm not a nursery and don't want to be. All of my mindees parents now have said they have chosen me for the amount of outings I go on so wouldn't want to change that

  21. #16
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    I am not structured at all. We go to playgroup in the morning and we go with the flow the rest of the day. I do whatever the children want to do, what the weather is like. we have a routine of breakfast, playgroup, lunch, sleeps etc but no structure as such. i want it to be an experience for the children as close to home as possible

  22. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by yummyripples View Post
    I am not very structured at all. We go out every morning, come home for lunch and if possible a sleep followed by an afternoon of what we fancy, whether that be arts and crafts, baking, singing, reading etc. Then the children have free play after school until parents come to collect.
    I was talking to a childminder yesterday who was telling me that they have set story time, set singing time and quiet time from twenty minutes before the parents come to collect.
    I know neither is right and neither is wrong - it's just personal preference but I am really interested in what other minders do
    I'm the same and so glad you have posted, I free play whilst everyone arrives then off to a group, this includes craft and singing, back for lunch then nap time then free play until school pickup as we normally only have half an hour, then it's free play after school til tea time and home time.

  23. #18
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    Yay - I am glad I am not the only one.

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  25. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by yummyripples View Post
    Yay - I am glad I am not the only one.
    That's the beauty of childminding - we're free to do whatever suits us and the families we care for

    I know several families have come to be because they liked the structured approach, while others would run a mile because of it

  26. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post

    That's the beauty of childminding - we're free to do whatever suits us and the families we care for
    Definitely. I am in actually in awe of people who are organised enough to be structured!
    Out of interest, when you have set routines like the babies sleeping, do you manage to go for days out

 

 
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