Tips and tricks
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  1. #1
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    Default Tips and tricks

    I realised yesterday that I'm getting better with the children I look after and am learning some time saving tips and tricks along the way. I wondered whether anyone has any childminding tips/tricks or other to share that makes your life easier?

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    Great idea for a thread! I'd say teaching them to put their coats and shoes on as young as possible is really helpful in the mornings (and parents are usually impressed!) X

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    I'm going to attempt to describe how I teach the tiny ones to put their own coats on (I'm sure many many will be familiar with this, but the odd person might find it useful):
    Place coat on floor in front of child with the hood/top of coat facing child, arms of coat stretched out at sides. Child bends over, puts their hands in the arm holes (essentially upside down), then lifts coat up over their own head and down their back, while their hands go further into the arm holes. The coat will end up on them properly!

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    Good suggestion - Perhaps you could share yours mumophone too?

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    fantastic x

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    Quote Originally Posted by redtiger21 View Post
    I'm going to attempt to describe how I teach the tiny ones to put their own coats on (I'm sure many many will be familiar with this, but the odd person might find it useful):
    Place coat on floor in front of child with the hood/top of coat facing child, arms of coat stretched out at sides. Child bends over, puts their hands in the arm holes (essentially upside down), then lifts coat up over their own head and down their back, while their hands go further into the arm holes. The coat will end up on them properly!
    We do this too- it is a Montessori method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redtiger21 View Post
    I'm going to attempt to describe how I teach the tiny ones to put their own coats on (I'm sure many many will be familiar with this, but the odd person might find it useful):
    Place coat on floor in front of child with the hood/top of coat facing child, arms of coat stretched out at sides. Child bends over, puts their hands in the arm holes (essentially upside down), then lifts coat up over their own head and down their back, while their hands go further into the arm holes. The coat will end up on them properly!
    We do that too 'magic coat' .... 3 almost 2yr olds impressed a coach party of OAPs in local coffee shop yesterday doing this!

    I second teaching them to get shoes on and off as young/soon as possible!

    I try to make sure my bag always has nappies/wipes and a snack in. As soon as we get home I refill anything that I've used, so bag is ready to go.

    Other tip is to try and prep things for meals/activities either before the children arrive or during a nap/quiet time.

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    This is going to sound really obvious but I realised yesterday I should prepare my mindees lunch prior to picking them up from pre school so we were all ready to have lunch once we got back.

    My other one is setting expectations out clearly.

    My new one is for them to start getting socks on half an hour before parents are due to arrive.

    I am now good at pre-emoting badly timed toilet trips so I get them to go at convenient times ie. Before we go out on the school run, when we get back from pre school etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    This is going to sound really obvious but I realised yesterday I should prepare my mindees lunch prior to picking them up from pre school so we were all ready to have lunch once we got back. My other one is setting expectations out clearly. My new one is for them to start getting socks on half an hour before parents are due to arrive. I am now good at pre-emoting badly timed toilet trips so I get them to go at convenient times ie. Before we go out on the school run, when we get back from pre school etc
    *pre-empting

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    Getting the children to tidy up before they go home. It's hard when they all go home at different times or if you have children of your own who might still be playing but when I manage to do that it does make my evenings run smoother.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Getting the children to tidy up before they go home. It's hard when they all go home at different times or if you have children of your own who might still be playing but when I manage to do that it does make my evenings run smoother.
    I was going to say the same!

    The children do go home at different times, but we tidy up a lot of the stuff and have out the quiet 'home time' resources. They're things like busy bags, or books - things that can be quickly put back in the bag or box before we go to the door.

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    Oh my other one is to change all nappies downstairs, I was running up and down the stairs what seemed like 100 times to change nappies when it's easier just to go in the next room and do it!

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    My invitation trays have helped in encouraging next steps.....I know their next steps and find opportunities in their play, but sometimes I got to the end of the day and hadn't found an opportunity to develop them.....I do plan activities and adult focussed too but I find that if I set up a montessori style tray and leave them on the hearth ...they are inviting the children to play with something that will specifically help in encouraging a LO's next steps. Sometimes they have a week of really focussed interest in something ...which doesn't easily allow me to cover an individual's next steps.... At some point one of them takes the tray and explores it which encourages another child ( hopefully the one it was set up for). If no one takes up the invite, it reminds me, and I can start exploring it which encourages them.

    What I would really like in the den is somewhere to store my trays! A self service cafe style tray store would be great.....I went to an auction the other week but was too scared to bid when it actually came to auction time! The one I had my eye on went for£20 though...so I need to pluck up courage!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    My invitation trays have helped in encouraging next steps.....I know their next steps and find opportunities in their play, but sometimes I got to the end of the day and hadn't found an opportunity to develop them.....I do plan activities and adult focussed too but I find that if I set up a montessori style tray and leave them on the hearth ...they are inviting the children to play with something that will specifically help in encouraging a LO's next steps. Sometimes they have a week of really focussed interest in something ...which doesn't easily allow me to cover an individual's next steps.... At some point one of them takes the tray and explores it which encourages another child ( hopefully the one it was set up for). If no one takes up the invite, it reminds me, and I can start exploring it which encourages them.

    What I would really like in the den is somewhere to store my trays! A self service cafe style tray store would be great.....I went to an auction the other week but was too scared to bid when it actually came to auction time! The one I had my eye on went for£20 though...so I need to pluck up courage!
    I've done something using a pot lid holder, which is great at storing books in my playhouse. (I just have to remind the children to bring the books back in again). I was wondering if something similar could help you with your trays? (I'm imagining a made up tray inside a bag with elastic bands around it, then stored at an angle in the pan lid holder. Ikea do these for a couple of pounds). Edited to close the bracket, which I always seem to forget to do!

    Just a thought and fantastic idea!

    LK

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    I wish I had known about the tray type of activities when my DD was much younger. Although I did snippets of the concept in other contexts, if that makes any sense. I enjoyed setting up the tray activities for mindees and they were generally very popular. I have read quite a few blogs (mostly American) where tray activities are a big part of everyday life.

    Were you after storage for your pre-prepared trays for use that day or storage to hold all of your tray style resources when not in use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    I wish I had known about the tray type of activities when my DD was much younger. Although I did snippets of the concept in other contexts, if that makes any sense. I enjoyed setting up the tray activities for mindees and they were generally very popular. I have read quite a few blogs (mostly American) where tray activities are a big part of everyday life.

    Were you after storage for your pre-prepared trays for use that day or storage to hold all of your tray style resources when not in use?
    I have white catering small and large trays that stack and store under the bureau....but once made I have run out of storage for them ...I might want to have them available for a fortnight...I used to keep them on open shelves....montessori style...but my growing resources make this tricky now.
    DH suggests high shelves on wall but this room is a bedroom if all the family stay and I want it to be easily whipped back into a no childminding clues home.....
    It is a constant dilemma - making my home efficient and easy to use for childminding and keeping as a home too....a home without children!
    My trays are a really good resource as another tip. I got 4 free as samples from a catering company ....I suggested I was a nursery ..they also sent me 4 free school lunch trays samples too....I then ordered a few more when I used them so much.

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    I've managed to pick up some trays from charity shops and carboot sales. They're usually pretty cheap as no one else seems to want them!

    I've got some lovely wooden ones that we use for all sorts of activities

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    FloraDora - I saw this on Pinterest and thought of your trays. If you know someone who is handy with wood, they could possible knock something similar up for you?

    http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/23...2150a9b4f5.jpg

    All the best,

    LK

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    Quote Originally Posted by lollipop kid View Post
    FloraDora - I saw this on Pinterest and thought of your trays. If you know someone who is handy with wood, they could possible knock something similar up for you?

    http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/23...2150a9b4f5.jpg

    All the best,

    LK
    I believe Mr Floradora is handy with wood. Sorry, just wanted to say 'Mr Floradora'!

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    I have shown Mr FLoradora the design ....which he thinks he could adapt ...but only if I don't now refer to him as Mr FD! ....it's where we would put it that's the issue! But it has made him think about making me a trolley ...which could go iin the shed or garage when not childminding.
    He currently is languishing in bed though as he has a very bad cold. ( I have had a taste of your lives and actually made breakfast and lunch yesterday and today.....I don't like it!)
    Thanks for your ideas!

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