Large outdoor play equipment that can be used in different ways...
Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  4
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    69
    Registered Childminder since
    sept 12
    Non childminder member
    Please select
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Large outdoor play equipment that can be used in different ways...

    Hello I wonder if anyone can give me some ideas... I had my first Ofsted inspection last week I've been given a notice to improve by 22nd April. They've said I need to provide a range of large play equipment that can be used in different ways. The thing is I've already got a large playhouse, tons of sit and ride cars, bikes, scooters etc, pop up tents and tunnels, a parachute, pull along wagon that can carry 2 or 3 children at a go, balls, sand and water tables so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what else to provide. I took down my swing set and slide when I first registered as they weren't very safe and haven't yet got enough money to replace them (got my first child 2 weeks before my inspection). I thought maybe I could buy some new guttering, drainpipes and used tyres as I'm sure my mindee and my own children would have fun with them but not sure if Ofsted would approve as they aren't strictly speaking toys....
    I'm really getting stressed out thinking about it - cost is definitely an issue as the other half doesn't earn much either....
    Oh and to add insult to injury she also said I need to make better use of outside area to give opportunities for investigating the natural world eg by providing chimes, streamers and bubbles.... I clearly remember telling her that we already have streamers and bubbles and even showed her evidence of bubbles being used in mindees daily diary on several occasions.. As for chimes we don't have a tree to hang them in??
    The day of the inspection was bitterly cold with light snow and ice on the ground so we did very little outdoor play as both my own child and my mindee had colds. When we did go outside they just wanted to come inside again (so did I tbh!!!) so had little opportunity to show the play activities we would usually do. In fact it was so cold even the inspector stayed indoors and watched us from the kitchen window!
    Anyway sorry for the rant - had to get all that off my chest! Any ideas that any of you could share would be so gratefully received. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3,857
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 97
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Sounds like you have a good variety already and the inspector was struggling with things for improvement?
    As well as what you have we have a cement mixing tray, digging pit, mud kitchen, small toddler slide, see saw and little tykes cube slide, it has crawling holes at the bottom and doubles up as a den with blankets thrown over it.

    My wind chime hangs from the washing line.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    out somewhere prob on the school run!
    Posts
    92
    Registered Childminder since
    09/2012
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think you have lotsof toys for outdoors, more than i have and on my inspection they didnt even mention what toys i had outside, in fact mine were all in the shed as it was raining. gutters etc are a good idea, they like things that become others if you get what i mean? do you have parks/woods etc local? I dont have massive of large play equip, we visit park,playgym soft play to access large equip. how about a pile of logs for insects to make homes in, tyres filled with a bag of compost for digging/planting. if you can get hold of a tree stump thye good for jumping on/off, climbimg, balancing on a log. Hope i've been some help. try not to panic. Am sure itwill work out ok xx

  4. Likes Greengrass74 liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Uckfield, East Sussex
    Posts
    140
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Non childminder member
    parent
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    From one of my local carpet shops I scrounged / begged /flattered my lashes and got two cardboard tubes from vinyl flooring! We use them to roll things down an I have cut another into mall bits and be build with them! We are going to leave some outside n the rain in a tray so the children can see what happens with them!

    What about some seed growing? We are going to make a Bug house from wooden pallets see which insects we can home, also have an old fish tank which will be our wormery! And what about laminating bits to put outside, when its a tad better I will hang the alphabet line and number line outside and some nursery rhymes. Also a washing line and dolls clothes and pegs. But as others have said you do have a lot! I've also managed to get a small square off cut of carpet an have a basket of outside books.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,858
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 10
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Good grief, I wonder what they were thinking... I have no climbing frames, no chimes, no streamers, no playhouse. I have some guttering, a water butt, buckets and sand pit, a few planks of wood and chunks of railway sleepers, balls/bats, chalks, a couple of ride-ons, some bamboo poles tied into a teepee.

    Do you access large play equipment outside your home (play ground etc)? if so, that counts if you can explain how/when you use it.

    I would be writing a strongly worded complaint quoting exactly what they have said point by point and your evidence to show you do do it (photograph/photocopy excerpts of daily diary etc, get quotes from parents etc).

    Did they have any other comments? It seems odd to give such a high-impact grade for just this area. Were they just looking for something to niggle over because they had other concerns? (sorry, not wanting to sound negative but just seems odd to not grade you at least satisfactory just for these 'issues')

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,858
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 10
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cupcakencookie View Post
    Hello I wonder if anyone can give me some ideas... I had my first Ofsted inspection last week I've been given a notice to improve by 22nd April. They've said I need to provide a range of large play equipment that can be used in different ways. The thing is I've already got a large playhouse, tons of sit and ride cars, bikes, scooters etc, pop up tents and tunnels, a parachute, pull along wagon that can carry 2 or 3 children at a go, balls, sand and water tables so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what else to provide.
    Reading again and having a think...actually all those things (above) are quite 'closed' in that they have a defined 'use' prescribed by the manufacturer, rather than open-ended like a plank of wood or an old tyre where the child is 'forced' to use their own imaginations when playing with them. That is probably what they are getting at. It can be pretty much zero-cost to change: Freecycle is a great source of all kinds of odd things (that is where I got my tree stump and guttering), do you have lengths of rope in the shed, planks, downpipes lurking somewhere that you can dig out or get from someone? Old tyres I am sure can be found somewhere for free. We had fun with old bicycle tyres once. Large plant pots or buckets, fill with beach pebbles or pinecones etc.

    Do you keep wellies by the back door, rain suits by the back door?... all shows you are prepared to get outdoor whenever and whatever.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    683
    Registered Childminder since
    Jan 13
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    *hug* I think Moggy has probably hit the nail on the head, and that guttering, tyres, logs etc sounds like a good plan, but I think it's definitely worth writing and querying what the inspector said re the bubbles and streamers, and a notice to improve sounds pretty harsh on that criteria alone

  9. Likes 3 little ducks liked this post
  10. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    puddle jumping
    Posts
    880
    Registered Childminder since
    July 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Crikey, sounds a bit extreme to me. Seek clarification. Pity the inspectors don't leave you a contact number when they leave so you can contact them directly.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    4,247
    Registered Childminder since
    may 05
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I know a minder who doesn't have a garden but who lives near a park - the park has fixed standard equipment - nothing made of natural materials and not a wind chime in sight. Your outdoor equipment sounds the same as mine apart from I do have a mud kitchen - but I am waiting for better weather before I let mindees play with it again.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    out somewhere prob on the school run!
    Posts
    92
    Registered Childminder since
    09/2012
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Mud kitchen???? sorry, brains gone to mush.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    683
    Registered Childminder since
    Jan 13
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hectors house View Post
    I know a minder who doesn't have a garden but who lives near a park - the park has fixed standard equipment - nothing made of natural materials and not a wind chime in sight. Your outdoor equipment sounds the same as mine apart from I do have a mud kitchen - but I am waiting for better weather before I let mindees play with it again.
    Yep, I have a really small garden and I mentioned this to the pre-reg inspector and she said "Well it's bigger than some" and I told her I have balls, beanbags, play tent, trike, sand pit etc + a small veg patch, and that I would take them to the playground over the road lots (it does have some logs ) and the woods/ fields 10minutes away whenever I can. She seemed fine with all this although I did tell her I wanted to get some crates and lengths of guttering for ball/ water play when I had some income - sounds like I'd definitely better had

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    4,247
    Registered Childminder since
    may 05
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny P View Post
    Mud kitchen???? sorry, brains gone to mush.
    Mine is an old plastic kitchen where I let children make mud pies, mud milkshakes, mud cakes etc - I have a box full of old saucepans, funnels, bowls, serving spoons etc. Some people have made an area that is used for the same purpose but may be made out of old wooden boxes, planks, etc - try a search on the forum.

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    203
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I don't understand the inspectors notice to improve? I had nothing in my garden except a football goal and tire swing and nothing was said about it, I got 'Good'. I would query their decision, what more do they want.... A travelling circus?? Honestly. I am obviously going to do more to the garden this year but I don't want it to look like a nursery garden.

  16. Likes 3 little ducks liked this post
  17. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    288
    Registered Childminder since
    Decembe
    Non childminder member
    childminder
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    what puzzles me is how they can grade someone who has been childminding only 2 weeks. What paperwork can you have built up in that time, what routines can you establish ? You are just finding your feet and getting to know the child too so I think it very unfair to come out at such an early stage. Also it sounds like you have loads of play equipment. So does the inspector come out again to grade you ?

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    574
    Registered Childminder since
    aug 05
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I dont get this at all , i have no large play equipment in my garden , its too small , the largest thing i have is a play house

    what is this inspector on

    I think you should seek clarification as it sounds like an odd request to me

    and you have enough already , plus you use local park

    theres no requirement to have swings, climbing frames and the like , so im not sure what she was getting at

    all the suggestions are good , crates , guttering , tyres , cardboard boxes, tree stumps , logs and carpet rolls , maybe resources for den making , blankets, cushions , tents and tunnels

    cant think what more you would need really , good luck

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    135
    Registered Childminder since
    Aug 09
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix2010 View Post

    all the suggestions are good , crates , guttering , tyres , cardboard boxes, tree stumps , logs and carpet rolls , maybe resources for den making , blankets, cushions , tents and tunnels
    I'd agree with this. She told you to get open-ended play equipment, so she's not talking about you buying a climbing frame.

    It seems unlikely you'd get notice to improve for just this though, were there other comments that show she had greater concerns? When the children were playing inside, was it similarly 'closed' play - e.g. a happyland house is a happyland house (on the whole) whereas 'lets use these blocks to build a doll's house/animal shelter/garage for the cars is open-ended and allows the children to explore and use their imaginations. Perhaps the inspector saw a pattern that concerned her - although if she did you'd expect her to tell you...

  20. Likes hectors house liked this post
  21. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    69
    Registered Childminder since
    sept 12
    Non childminder member
    Please select
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blue bear View Post
    Sounds like you have a good variety already and the inspector was struggling with things for improvement?
    As well as what you have we have a cement mixing tray, digging pit, mud kitchen, small toddler slide, see saw and little tykes cube slide, it has crawling holes at the bottom and doubles up as a den with blankets thrown over it.

    My wind chime hangs from the washing line.
    Thank you so much for your ideas - I especially like the idea of a mud kitchen - sounds like fun and I can clear some much needed space from my own kitchen cupboards!

  22. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    69
    Registered Childminder since
    sept 12
    Non childminder member
    Please select
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    Good grief, I wonder what they were thinking... I have no climbing frames, no chimes, no streamers, no playhouse. I have some guttering, a water butt, buckets and sand pit, a few planks of wood and chunks of railway sleepers, balls/bats, chalks, a couple of ride-ons, some bamboo poles tied into a teepee.

    Do you access large play equipment outside your home (play ground etc)? if so, that counts if you can explain how/when you use it.

    I would be writing a strongly worded complaint quoting exactly what they have said point by point and your evidence to show you do do it (photograph/photocopy excerpts of daily diary etc, get quotes from parents etc).

    Did they have any other comments? It seems odd to give such a high-impact grade for just this area. Were they just looking for something to niggle over because they had other concerns? (sorry, not wanting to sound negative but just seems odd to not grade you at least satisfactory just for these 'issues')
    Sorry I didn't make myself very clear - I got satisfactory but with notice to improve. The other improvement required was regarding a couple of very small tears in my kitchen flooring (vinyl) from when I pulled my washing machine out. They were only small and not raised but she told me they were a tripping hazard and gave me 24 hours to deal with them - which I've now done. I know I didn't come across as well as I'd have liked - I was up until 2am trying to prepare as much paperwork as humanely possible and then up several times in the night with my 2 children who were both full of colds.... so we then all overslept and left the house in a hurry to get to school on time and collect mindee, leaving some toast crumbs on the kitchen top which I intended cleaning up as soon as I got back but the inspector was waiting outside the house when we got home and saw it which started things off badly Things only got worse when we washed hands for snacks and my little one used the mindee's towel to dry his hands. (I was chuffed he remembered without being asked!) By the time she left I felt like throwing in the towel pardon the pun!
    I spoke with the parents though and they are really happy with me and say they've noticed how happy their 18mth old is - the inspector commented on how happy and settled he was too, they've also noticed a big improvement with the attitudes of their school-age child who I also have after school. I've managed to work through both children's fear of dogs - they are both now madly in love with our dog, the 18mth old now drinks from a cup with no lid, has learnt several nursery rhymes by heart and has started trying to use the potty whilst with me so though I know I'm far from perfect I must be doing something right!
    So it looks like I'll be stuck with satisfactory for the next 3 years but want to offer the very best possible care that I can as I really love the children and the job which is what it's all about!
    Thank you so much for your fabulous suggestions - will definitely be using many of them! Also I'm sorry about the essay....I always did talk too much!

  23. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    135
    Registered Childminder since
    Aug 09
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Oh bless, it does sound like you got off to a bad start and the inspector probably saw you looking tired and stressed and the toast crumbs and decided she'd need to be really picky. In contrast, my inspector came 30 mins late (10.30am) so I'd had ages to prepare and clean up after breakfast and no school run or anything to contend with, so it was much less rushed.

    A lot of it comes down to the inspector on the day though and if they have any personal bugbears. The comment on your vinyl flooring is just really picky! I hope it wasn't expensive for you to rectify?

    It sounds like you're doing a great job though, so don't lose heart. Your mindee and parents are happy with you and thats the important thing!

  24. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    956
    Registered Childminder since
    Jul 10
    Latest Inspection Grade
    GOOD
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cupcakencookie View Post
    Sorry I didn't make myself very clear - I got satisfactory but with notice to improve. The other improvement required was regarding a couple of very small tears in my kitchen flooring (vinyl) from when I pulled my washing machine out. They were only small and not raised but she told me they were a tripping hazard and gave me 24 hours to deal with them - which I've now done. I know I didn't come across as well as I'd have liked - I was up until 2am trying to prepare as much paperwork as humanely possible and then up several times in the night with my 2 children who were both full of colds.... so we then all overslept and left the house in a hurry to get to school on time and collect mindee, leaving some toast crumbs on the kitchen top which I intended cleaning up as soon as I got back but the inspector was waiting outside the house when we got home and saw it which started things off badly Things only got worse when we washed hands for snacks and my little one used the mindee's towel to dry his hands. (I was chuffed he remembered without being asked!) By the time she left I felt like throwing in the towel pardon the pun!
    I spoke with the parents though and they are really happy with me and say they've noticed how happy their 18mth old is - the inspector commented on how happy and settled he was too, they've also noticed a big improvement with the attitudes of their school-age child who I also have after school. I've managed to work through both children's fear of dogs - they are both now madly in love with our dog, the 18mth old now drinks from a cup with no lid, has learnt several nursery rhymes by heart and has started trying to use the potty whilst with me so though I know I'm far from perfect I must be doing something right!
    So it looks like I'll be stuck with satisfactory for the next 3 years but want to offer the very best possible care that I can as I really love the children and the job which is what it's all about!
    Thank you so much for your fabulous suggestions - will definitely be using many of them! Also I'm sorry about the essay....I always did talk too much!
    Thats harsh. Our Ofsted inspector didn't even go outdoors or even in the kitchen or bathroom in fact. She placed an area to improve on our report but this was only because we had mentioned this was an area to improve on She couldn't think of anything else.

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Quick Links and Advertisements

Important Information Links
Some Useful Quick Links
Advertisements

 

You can also find us on:
Large outdoor play equipment that can be used in different ways... Large outdoor play equipment that can be used in different ways... Large outdoor play equipment that can be used in different ways...

We use cookies to make this site as useful as possible. They are small text files placed in your browser to track usage of our site but they don’t tell us who you are.
By continuing to use this site you are consenting to cookies being placed on your computer. Find out more here: Cookies in Use

Childminding Help and the Childminding Forum are part of Childcare.co.uk