Outings - How often
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  1. #1
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    Default Outings - How often

    This is more a question for normal times but how often do you take the children out of the house? How do you manage all the children getting an outing if you have different children on different days etc? Do your parents expect outings and how often?

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    In normal times ( or at least when we are allowed to go on 'outings' ) we generally go out most days !!!

    This might be a visit to a toddler group, a short visit to the library/the market/coffee shop/park, a trip on the bus, a duck feed or a little walk, or a whole day in the woods/at the beach/etc. We sometimes just pop to the zoo for a quick walk and are home again with 90 mins, or we could be there all day! in fact, we could be anywhere for the whole day! I try not to be out all day, every day, but if the weather is nice, or we're having fun, then we're out! I usually have to back for school runs and home for tea etc in term time. In holidays without school runs, we're often out all day!

    If i notice that we've been out alot, then I aim to have a day at home. As i have different children who come on different days, i try to rotate our 'general' outings, so all the children get to go to the woods/beach etc over the course of a few weeks. Obviously toddler groups only happen on set days! i don't go to those every week, usually every 2nd or 3rd week.

    I don't know that my parents 'expect' outings, except it is something i do a lot! I feel that part of my job is to introduce the children to new places and new experiences, and then to consolidate those, so that when they are older, they know what 'the beach' , 'the forest' or 'a tiger' is. We live about 45 mins from the the beach, and one of DDs friend several years ago, had been to the beach in spain every year, but didn't believe DD that there was a beach 45 mins drive away !!!! and that it is possible to go to the beach when it is wet/cold etc !!!

    I know that parents who choose me, like that i'm out and about exploring, and not just staying at home, or even going to the same round of toddler groups week in and week out. If a parent didn't want me to go out, they would not be a parent for me.

    i think though, you just have to do what you feel happy with, and confident with, and do what YOU want to do, not what parents tell you to do. I had a mum who told me several times about an 'amazing' soft play that she thought i'd love .... yes it looked good, but it was over an hours drive away ( my limit is about an hour each way ), had time limited sessions, wouldn't suit my older children, and was rather expensive for the number of children i'd have. I think she was disappointed i didn't take her child, but i said it would be much more of a 'treat' if it was something they did together, than somewhere that went to, that lost the 'specialness'. I do wonder if the fact that we visit the zoo so often, spoils it when the children go with their parents, but it appears that parents either don't take them ( as it is expensive without a pass ) or they like the children being able to show them around and talk to them about the animals.

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    It depends what you mean by 'outings'.

    I get out and about most days, lockdown or not. At the moment it is all just the woods or open spaces. Before lockdown we would do playgroups, library or free events. I very, very rarely took minded children somewhere where you had to pay an entrance fee.

    I'm lucky that I have always had sensible parents and as long as their children were getting fresh air and exercise they were happy. I think they were happy that I varied the types of places we went to, and more often than not we made it purposeful to their child, so for example, in the diary I might write that their child had managed to climb up the slide all by themselves after finding it tricky the last time we went, or their child spotted a beetle and so we followed it etc etc. That way, they know that their child's needs and interests are being met.

    Some days we just do garden play and that's really important too because then they can just really access your continuous provision on a deeper level.

    I don't drive so everywhere has to be within walking distance. When I lived in London I wouldn't mind going a couple of stops on the tube or a bus, but here public transport is virtually non existent.

    Some nurseries never go out of their own grounds, even when their own grounds aren't big or exciting. You have to do what you feel happy with. I am happier if I can get out for a walk.

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    I don't have access to a car during the week so anywhere we go is either a walk or on the bus or train. Obviously we're not doing the latter at the moment.

    I don't see it as my job to take children to the zoo etc. We go to toddler groups, the library, the museum, parks etc, but nowhere 'bigger'. Parents know that from the beginning so if they want a childminder who does big trips out, they know not to come to me.
    During the summer I might do a couple of trips further afield, but I never feel obliged to.

    It might be different if I could use the car during the week, but as I can't, I don't worry about it.

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    I mainly go on walks or to parks -even pre lockdown. I dont know whats expected and I try and warn parents that I dont do outings as such but I always wonder if despite me saying this they are disappointed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    I mainly go on walks or to parks -even pre lockdown. I dont know whats expected and I try and warn parents that I dont do outings as such but I always wonder if despite me saying this they are disappointed!
    I am sure, that if you tell parents what you usually do, then they will not expect anything different, even if a childminder down the road goes to the moon every day ! Some parents will prefer a childminder that doesn't go gallivanting around the countryside like me! Most of my outings are 'free' or i've paid for an annual parking permit etc. Because the zoo is literally 10/15 mins away, it doesn't seem more like an outing, unlike our closest duck pond which is a 30 min drive away !!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    I mainly go on walks or to parks -even pre lockdown. I dont know whats expected and I try and warn parents that I dont do outings as such but I always wonder if despite me saying this they are disappointed!
    It's taken years of questioning myself, but I now feel confident in what I offer and I don't apologise or explain why I don't do things like outings. We all do things differently and there are plenty of things I do that other childminders don't. When I see parents I emphasise what I do and don't mention what I don't do. Sometimes they will ask about outings. I explain that I don't have a car during the week so any trips out are within walking distance or on the bus. If they want more outings they don't chose me, but none of my parents have ever seemed disappointed that I don't do bigger trips out.

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    Mumofone I honestly wouldn't worry - they choose you so they obviously like you and what you have to offer. I think what Mouse suggested is brilliant - emphasize what you DO and don't mention what you don't.

    I was chatting to a homeschooling mum a few years ago and we were talking about various nursery trips that we had seen and how the children were standing around waiting for various reasons, or just having staff go through the motions with them. I have seen several trips like this and I often think about how good these trips sounded on the letter home to parents, but the reality is a bit different. Once, I was at the aquarium in London and and I saw nursery children and then a childminder with several children. In both cases the children were just being walked through, honestly not looking at anything - the adults with them obviously weren't interested one jot. I have seen similar scenes several times on different 'trips'. The children could have achieved much more learning and enjoyment by being in the free local woods with an interested adult.

    Be confident with what you offer. Sometimes though, a trip out might be what YOU need to break the monotony. Out of interest, what stops you doing trips? For me it's money and now that I live where I live it is also the fact that I don't drive and public transport is virtually non existent.

    Loocyloo - the irony of the zoo being closer than your local pond!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Mumofone I honestly wouldn't worry - they choose you so they obviously like you and what you have to offer. I think what Mouse suggested is brilliant - emphasize what you DO and don't mention what you don't.

    I was chatting to a homeschooling mum a few years ago and we were talking about various nursery trips that we had seen and how the children were standing around waiting for various reasons, or just having staff go through the motions with them. I have seen several trips like this and I often think about how good these trips sounded on the letter home to parents, but the reality is a bit different. Once, I was at the aquarium in London and and I saw nursery children and then a childminder with several children. In both cases the children were just being walked through, honestly not looking at anything - the adults with them obviously weren't interested one jot. I have seen similar scenes several times on different 'trips'. The children could have achieved much more learning and enjoyment by being in the free local woods with an interested adult.

    Be confident with what you offer. Sometimes though, a trip out might be what YOU need to break the monotony. Out of interest, what stops you doing trips? For me it's money and now that I live where I live it is also the fact that I don't drive and public transport is virtually non existent.

    Loocyloo - the irony of the zoo being closer than your local pond!
    i know !!!!

    I quite agree Maza,
    I've been at the zoo, sitting on the floor watching the penguins say, for a good half hour, and the 'outings' that walk past ( and you can't actually walk past! it is a dead end! ) with hardly a stop always astounds me!

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