Making Changes in your Environment that make an Impact
Home day cares are unique as in the space and organizational skills it requires. Throughout my 20 years I have found different ways to organize and arrange my space that is efficient for me. Providing materials and experiences for children to discover many opportunities to learn and experience things that they may otherwise not get the chance to. Providing multi-cultural materials and experiences don’t always happen at home. Children are curious about other cultures or lifestyles that are not familiar. Providing curriculum that will give this experience is important.
Making a safe fun environment is one of the most important parts of my job. I want the children in my care to feel safe and my clients for feel the sense of caring by doing so. Providing separate areas for children to play with activities that may not be appropriate for younger children is important. Just because your age group is integrated does not mean the activities need to be for infants only. Activities that are not safe for smaller children are often done in a separate area that is open for great sight lines to keep everyone safe.
Storing activities and toys can sometimes be an issue in your home. Using bins and storage containers help me with this issue. I feel a tight air free storage container will keep the toys from dust and clear containers make it easier to find what you need. Organizing with bins and shelves will help keep toys and activities organized especially when they are labeled. Children need to be able to clean up activities and place them in the right space. This will also help the provider keep the area better organized during and after play.
Outside activities can be tricky for home day cares. I have a fenced in play area that is all in the grass. If the children wish to play with chalk I will use a chalk board instead of taking them to an open area where there are sidewalks. I like to make sure that activities in my outdoor area match for every age group I care for without leaving that area.
Every month I change out the materials and toys based upon the season of the month. Summer I will have sand table and water tables, for winter I will bring snow in and watch it melt, fall with leaves and pumpkin seed, and spring flowers. It is important to keep children interested in learning and provide a variety of different activities for various learning stages. Each activity can be modified for different age groups. If I find that play dough or shaving cream is not age appropriate they will be provided in a separate room from the younger children.