Summary of the Big Room and Middle Room routines
|08.45 to 09.00||Children arrive|
|09.00 to 09.15||Register, days of the week, weather board, general chat, activities for the day|
|09.15 to 10.10||Activities, adult led and free play|
|10.10 to 10.30||Tidy up time, hand washing, snack time and story time.|
|10.30 to 11.15||Get ready and go and play outside|
|11.30 to 11.45||Treasure time|
|11.45 to 12.30||LUNCH TIME|
|12.30 to 14.00||Get ready and go and play outside|
|14.00 to 14.30||Hand washing, snack time, story time|
|14.30 to 15.15||Activities, adult led and free play|
|15.15 to 15.30||Treasure time|
|15.30 to 17.30||Home time or full timers join with the middle room for free play inside or out depending on the weather.|
A typical day in the big and middle room
Normally children begin to arrive at around 08.30, and by 09.15 we have usually had a sit down time where we have completed registration, chatted about the day’s activities on offer, put the weather symbols on the weather board, and learned the word of the week. This word is linked to the theme and helps the children not only recognise some letters and shapes of words but also helps to emphasise over a week, a particular aspect of the theme i.e. recently we have done “all about me” so one word was “family” and another, “like”.
From 09.15 to 10.10 is free play and the adult led activities. Children are invited to choose items or toys to play with as well as being able to play in the extensive home corner that is already set out.
At 10.10 we tidy up, no exceptions here, everyone has to help, and then we wash hands ready for snack time. We provide a midsession snack which can be fruit, cereals, toast, biscuits, something we have made etc. All snacks are advertised on the board and are frequently linked to the themes we are covering. For example pumpkin soup at Halloween, or vegetable samosas at Diwali. We aim to provide a wide variety of snacks so that the children have a chance to try different things that may not always be offered at home. This is also a great time for socialising around a table, something which all of the staff are very keen to promote. We do not allow children to walk around with food or drink; they are required to sit down when it is eating time. We always adhere to parental wishes when it comes to dietary requirements.
When snack time is over we will read a story to the children, this is a special time when wonderment and intrigue starts to creep in. There are many favourites, and the children get an enormous amount of pleasure when we ask them what comes next in a story and they can recite it back to you. “We are going on a bear hunt” is always great fun.
After story we put on our coats and wellies (or suncream and sunhats) and go outside to play. We will often have some hide and seek games, parachute games or traditional playground games such as “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” We also take time to feed our rabbits and look after a great many birds visiting our feeders all year round despite being situated close to the town centre.
After outside play we come back into the classrooms and have “treasure time”. Each child is encouraged to bring in a treasure from home that can be anything. The more unusual the better. They are asked to tell the class a little bit about it and to stand at the front whilst doing it. This helps to build confidence and after a short time we find that most children want to take part in this special time of day.
At 11.45 it is time for lunch and those children who are not staying will be collected and go home. All the others will join together in the big room and eat their packed lunch together. We provide lunch time supervision at this time but all food is provided by the parents.
Lunch time ends at 12.30 and for those who wish to have a nap they can rest on beds in the middle room. For the rest it is outside play and apart from swopping over the play time with the free play the morning routine is repeated in the afternoon. For many children 15.30hrs is home time, but for full time children this is any time up to 17.30hrs. These two hours are spent relaxing and playing with the toys that they choose, with a further snack time at around 16.00hrs.