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help need ideas for key group activities

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by MerlinDog, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. i work in a pre school playgroup and we now have to have a structured key group activity time (10/15 mins) after exhausting all the obvious ideas =) can anyone suggest interesting /educational and quick activities that we could do for a group of up to 8 2yr olds ?
  2. MD, Who says you have to do 'structured activity time' for 2 year olds? Seems odd.
    I don't think 8 2 year olds would enjoy 15 mins structured time together to be honest!
    What's the reason? Can you have a lovely invitung book corner with cushions, drapes, curtains,camoflage nets etc and baskets of books and station an adult there so that they get support to look at and enjoy books and put this in your planning? Some listennig games from Letters and sounds (but not for 15 mins), puppet play, baking, mixing, making playdough, exploring outside, making dens etc, digging.
    Songs, action games, dancing?
  3. The only thing i could see 2yr olds sitting for would be songs and action rhymes, or a mov ement session?
  4. our partnership teacher says this is required for ecers ! we feel the same having tried it for just 10mins every session all week we have run out of ideas . book area already like this and in planning. apart from the number of children their range of ability is a problem.
  5. I run a pre-school and I've had an ecers check but I certainly don't do this!
  6. suffolksmiler

    suffolksmiler New commenter

    I agree with the previous comment

    puppet play, baking, mixing, making playdough, exploring outside, making dens etc, digging.

    Songs, action games, dancing?

    Practical hands on activities rather than sitting.

    We have re-installed set snack times and stopped doing rolling snack.

    At snack times we sit with our key worker children. We find a resource we want to stimulate the children and talk about it.
    In line with ECAT and knowledge of the world. Learn to listen to others. We recently had photos of cars / toy cars. It started the children talking about what colour their car was at home. They also talked about cars being washed. This led to us putting buckets and sponges outside to clean plastic ride on toys. Also cooking is a good idea, talking about things they like to eat and make at home. Puppet teddy time starts conversations about favourite teddies and toys at home. Our key worker time is about getting to know the children, building trusting relationships. Not learning letters and sounds.
    Not sure if this helps but give it a try - it is not sitting for 10mins, it is about talk whilst being active.
    nizebaby likes this.
  7. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    I do ECERS audits, and I can assure you there is nothing in them that require this kind of activity. Yes, one of the subscales is about group times, but it is very clear in the descriptors that it refers to small groups (3-5 children for children under 3) and for children under 3.5 it isnt even required at all.
    That aside though, Im wondering why your have a group of 8 under threes when the ratio should be 4:1, and so your group (which could be your key group) should reflect that. (are they'rising threes?')
    Any activity can be placed in that time, from cooking something together, to a story or songs, to taking a walk, creating something from art resources; exploring some new resources; getting physical outdoors etc etc. The limit is only your imagination. I would also take your timings from how the children respond and if they enjoy what they are doing they will be engaged and motivated, and 15 mins wont be too long. On the other hand, if they are bored, then 15 mins with toddlers would be a nightmare.
  8. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    Suffolksmiler I like the idea of key worker snack time as that is a time for relaxed friendly chat when you can really get to know the children. I have been wracking my brains as to when and what to do in key worker groups as we start them in September. I wondered if you could tell me what else you do in Key worker groups if anything. I was thinking of coming straight in in the morning to Key workers but I am not sure how it will work with one adult at the door so they won't be able to be with their key children straight away. We will only have very small groups though as I only have 8 children between the two of us in September obviously mopre start in January.
  9. suffolksmiler

    suffolksmiler New commenter

    Our idea of a key worker is someone that a child can trust. Sometimes it is best not to assign an adult to a child until they start. Children feel more comfortable with some adults, more than others. Their role is to be security blanket in the early days. As time goes on it is a contact point for parents. We do not gather the children into groups when they arrive but instead adults look out for their children. We acknowledge all the children but help to settle those that are having a difficult morning. We share information with the children about our pets or places we have been too, then they begin to share details of their own ideas. At snack time they are learning to trust other children with their experiences. We allow the children through out the morning to do child initiated activities, but usually have one adult directed activity that can be if YOU wish with their key worker group; such as cooking. May be you could plan once a week that you cook together. I heard once that in foster / children's homes, the place that children are most likely to open up is in the kitchen / cooking. if you are busy doing and not forced to give eye contact it can sometimes be easier to talk about personal stuff. Not sure if it is true but try cooking any way - the smell of bread or buns should make everyone feel happy : )
  10. MissMistoffelees

    MissMistoffelees New commenter

    Sorry to butt in on the discussion but was just interested as to how you assign the children key workers suffolksmiler; we have lots of part time staff so have worked out key groups according to who will be able to have most contact with the child, each child also has two key workers because otherwise many would be without a key worker for a lot of the time. Do your staff all work full time?
  11. thanks grumbleweed yes they are rising 3s by the time we have 8 in our key groups =) our partnership teacher (who did our ecers audit ) tells us this is something we must do and it is to be a teaching time using a different area of development each day could this just be a coventry council thing ?
  12. thankyou suffolksmiler i have also recently completed ecat and agree with ur ideas =) we have been told we must do rolling snack time -to allow children to choose when to take snack we used to do snack like u do with children sitting with key workers but got marked down as the children who finished snack first had to wait for the slower ones to finish -children were not being given a choice as to whether they wanted snack at that time-they were sitting for too long .
  13. If rising 3 means actually 2 then they must still be in groups of 4 to each member of staff
  14. ds1967

    ds1967 New commenter

    Ecers loved one joint snack time with us eating our healthy snack, sitting and chatting with the children.
    We are going to try 1 key groupa week on a 2week rota. (No doubt that will be wrong?!) It was impossible fitting everything in one session -welcome, free play, free flow, key groups, snack, free flow, language groups and then writing them up!, tidy up, circle time.
    Plus obs, nappies etc, accidents, Abccs to be written, behaviour, not to mention actually playing and talking to the children!
    Key groups are a 10 15 minute activity, game, story re next steps or our theme,

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