View Full Version : When freeplay isn't enough

01-17-2014, 12:13 PM
So my group has always preferred free play to a ton of structured activities. Since returning from the holidays they have really struggled with the free play and want more "entertainment." Do you think I just need to "retrain" them? I am wondering if the 2 wks at home with mom and dad all day everyday that they entertained them?

5 Little Monkeys
01-17-2014, 12:46 PM
I have a group right now that enjoys free play but after awhile they get bored and then the fighting or silly behaviour starts. I try to break up our day by doing structured activities in between free play. Even if it's only a 10-15 minute structured break it seems to help.

I have one child who I know is entertained by her parents 24/7. She as a result, doesn't free play very nicely. However, I think it's important for kids to have a mix of both so that the teachers aren't getting 5 and 6 year olds who have no clue how to sit and do something constructive for a period of time.

I had 2 children leave last June, they were both 2 and a bit when they left me. They started a pre-school daycare and the one mom emailed me to let me know that the teachers wanted to pass on their thanks to me. They said that both children adapted easily to their program and were great at cleaning up and transitioning. There can be times where you transition too much though so you have to find the right mix for both you and the children.

01-17-2014, 12:57 PM
I think that it has ALOT to do with being off for 2 weeks. Being the only child, parents total attention not having to share or wait their turns. I have freeplay times throughout the day, my playroom is directly across from my kitchen so I find its when I am prepping lunch that all the fighting starts, if I go back in the room and sit and read a few books or lead them in something like puzzles or blocks it does help.

01-17-2014, 04:13 PM
I know for my group there was a lot of tv watching, playing on the ipad etc. They do in that sense need retraining that they will only have something to do if they go do it.

5 Little Monkeys
01-17-2014, 05:04 PM
Well turns out my 4 year old (and the instigator to most of the silly and inappropriate behaviour) is leaving daycare for full time pre-school. (I doubt that is the full reason for termination but she is my handful so I will take it lol) Maybe free play can go back to being nice and relaxing again! :)

01-17-2014, 10:38 PM
My free play has been terrible lately too. I'm glad someone else mentioned it.

I'm going to start encouraging them to do more free-craft-y type things like drawing, stickers, cutting. My older bunch (unfortunately almost the whole group) seems to enjoy this, and they tend to fight during free play lately. Hopefully this will help them transition better, since it's not a led-by-me activity, but is different enough to keep them more entertained and less at each other's throats.