Old toys made new

Remember this item? Well, it was sitting, unused again, still out in the yard. Children would walk around it, but they were pretty much done with it. Instead of putting it away, the teachers moved it. They moved it from the wood chips area to the sand area. The children are all over it again. They are still doing the same thing: finding trucks and riding them down; but the novelty of it has changed because they are now in the sand.

Sometimes simply moving an item from one area to the next is all that is needed to make something interesting again. You should be rearranging the outdoor area regularly. We set up curriculum areas daily with activities. Every month, or at most every two months, we rearrange the tables and interest areas. Sometimes all it takes is moving the table by 90 degrees.

Inside should also be changed regularly. Toys on the shelves should be rotated weekly. The furniture should also be rearranged. Sometimes it's difficult with the size of a classroom, but even if you just switch the block area with the dramatic play area it's enough change to get those creative juices flowing again. You'll find, if you do this right, that behavior problems will go down as well.

We'll be looking at room arrangements and outdoor environments in the next couple of weeks.

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