With the new semester well underway, the new children are pretty settled in for the most part. But, we were noticing over the last two weeks that the children were being more physical with each other and just seemed to be getting on each others nerves a little. So it seemed like a good time to make some changes to the environment. We had put up the tent before the break in the dramatic play are, which is usually a popular item.
But, after about a week, this group seemed to be bored so we changed it back to the kitchen to give us some time to see what they might be interested in. With the tent there, they were hardly using the area, which was leading to crowding in some other areas. At the same time, we have been dealing with lots of rainy weather. And while I don't mind being outside in a little rain, it has been pouring so we have had lots of inside days. Add to that the fact that our playground is all grass (with a fair share of mud) with poor drainage. Since we don't have good rain gear, that means when the playground is soggy and full of pretty deep puddles, we end up being stuck inside. Which just leads to more boredom and cabin fever.
We added some more challenging puzzles after finding out that many of our older two's are doing 24-48 piece puzzles at home. They even get to work on it in the teacher space so the little ones don't walk all over their work, which makes it a pretty attractive activity.
We made the sensory table a car wash, which has interested children who have been bored with that space.
The biggest change so far is probably the addition of a hoop to the gross motor area. We have had a variety of balls for a while but lately the balls have been finding their way all around the room. Which leads to whole new set of problems. So this morning I hung a big hoop over the ramps for the children to throw their balls through. So far, it is holding their interests and they are back to using the balls in a more appropriate way that doesn't bother other children trying to do quiet activities elsewhere.
I'm sure there will be more changes as winter goes on. We can keep hoping for snow, can't we?