10 tricks to make your days easier
As early childhood educators, we are always looking for ways to simplify our organization strategies, make our group management more efficient, and foster children’s autonomy. In this article, I have prepared a list of 10 tricks that I feel can make your days easier. You can expect a follow-up to this list of tricks. Read them over and pick and choose the ones that you feel can help you.
Toy bin organization
Use pictures to put an end to toy bins being placed in the wrong places. Glue one picture on a bin to identify what it is supposed to contain and glue an identical sticker on a shelf to indicate where the bin belongs.
Bib and facecloth management
Stick a small hook behind each chair at the table. At snack or lunch time, hang each child’s facecloth behind his chair. If children always use the same chair, use a second hook to hang each child’s bib. Children will appreciate being able to access their bib and facecloth on their own at the table.
Cookie sheets for playtime
If the children in your group enjoy playing with small figurines or blocks and would like to be able to continue their game later in the day, have them play on cookie sheets. When playtime is over, simply set the cookie sheets in a corner of your daycare. This also represents a great method to avoid losing tiny parts and pieces.
For a fuss-free lunch
Do children argue about who will sit where at the table? Stick a picture of a child behind each chair. Invite children to simply search for their picture and sit on the corresponding chair, no questions asked.
One behind the other
Arrange stickers on the floor in a line to represent a train, leaving a certain amount of room between them. Have each child stand on a sticker. This method will ensure that each child has his own “bubble”, his own space. You may be surprised by how many conflicts this will avoid.
Do you normally give children small tasks or responsibilities during lunch time? Children can distribute forks, drinking glasses, plates, etc. Prepare a chart listing all the tasks that children can help with. While children are busy completing their tasks, you will be free to finish preparing their meal. These little things can really add up and make your lunch time rush much smoother.
Water for everyone
Purchase a plastic water bottle for each child. Children can carry their water bottle wherever they go during the day. Add a sticker to each child’s bottle to make it easy for them to recognize it. Also write the name of each child on his bottle using a permanent marker so they can slowly learn to recognize the letters that make up their name.
Put an end to mismatched shoes piling up in your cloakroom. Set two identical stickers or illustrations next to each other on the floor, in front of each child’s hook. Encourage children to place one shoe on each of their stickers. You will need one pair of stickers/illustrations for each pair of shoes.
My naptime star
A spot for each child… Set a colourful star (along with a picture of each child if you wish) on the floor to identify children’s spots for naptime. Have each child set his naptime mattress on his star.
My play area, my bubble
Children enjoy playing together, but some may need their own space. Use colourful adhesive tape to draw squares on the floor. Children can sit inside a square when they want to play alone, without being disturbed by others.