Spring is here at last! Another season begins bringing us nice weather, warm sun, and colourful flowers. Often this change in the weather prompts us to clean and remove clutter from our environment. We move furniture around, purchase new linens, redecorate a few rooms, put our winter clothes in storage, and scrub little nooks and crannies. The change feels good and it allows us to break away from monotony. These small gestures freshen up our environment and provide us with a sense of newness. We see things differently and notice things we hadn't seen in a while.
Why not do the same in our daycare? Children can also use a little change. Giving the daycare a good cleanup and rearranging it somewhat allows them to rediscover their environment. Some conflicts and behavioural problems may even decrease following this renewal since children will be occupied with new discoveries. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started:
- Clean out your games. Remove the ones which no longer correspond to the age group which is under your care. Fix the games which need repairing and throw away the games which are beyond repair. Check your storage areas to see if they include games which could offer new challenges for your group.
- If there are toys in your daycare which children do not seem interested in, try placing them in a different location, storing them differently, or adding special touches to them which would enable them to be used in a new way. Children may come to adopt them.
- Modify your inventory at a low cost by asking a colleague or another home daycare to exchange games or toys with you. Sometimes material which is unpopular within one group can be exciting for another group.
- Ask parents to loan you toys which are no longer used at home. They can also provide you with books or recycled materials.
- Change the disposition of your furniture. Ask children for suggestions and recreate a new environment with their help.
- Redecorate the daycare with the children. Replace old posters with new ones, hang new pictograms or objects from the ceiling, glue pictures on the floor...
- Present spring cleaning as a group activity. Offer children their own bucket of soapy water, small towels, a duster, a broom...