Date: 7th Sep 2020 @ 4:07pm
Despite only being back for a few weeks we are thrilled with how well children have already settled into a new way of doing things. When we started to put together the risk assessment a few weeks back it was difficult to visualise how we would put all the changes into practice but I am really pleased to say that we haven't done too badly at all. All the children, without exception, have been extremely sensible in making sure that they follow the new 'rules and regulations' and I am pleased to say it hasn't deterred them in the slightest from having fun. In fact, having to resource each bubble with their own crafts, toys and games etc has provided each year group with more opportunities rather than less and each group has been benefitting from being able to play with toys appropriate to their age group without fear of little pieces getting into the wrong hands (or going up a little persons nose as the case may be).
We initially planned to rotate some of the more popular toys but, due to popular demand (and thanks to many a late night on ebay) we have opted for duplication over rotation and have littlest petshop figures and marble runs galore in the post to us as we speak.
To ease the children back into school we made sure they had a number of opportunities to share their feelings and concerns by working through some well being booklets and activities. It has been quite apparent that most children are much more open with their feelings since lockdown and staff have found that children have also felt more able to express themselves in smaller groups without feeling too overwhelmed by the overall number of children in the setting.
It is such a pleasure to see the children back alongside their friends and catching up after all those weeks spent apart. There is a sense that the children are grateful to be back and have rediscovered the value of some of their most precious/special friendships. They have also demonstrated a new found respect for felt tipped pens, religiously replacing each lid after use - something I have never experienced in my whole play work career - wonders will never cease!!
As is to be expected, club is a little different to what most people are used to but we are relieved that we are still able to open early for those parents that need to be heading off for work and are now in a position to safely serve breakfast and snack - even if it does mean waiting on the children hand and foot and serving each child at their table. I for one will be relieved when we can go back to brushing up grated cheese and crackers from under just one table as opposed to 6!! In keeping with school, children have their own year group bubble in which to play but this hasn't posed any real restrictions for them. Children on their own have soon caught on to the fact that being in a 'lone bubble' inevitably leads to a member of staff giving them their undivided attention, first choice of cartoon on the big screen and the chance to be first in line to wash hands before snack. If anything, the 'lone child' is the envy of the rest of the group!! Saying that, we don't like to see children on their own so go through the registers prior to each session and come up with a few options to pose to the child when they arrive including the suggestion of placing them at the far end of another bubble's table so no-one is ever left at a table by themselves against their will!! Whilst outside, bubbles have been more difficult (especially on the days where we also have 5 sets of siblings in club) so instead we allocate a couple of members of staff to supervise the children outdoors to ensure social distancing and we encourage lots of hand washing!! Again, this seems to be something the children have quickly adapted to.
One of the main changes that has been really strange has been not allowing parents into the setting - thank you all for being so understanding about this. We appreciate that you like to see your child settled in the morning and are eager to see what it is they do whilst in club but we promise to keep you updated and will always feedback on any issues should they arise. If you have given permission for your child's photo to be posted on social media we frequently post updates on facebook so you can get a sense of what children get up whilst in our care. As you are probably aware, staff have been working hard to fit in with the new staggered starts/finishes with each child being 'delivered' to class as their classmates arrive. Never have I crossed Eddisbury Road so many times so apologies if I am looking slightly bedraggled by Friday!!
Having been busy this month talking about lockdown, painting rainbows, making friendship bracelets and thank you cards for key workers as well as making bubble wands, friendship trees and fortune tellers (amongst other things) - we are very aware that October is just around the corner so look forward to getting creative by taking part in a number of Autumn arts and crafts. We will also be hosting a very special holiday club at the end of the month when we will be heading off to Hogwarts School of Wizardry (we are very excited about this one!) to brush up on our spells and potion making!! Due to government guidelines there will still be a number of restrictions which means that places will be limited so make sure to book your places now. If you are booking your child on the playscheme (5-11) there is a 30% discount if you book before the end of September.
Don't forget, if you have any queries or concerns, big or small, please don't hesitate to contact us. In the meantime - stay safe!!!!