Hi, I'm not sure if this helps xx
Remember how long your children are with you - a year or three maybe? is the repetition a problem you feel you'll be exposed to year on year or are planning weekly and the children are showing signs of disinterest?
What does your annual activity planning look like ... certain festivals celebrated, birthdays, anniversaries, charities supported, fundraising campaigns. What do your daily routines look like - signing in, freeplay, storytime, sing along, boogie wiggle, snack, freeplay, home, do you have certain activities out on certain days that restrict or inspire your creative planning/spontaneous use of them .. if you write these down you'll begin to see what fits where
If you have continuous planning and have been able to identify the learning that your littlies get from each area of their room and resources maybe you could build ways that promote what you do, advertise what's available for the children to select, for parents to know about and maybe expand the choice or selection of toys and resources that you currently have.
What does the setting offer in the way of ..
Messy play: water, ice, sand, paint, clay, leaves, sawdust, compost, dough, glue, glitter, mixtures ..
Connection: jigsaws, straws, magnets, cogs, threading, weaving, sticky tape, matching, sorting, noticing differences, creating patterns and formations/designs
Building or construction: blocks, bricks, walls, fences or enclosure type resources, den material ie. sheets, tent, tunnels, boxes to sit in
Battery powered - lights eg. torches, fibre optics, remote controls
Markmaking tools & opportunities
Small world, representational figures and environments - doll's house, garage, aquarium ..
Items that pour, can be filled, scoop, carry, measure, weigh
Sit and rides, ways to transport things
Mats, large inflatables for monitored rough and tumble, wrestling with soft play shapes
Climbing and descending aparatus - steps, blocks, beams, slides, frames, swings
Places for in and out, up and down, under, over, above, to the side of, below, on top, higher, lower, back and forth, too & fro
Places for rest, quieter activity and places for busy noisy activity
Do you have an outside for digging, puddle splashing, bubble making, raking, stacking, toppling, jumping, tying, pulling, drain guttering or tubes and pipes for ball & vehicle rolling .. a manual water pump
Provision for numbers, letters, colours, shapes, size, words, names
Provision for things that float and sink, reflect or mirror, erupt or explode, explore weather and forces, money, buying and exchange
Provision to practise using scissors, tools, pick up smaller items and place them with precision.
Examine where risk exists and how that is countered/mitigated for children to assess risk for themselves .. eg. jumping from a height, making and playing with items that could be choking hazards - stones, scrunched up paper balls, crossing roads safely, staying safe in the sun, animals as friends - dog, cats, rabbits, fish ..
Take a read through schema
, and how positive or meaningful children find it is to repeat certain activities. Scotland's prebirth to three publication for parents 'every day's a learning day
, the leaflets on BAECE
, self awareness and safety ie. sun, hand washing, roads, saying stop, protecting and exploring wildlife, nature and pets.
& child safety awareness week
Sensory play and activity that helps to identify, recognise, understand:
Hearing: rattles, jingles, onomatopoeia, listen
Smell: what cooks, gives scent
Touch: manipulate, squeeze, model, mould, build, impression make - handprints, feel - breeze, cold, warmth, wet, dry, clap hands
Sight: colour, observe or watch
Taste: like, dislike, ready to try, nice, salty, sweet, bitter, greasy, spicy
Language & communication: talk, whisper, shout, laugh, smile development guide
Planned programmes or schemes to support learning & development
Maybe you ..
Have a designated letter, number, colour, word or words of the week
What to count activity - 10 green bottles
Plan using the six/seven areas of learning
Use treasure baskets
Have a project approach to activities - collect, discuss, plan, build, use or plant, grow harvest, mix, bake, chill, freeze, heat, serve and eat or drink
Do you have a 'who's who board? maybe children would like to take photos of their adults to build a display.
Ultimately .. if you could empty your room from all the toys and furniture and flooring and stood back to consider a moment .. what would you personally put back in, what would the children put back in, in which order of preference and what would you prefer to say goodbye to/recycle, why?
What issues in childcare interest you - politics, frameworks, competitiveness, gender, inclusion & discrimination, religion, faith, children's rights, playwork, risk, tools, manufacture, social enterprise .. you may find once you delve into your interests your professional practice grows and the learning experiences for the children are enriched
Best wishes, let us know what you do :)