What centers do you have

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by new2twos, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. new2twos

    new2twos Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2011

    We have a small classroom. I have 3 built in bookshelves that cannot be moved and one table. I have all the toy and blocks in the shelves. We have a tiny library area. I also have a small dress up and kitchen area.

    I teach 1's on Mon and Wed and 2's on Tues and Thurs. On Wed and Sundays the room is used as the church nursery.

    The room is all carpet. I would love to have more centers but I don't know how to arrange it. If I have a art center it has to be on the main table. Therefore I cannot put the puzzles there also.

    I have 8 twos (even though most have already turned 3) and 9 ones.

    I would love a water table or sand table but afraid of the mess with the carpet.

    Our room is u-shaped. All the toys and circle time are on one side. The bottom part of the U is the library and kitchen/dressup. Going up the other side is the table and then a crib and changing table.
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 27, 2011

    Can you but a tarp to put under a sand and water table? That's what we had.

    Puzzles can easily be completed on the floor. We used floor space for quite a few centers. But yet, art, really needed the table or a tarp.
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 27, 2011

    Use your walls. They can be great centers. Put some newsprint up to protect the wall, and use the space for painting. Tape the paint paper on the wall, and put the paint jars on a box or other small table. (Or use plain water as paint.) Put some contact paper on the wall, sticky side out. Christmas bows are my favorite item for the sticky wall--children can take them off or put them on. Use the backside of shelving as bulletin boards. Put photos of the childrn up. Use velcro so the children can put up and take down.
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Apr 27, 2011

    Blue had great ideas. You can make a sensory table fairy cheaply with pvc pipe and buy a tub to fit with a lid. Not everything is terribly messy - cotton balls with tongs, easter eggs, etc. Sometimes carpet squares on the floor works to define a work space. You can also tack cookie sheets or magnetic boards on the back of bookshelves or felt to use as magnetic boards or felt boards. Some "centers" can be stored in basket or tubs and pulled out such as puppets or dinosaurs or farm animals. Have you seen those bed trays like the plastic ones you can get at Michaels? They have a flat work surface and wells on the side for putting items. They are good for using on the floor with manipulatives.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 27, 2011

    A nice, new, unused kitty liter box makes a nice sensory tub. Sides are straight and only about 2 inches high. My favorite filler is cornmeal.

    I have seen some nice sensory materials in plastic swim pools. This kids crawl in and can really experience the sensory item.
     
  7. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    Apr 28, 2011

    When we did water play, I just filled a couple dish tubs with water and water toys. It worked great and clean up was a breeze.

    I have an old Little Tikes table that is a revolving center - one of the kids' favorites was a rock cleaning center (toothbrushes, scrubbers, dish soap and rocks.)

    Next week I am setting up a fishing pond - plastic swimming pool, magnetic fishing wands, dollar store bucket hats, life vests from Goodwill, tool box and our measuring worms. We'll see how it goes!
     
  8. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    May 2, 2011

    I think a tub of water for 9 one year olds is too dangerous, especially if you have such a big class. You would have to monitor constantly. You have 17 kids ages 2 and 1? Wow. Hope you have an assistant or two.

    I have sand in my sensory table now and it isn't that messy. Nothing like sand and sand toys! Two months ago I put shreaded paper in the table. Kids had lots of fun with the paper. It does get all over the floor, but easy to pick up. Cornmeal is good idea. I have a basket full of recycled materials as a center. I ask parents to bring in cleaned out butter tubs, toilet paper and paper towel tubes, ribbons, fabric scraps, ect... I call it the Creation Station. The kids can play in that center for hours! I also like to buy plastic cups in different colors from the dollar store. The students make all kinds of creations by stacking cups.
     

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