t is for toys from home

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can preschoolers bring toys from home?  yes.

can they play with them during the day?  yes.

what if they don’t want to share?  well….it depends.  some toys are their “lovies” and we don’t expect them to be shared.  but when it is another toy, we invite the preschooler to share it or save it in their cubby. both options are just as good.  children are allowed to save their own things in their cubbies and great effort goes into helping them feel empowered in that choice.

but let me tell you there is a lot of sharing that goes on.   one of our main goals as a preschool is to ease the transition from home to preschool, from parent to teacher.  quite simply, if bringing something from home can assist in that transition, that’s an easy thing!  plus, there are some pretty interesting toys out there that we get to see. : )

10 thoughts on “t is for toys from home

  1. Joanna

    I love everything you are saying in this post, but I feel torn. The owner of my preschool wants the children to stop bringing in toys. We have 25 in our room, and these little guys can each come in with pockets full of cars, figures, balls, etc. Even after “sharing,” things often find their way out of the cubbies during free choice time, and then get misplaced. The children also argue over their personal toys as opposed to the center’s, which they easily share. Do you think, in my situation, limiting the toys from home to monthly show-and-tell week is a good or bad idea?

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    • Kristin Neufeld Epp

      oh, i hear you.

      there are times when little toys from home can seem to interrupt more constructive play than i like.

      it is not unusual for me to determine that it is cubby time for toys from home (and then if back again and back again).

      but that means that i will be quick to work to engage them in something else.

      i do admit a desire to have a certain level of control over the environment; certain goals that i want to explore meeting, etc.

      the one thing that i will clearly put a limit on are violent toys or toys that are bringing out a level of aggression that is making the room feel “unsafe” to others.

      we have a signal in our classroom that if anyone puts their hands over their ears that means it is too loud or wild. that means we must all stop and make a plan to settle the environment a bit (or at least tend to the one who is feeling sensitive to it all).

      note: we do show and tell every day which i think helps feed the need to bring things from home. our show and tell basket is at the top of the stairs as children arrive and they are invited to bring something that starts with the letter of the week.

      strength to you! 25 in a room and pockets full is a big deal! i can see why there is interest in preserving the environment as much as possible! i’m curious to hear how things go. stay in touch.

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  2. LaQuetha

    We do show & tell once a week and I love it but sometimes I have a hard time letting the children play with the items. What do you about toys that are violent? I have said it several times but do you have a rule or do just let it happen? I just don’t like them shooting each other or pretend shooting other people. My question is do they get to bring in toys daily or just for show & tell?

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    • Kristin Neufeld Epp

      our general rule stated in the family handbook is that no violent toys should be brought.

      but there is some gray area there too.

      when a toy is encouraging or involved in aggressive play (shooting, killing, hurting, capturing), i save the toy in the cubby. i explain that it’s just not part of our school plan. that even if they know the game is make believe, the other kids in the room may not.

      having said this, some of our preschoolers aren’t ready for more than, “that hurts” or “she’s scared” or “no more.” and then there are some preschoolers ready to engage in a conversation about brain power knowing that we have control over our thoughts, we can train our brains, etc.

      i agree. it’s a hard balance between respecting the preschooler and the family while sticking to the desire to create a peaceful and constructive environment.

      hope your year is going well, laquetha.

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  3. Michelle

    I love it when the kids bring in things from home. It gives them a sense of importance, ownership, and independence. Importance from bringing in such a special item that all the kids are interested it, ownership because it is theirs alone, and independence from making that all to special choice of “to share, or not to share.” They mostly choose to share, which is always special to watch. When they don’t, that’s just another learning experience, but I don’t seem to have anyone who has a rough time with it.

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  4. Lois Tschaepe

    Kristin,
    Did someone make your beautiful rainbow flags? I am looking for something similar. Your site is an inspiration for me. I hope to start a small private preschool this-coming Fall.

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