self-managing props (see activity)
1. Make transitions smooth and develop children’s independence by putting
self-managing props for each area or activity in the classroom. For example, if
you have a rocking boat, find child-size life vests for the children to use while
playing in the boat. Limiting the number of life vests will naturally limit the
number who can safely play in the boat together. In addition, if life vests are
only worn in the boat, as children move on to another activity and leave the
life vest in the boat, they are indicating they are done and another child can
have a turn.
2. Other examples of self-managing props are safety glasses at the workbench,
inexpensive nail aprons from the local hardware to transport art items from
a shelf to the table, paint shirts at the easels, and protective plastic aprons at
the water table.
3. Create a prominent place for every self-managing prop within the play area.
When a self-managing prop is returned to its appropriate place, this is a clear
indication to the next child that the area is open for new people, and this
also encourages the departing child to think about and plan their transition.
4. Let children create props if none are easily available; make life vests out of
grocery bags, or necklaces from yarn and paper for the home living area.