A year or so ago, I came across a great pin from the now non-existent Preschool Pond site. Mary Poppins and I both LOVED the idea, which is how this preschool building center printable came to be! I have looked all over for the former Preschool Pond writer/creator, but I’ve found nothing (or I would give much better credit for this idea). I have used this “work in progress” sign in the building center for over a year now. It definitely makes a huge difference with the children.
Kiddos put a lot into planning and creating structures in the building center! So it makes sense that they get really upset if another child messes with their work. I’ve noticed that some children also become anxious if they have to leave the building center earlier than planned.
I’ve noticed that the fear of someone breaking their creations makes kids a bit anxious when they move away from the center. In the past, this has led to students not wanting to go to the bathroom in order to “protect” their building projects. It’s also made it difficult for me to pull them to some one-on-one time with me during centers.
Having these “work in progress” signs has helped so much! It gives the children a way to keep ownership over their structures. Plus, it is a bright sign to other kiddos to just leave those blocks/materials alone! The anxiety of walking away from building (to use the bathroom, get a drink, talk to a teacher, etc.) isn’t there with the center sign. It may sound like such a little problem, but to a child it really is a big deal!
There was only one time (during an entire school year) where a child ignored the work in progress sign. The friends around him actually gasped when they saw what had happened. They even suggested he help rebuild the structure he’d torn apart or he should “maybe leave the building center”.
To prep the sign, I printed it out and backed it with yellow construction paper. Then I ran it through the school’s laminator for extra durability. I made 4 of the signs, just in case! Last year, I had the signs placed on top of the building center. This year, I punched a hole in the signs and have them hanging from a small hook on the side of the building center shelf. Either way, kids just grab the sign if they need to leave their projects for a moment, lay the sign on or next to their work, and move along as needed!
If you try out the sign, let me know how this works for you and your students!