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#1 Guest_terrydoo73_*

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 06:52 PM

My Deputy has stated that she feels our home corner is just not working from the point of view of what children are doing with it. We have a microwave, fridge with a cupboard above (took the door off as it was too hard to open!), cooker, sink and washing machine. We do use real pans - frying pans and microwave type and little mugs/beakers, plates and cutlery. Into our fridge we have put egg cartons, yoghurt and cottage cheese tubs, butter tub, cardboard box showing the picture of a cooked pie and then in the cupboard above things like porridge oats box, cornflour tub (great for exploring how it opens up!). In the oven we have a bun tray with buns in it and below the sink there is an empty bacterial cleaner, sponge and drying cloth. The children tend to come to the area and empty the contents of the cupboard and fridge onto the table and after playing just open the cupboards and throw all in again.

I took the opportunity this morning to see what the children were doing in the home area. One little girl had a saucepan in her hand and she turned to me and said "this is for you." There was nothing in the saucepan and I asked her what she had for me to eat. She told me it was soup and I then asked how she would get the soup out of the saucepan followed by what she would put the soup into - trying as far as possible to get her to extend her thinking and play. The child did eventually gather up a soup ladle and a bowl but it felt like a drawn out thing. There is a tendency when we say "tidy up" time that children go down and clear away everything visible into the first available cupboard and we have to spend time sorting it out with them.

What could we do to help our children in terms of understanding what they should do in this area and extend their play? I was wondering if we should have pictures and words to show what goes where and how they could make tea or soup or even just a cooked meal? We do have pictures around the wall as well as magazines and books to show recognisable foods but every day we hear you took my chicken and all the time they are running around with a sausage in their hand! We did try real food before - onions and carrots, pasta, fruit etc but feel that imaginary play is easier as we had to supervise the children while they cut and ate all that was in sight and left nothing for the other children to explore - such a mess to on the floor. It really became a competition as to who could cut and eat the quickest including the onions and another little boy just wanted to eat the hard pasta! I know people are against plastic food but we use wooden food which has more realistic properties but their use is limited.

#2 lashes2508

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:06 PM

nothing wrong with plastic food in my opinion if it is realistic- ours is and means it can be easily washed and kept clean.
do you have a table set up and plenty of crockery ( plastic) , cut and play food is good for cutting skills, i also put out recipe book and pencils and paper for creating menus or for taking orders. this week we created ours as chinese restuarant and takeaway , cutting up wool and materials to creat noodles , chopsticks , menus , phone for taking orders and bags to put food in , extended play and created more focus from the children .
it's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't !

#3 klc106

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:13 PM

Our children do exactly the same. we have recently been spending time in the home corner with them modelling what could be done and modelling language. But to be honest I think it is a way of them learning and eventually they will develop their play, it's just hard work for us having to sort it out every day! We also use plastic food as we have a few children who like to put things in their mouth so it's easy to clean.

I'm sure someone else will come and offer you better advice soon!

#4 Guest_terrydoo73_*

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:27 PM

Yes we have all that you mentioned. We have a telephone, takeaway menu, cookery books, plastic cutlery etc etc. I find that the younger children do have more extended play and we often see them cleaning up the area using the sponge and antibac bottle - these are aged just 3 while the older ones who have turned 4 seem disinterested but a few do pretend to feel the dolls a bottle of milk.

#5 sunnyday

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:28 PM

nothing wrong with plastic food in my opinion if it is realistic- ours is and means it can be easily washed and kept clean.
do you have a table set up and plenty of crockery ( plastic) , cut and play food is good for cutting skills, i also put out recipe book and pencils and paper for creating menus or for taking orders. this week we created ours as chinese restuarant and takeaway , cutting up wool and materials to creat noodles , chopsticks , menus , phone for taking orders and bags to put food in , extended play and created more focus from the children .

Fab ideas there from 'lashes' ........ the best resource you can add to any area....an adult :o I'm not being flippant - an adult to play with and to 'model' play should really help....
BE KIND TO OTHERS, FOR EACH OF US IS FIGHTING SOME KIND OF BATTLE

#6 lucyhobbit

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:31 PM

In terms of helping the children put stuff away, this time I took a photo of each item and then stuck it down on the spot of the cupboard where it belonged - so the saucepans sit on their individual pictures etc. For the food I grouped them into baskets and took a photo of each basket. Sadly, you still get the children who'll throw it all in - but then the pictures do help those children who like to be super helpful and re-tidy things into their correct places!

#7 Fredbear

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:34 PM

Hi terrydoo73
As your Deputy has stated that she thinks your role play area is not working, has she any suggestion, enhancements that she feels may help make it more exciting.

Sometimes less is more so if the children like ours do at times scatter it all over the floor we go back to basics, exploring imaginative play and then add items accordingly.
The children's understanding of " tidy up" maybe eactly what they are showing you throw it all in the cupboard and shut the door and it would take lots of modelling as a adult to show them that things all have a place, but this could be how it looks to them at home or just be age appropriate.

On a lighter note it's a good job she wasn't at our setting last week as the floor was covered with shredded paper pretending to be noodles, and the rice was just everywhere, but they had lots of fun and nothing a dust-pan and brush couldn't sort. :o
If we want them to be critical thinkers we have to give them time to explore, problem-solve and make choices.
Just another thought could your role-play area become something else exciting for awhile such as a garden centre, hairdressers, doctors surgery, bank, post-office, travel agents, vets, builders yard. :lol:

#8 Guest_terrydoo73_*

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:37 PM

That is exactly what I meant - I was thinking more of putting it on the outside of the cupboard. We do have a shelving system to one side and there is a cutlery holder in it as well as a shelf for frying pans so little pictures with words under each would work too. A job for tomorrow morning me thinks! What do you think of the idea of having a sequence picture set - I was thinking of using the actual toys like the jug with the beakers and showing the picture of pouring in from the jug to the beaker then a plate with the saucepan and foods in it then the next one with the plate showing the veg etc etc.

#9 Fredbear

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:13 PM

That sounds a lovely idea.
Give it a try and let us know how you get on. :o

#10 popcornpie

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:04 PM

I think it's a good idea to change the home corner around regularly. We change our role play area every 2 weeks (we have a local scheme for hiring role play stuff which has been fantastic). So far this year it has been a Vets, an Airport, an Opticians, a Shoe Shop, a Castle, Santa's Workshop and a Wedding! We have Space Centre and DIY Shop coming up!

Even with a traditional home corner, it can be 'morning time' (breakfast things, lunchboxes to prepare) or 'night time' (dinner things, beds, pyjamas, storybooks and teddies) or 'washing day' (washing machine, ironing stuff, washing line) or a special occasion like a birthday (party hats, bags, cakes) or 'new baby' (dolls, feeding bottles, babybath).

These are just some of the ideas we've tried that have worked well. We find that putting some things away and getting them out again at a later date, keeps the children interested. We always model a new role play area with an adult playing alongside the children until they get used to it. We take photos of the children playing in the role play and show good examples on the Smartboard so they can talk about what they were doing.

Tidying up used to be a problem (they always put everything in the washing machine!) so we have pictures to show where everything goes and try to allow plenty of time at the end of a session so that the children can take responsibility for it themselves.

Didn't mean to go on so long - I just got on a bit of a roll!

#11 jigsaw

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:32 PM

Have jotted down lots of these fab ideas, we have trouble with our home corner..
If you have a new role play like shop, cafe, vets do you still have out the home corner out as well or not?

#12 lashes2508

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:42 PM

as we are set up and pack away everyday , we change it on a weekly basis of having a large role play area so not always home corner , this week it has been a shop , with lots of baskets, fruit and veg, clipboards for lists, magazines to cut out and stick to make visual lists , money tills etc also this half term
its been a chinese restaurant , pirate ship ( rocking seat ) with sheets of blue fabrics, large shells, tubes, paper for maps, antaric with den frame and different materials , i beleive that you dont always need to have stereotypical home corner , for example when we did restaurant we had the takeaway side too and no cooker out so the children could imagine and improvise . the children can develop and add to resources as they request it.
it's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't !

#13 jigsaw

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:49 PM

Thanks Lashes, I agree, we too are a pack away preschool.
Though my setting choose to have the home cormer out every single day, with no difference each day :o
And as you can imagine it gets boring.. The children are not being able to extend their play and its a bit pointless.
Whereas having it as different things would be so much better and instead of doing the home corner plus another role play area, you'd be able to concentrate on the other role play area lots better!
We sometimes will have another role play area but it never goes well cos not much effort is put into it :lol::(
Thank yoooou




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