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Deconstructed Role Play


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Hi

I have been reading alot lately about deconstructed role play. I have always had my role play area so perfect with all the resources available for the children to use and all the labels printed and laminated from Sparklebox!!!!!

I really like the idea of the deconstructed role play area and can see all the benefits for the children. I was just wondering if anyone had tried it out and how they found it - did the children respond well?? is it easy to manage?? etc

Looking forward to reading all the responses :o

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Sorry to be dense but what exactly is deconstructed role play? I'm guessing its leaving out open-ended resources like boxes and seeing where the children take them?

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I'm not sure if this is what you're talking about but... I too have nearly always had a clear role play area (what the children actually play in it is a completely different matter - if they are role playing hairdressers in the ice cream shop then so be it). It has rarely been 'perfect' - I never seemed to get around to the finishing touches and always felt like it wasn't any good.

 

Well, just over a week ago I was worrying about getting my role play area done before a visit from an advisor. My head suggested leaving bits and pieces out and seeing what happened. The children had wanted a spaceship so I left a range of bits of fabric (some shiny, some brown and green), a foil blanket, some cardboard tubes, a box of pens, some blue tac, tape, a couple of chairs etc etc. I told them this was our new role play area and we were going to turn it into a spaceship. Well a great morning was had laying out all the fabric on the floor to be a planet with a few other children turning the tubes into levers.

 

The next day the 'levers' were being used as swords and the fabric had become capes (they were being moon men) and general charging around ensued for a few days. We had a moment when several of my most riotous boys helped to decorate a giant piece of paper to be the view from the cockpit but that was it.

 

Today the addition of a large silver cake board seemed to have triggered something. A bookshelf and chairs were moved to create a cockpit. I helped drape some fabric and one of the large cardboard tubes to make a 'ceiling', someone else started making an engine, we got the big space book out to give us ideas for drawing a space map etc etc etc. It worked, to any visiting eyes it's clearly a 'something' rather than just a heap of rubbish which is what it looked like for a while and they tidied it up beautifully.

 

It's taken quite a bit of intense adult support and encouragement but I'm pleased with the result - it's much more 'theirs' (I confess that my most beautifully constructed role play areas have really been fulfilling my childhood dolls house fantasies :o ). I'm hoping that when they move onto the next area they will be able to develop it themselves much more quickly.

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Hi

 

I read the abc blog mentioned above and was inspired by it

 

I tried the de constructed role play last week (only for a day) I used loads of cardboard boxes (even got a massive fridge/freezer one from currys) and rolls, some fabric and put out scissors and marker pens

 

It was a bit manic at times (but then my setting always is) when there were children in the boxes and another child launching himself on top squashing the children inside

 

but overall there was some brilliant learning from it - especially the boys mark making on the boxes - they turned it into all sorts of things throughout the day

 

I'm not brave enough yet to set this up a permanent thing as i feel it needed constant supervision (for safety) but hopefully if I keep trying it the children will become calmer when using it (would be great outside when the weather gets a bit better)

:o

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Hi all

thank you so much for your replies. Thanks Nicky for the link - it has really inspired me to go for it after half term!!!! louihw your ideas are great, it is exactly the sort of thing i am thinking of, but again, like you i am slightly worried about the boys going mad and just running around. I am going to invest some time at the beginning of next term to set up clear rules and boundaries in the area. I am hoping it will help to develop speaking and listening skills as well as engage the boys in mark making activities.

When i eventually get going with it, i am going to try and upload some photos on here. If anyone else has any i would love to see them and hear how it is going.

Thank you again for your responses - everyone on here is so welcoming and kind

Thanks Lisa x :o

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Hi all

thank you so much for your replies. Thanks Nicky for the link - it has really inspired me to go for it after half term!!!! louihw your ideas are great, it is exactly the sort of thing i am thinking of, but again, like you i am slightly worried about the boys going mad and just running around. I am going to invest some time at the beginning of next term to set up clear rules and boundaries in the area. I am hoping it will help to develop speaking and listening skills as well as engage the boys in mark making activities.

When i eventually get going with it, i am going to try and upload some photos on here. If anyone else has any i would love to see them and hear how it is going.

Thank you again for your responses - everyone on here is so welcoming and kind

Thanks Lisa x :o

 

 

Hi - I have some photos - I will just have to work out how to distort kids faces then I will try to work out how to post them!!! - I will try and get round to it at the weekend x

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I have a slight problem with my deconstructed role play - any advice gratefully received.

 

We had a huge cardboard tube making a sort of pillar in the middle of the area with a piece of fabric pegged on to it and then the other end pegged on to one of the washing lines so it made a sort of canopy. Today my (slightly taller) year ones got involved and more fabric and paper was pegged to the other side of the tube.

 

The problem? They've knotted and pegged the other ends to the handles on the 'teacher cupboard' doors. I have no idea how I'm going to get in without knocking down the entire edifice?! xD It looks brilliant though - I guess I can do without those guided reading books for a day or so can't I :o

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i went to a confernece lead by alistairs (guy who wrote the blog) which was excellent and was inspired by this type of role play. I had already done a bit of this by allowing my children to make signs and labels for the role play the term before and suggest and say what they wnated in the ole play. Then before christmas i made a large space in the corner of the room, lined the wall with plain paper so the children could draw their own scenery ect. and filled it with boxes, tubes, writing things, material, cusions and themed boxes e.g. home, police, doctors, dolls

 

It worked really well the children loved it though it took lots of modelling and adults in the sidelines supporting children if needed. After 3 weeks they were playing in their independently without adult support. I would notice them playing things and add/ chnage the themed boxes e.g. added a pets box and firefighters box. also writing started to appear on the background wall :-)

 

however i do feel that i would have a mixture of both types of role play. i have had this role play for a term and over the last week or two it is really not being used anymore. so next term i am going to create a role play area (science lab) - generated through children's interests they are abit science/ experiment mad at the moment i asked a children the other day whats that (water all over the floor) they said they had made an explosion in their lab! I feel a chnage of senery will inpired them again a so after easter i may go back to a deconstructed role play again.

 

you do have to spend time introducing the idea otherwise i found they just empty everything onto the floor! but you should def give it a go. it all depends on your children and how they take to it.

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Hi, I've had a deconstructed role play for nearly half a term now. The children have been to many places and have had a great time. Our head thought it very amusing when he came in and looked over to see head after head popping up out of boxes!!

We do spend time observing the area closely so we know what needs to be put in there to enhance the play and we also use the children's play as a line for planning. One child began to make the area into an Alien Planet. From this we got the children questioning, and learning about the Solar System, that the sun was a star and giving them lots of opportunities to make marks and communicate with each other (with new words) It has been such a gratifying 3 weeks, the children and adults have had great fun, and lots of learning has taken place.

 

And this is a job!!?? (Nursery)

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