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Home Corner - Real Food


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

Another question from me! What do you put in your home corner that creates authenticity ie things children will see at home. We tried this month with a carrot and they were eaten very quickly!!

 

We do have things like breakfast cereal boxes, egg cartons, butter and milk cartons but what else could we put in there?

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yes, we have used real food - potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions etc

some tins -but found these needed more supervising

real pots and pans, plates, cups,jugs

tea towells, dishcloths, washing up mops + sponges

dustpan and brush

egg boxes, cereal packets,squash bottles, milk bottles (plastic)

 

old laptop, proper keyboard, telephone, telephone books, magazines, catalogues, television, remote controls, cameras, mobile phones, cd player

 

kitchen bits and bobs -sieves, colander,whisks,wooden spoons, mixing bowls.

 

sometimes we just raid the playgroup kitchen and see what we could use thats suitable ! -they quite enjoy using their snack plates and cups in the home corner !

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Guest terrydoo73

Thanks for your replies. As I said we have tried carrots but with it being eaten it was never visited again. We are scared if we use fruit that the same will happen - is this a bad thing? How do you discourage it if it is wrong? We found the carrots a great observation for one child who showed us how mummy cuts it but another one nicked the batons and ate as she cut! We had to try to show this child that the whole point was to see them how such food was cooked at home and if she continued to eat the rest of the children in the playgroup would not have the opportunity to play with it.

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I'm not convinced about this, partly on health grounds - our kitchen is not the cleanest bit of kit in the world.

 

But also, on the grounds that children need the learning opportunity of pretend play - they need to learn how to pretend that objects which are NOT the real thing ARE the real thing. This is the basis of learning how to create stories, and understand metaphor (this toy carrot 'stands for' a real one) and other higher order thinking skills.

 

If you want them to do cooking, that's a whole separate area of learning really. Although I like the idea of using real objects wherever possible, I'm not convinced it has true merit in a role play area which is, of its very nature, about the ability to make believe.

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Real stuff is a great learning source

so what if it eaten, thats the point is it not, explore with all our senses.

 

I buy stuff from basic section in sainsburys

 

I had 2 boys eating carrots strying to see if they could get them to be the same length! Great learning

 

sorry to handle real items give weight to play. a real saucepan has a weight to it unlike its plastic counterpart

we can guess if one saucepan is going to be heavier than the frying pan! plastic weighs the same

 

the real metal whisk, masher etc make a fantastic noise when whisking and baking - plastic does not have the same sound infact the whisk and the plastic untensils sound the same.

 

And as for pretend play my children have fantastic imaginations and role play whether it is real or plastic but the learning opportunities for extending and enabling the learning is far greater with real

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But eating a real carrot is not the same as pretending to eat a pretend carrot - it's an entirely different bit of conceptual understanding.

 

Not a big fan of plastic, but not all pretend toys are made of it.

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i put spices in my role play last year in the nursery i worked in. I left them sealed and watch to see what happened! at first they pretend played with them, then someone worked out how to open the seal (great problem solving observation!) and off they went, the spices lasted about a week and many ended up on the floor (and the clearner was not all to happy) but i found children who didn't normally go in the home corner started to play in there with the spices. we got great language and it was good for exploring all of the senses. we also talked about how to handle the spice jars as they where glass - what would happen / what should they do if one broke. (not one broke and we kept them in the role play for ages afterwards empty of spices). I felt the experience of handling the glass was key to their learning and development as it is something they come in contact with everyday. I think sometimes we don't give children credit for what they can do. I also used glass test tubes in a science role play and they were great with them too the care, control and co-ordination they used was amazing (repeated this year with my reception and guess who broke a glass test tube -me!)

 

have you asked the children what they think should be in the home coner? they may have some good ideas! when i asked mine they said they needed some oven gloves as that was what mummy used to get hot things out of the oven.

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And as for pretend play my children have fantastic imaginations and role play whether it is real or plastic but the learning opportunities for extending and enabling the learning is far greater with real

 

All the stuff you mention could be done elsewhere - making noises with metal stuff in a music area, feeling the weight of different objects in a PSRN area.

 

If resources are real they are not role playing, they are doing something real (although confusingly within an imaginary context). It's the difference between:

 

- we are cooking in the real kitchen

- we are role playing cooking in the pretend kitchen

 

We don't give them a hot oven to use their oven gloves with on the basis that this is real (or if we do we call it cookery).

 

But just my point of view :o and it's lovely that you argue yours so well!

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its all about balance though, we dont always have real things in the home corner -the home corner is not always a 'home' either - and there are also other ways of them using their imaginations around the setting- they make food out of bricks and feed me dinosaur counter cakes, they make birthday cakes out of sticklbricks with sticklebrick candles that they blow out, bits of fabric from the craft area turn into a salad, a bucket of cars turns into car soup etc , etc.

 

i think its good to have real things in the home corner from time to time...it helps the children learn how to handle 'real' things properly, also most of the time we find the pans end up outside being used as drums, or in the sandpit, or a doll is having a ride in it ! lol !

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I encourage children to use all their senses at the 'discovery desk'. The desk is an old 1950's wooden child's desk. It had an old ceramic ink well which I removed - in its place stands a magnifying glass (I have also added a two-way viewer). My husband tiled the interior of the desk (for ease of cleaning) and removed the desk lid. Each week something different is put in the desk - it could be e.g. an onion, corn-on-the-cob, pomegranate, savoy cabbage; whatever is chosen is refreshed each session. The chosen fruit or vegetable is presented whole as well as cut in different cross-sections. I also add a plastic (ex-picnic set) knife and fork. The children are encouraged to use all (or most!) of their senses - they smell it, look at it through the magnifiers, they touch it and taste it - sometimes they even listen to it (peas in a pod?). Children are encouraged to wash their hands before and after - and to taste just a little bit if they wish. Initial reservations centred around hygiene, but then I think about playdough and all the germs that abound in that (despite making fresh dough with the children every week!). I don't put real food in the home corner, because it is available for the children to use/examine in other ways in the nursery.

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Guest TinklePrincess

The setting i worked at last summer (children's centre) didn't allow real food in the home corner as a number of parents complained about teaching children to "play with food". I managed to convince them to allow real flowers and cereal boxes, empty cartons etc :)

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DevonMaid, I love that idea and if you don't mind, I shall use it in my setting. I personally, prefer the idea of children exploring/using 'real' food in contexts such as this and when children prepare their own snacks, or during food based activities where an adult can support the learning, before standing back to enable the children to extend/explore as they wish. However, in most settings I've worked in, when rice/lentils/flour/playdough etc is provided in a separate area, children always transfer it to the home corner, which is great.

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The setting i worked at last summer (children's centre) didn't allow real food in the home corner as a number of parents complained about teaching children to "play with food". I managed to convince them to allow real flowers and cereal boxes, empty cartons etc :)

 

I'd agree with your parents on that one. I think it's important not to blur the boundaries too much for young children. They need to learn context appropriate behaviour, i.e. we don't play with food, it's for eating and we need to have clean hands, etc. when we handle it. Putting it in a home corner is surely going to confuse that for them?

 

I absolutely LOVE the desk idea - that's great!

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Guest lou73

Not sure if this will come up twice as I posted it and it disapeared! so here goes again, sorry if this is seen twice. I have not tried real food in role play but something I may now consider.

 

I have in the the past, and will be doing again next term, used the artist GUISEPPE ARCIMBOLDO see link for his work http://www.giuseppe-arcimboldo.org/

 

His work involves painting faces of people which are solely constructed from different fruits and vegetables which the children loved identifying. We then took the children outside to our grassed area where a large box of different fruits and vegetables had been placed. The children then were able to create their own fruit faces using the items in the box (carrots, onions, butternut squashes, grapes, oranges and much more, although soft fruits only lasted two days!). The children then photographed their faces and we made them into a lovely display.

 

We also extended this activity by providing the chidlren with an interactive computer game based on the same idea see following link http://wsgfl2.westsussex.gov.uk/aplaws/int.../Arcumboldo.swf

 

I know this does not link really to the comments posted previously but thought some of you might be interested. I know my nursery children loved it. :o

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Not sure if this will come up twice as I posted it and it disapeared! so here goes again, sorry if this is seen twice. I have not tried real food in role play but something I may now consider.

 

I have deleted your blank posts for you!

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I have in the the past, and will be doing again next term, used the artist GUISEPPE ARCIMBOLDO see link for his work http://www.giuseppe-arcimboldo.org/

 

His work involves painting faces of people which are solely constructed from different fruits and vegetables which the children loved identifying. We then took the children outside to our grassed area where a large box of different fruits and vegetables had been placed. The children then were able to create their own fruit faces using the items in the box (carrots, onions, butternut squashes, grapes, oranges and much more, although soft fruits only lasted two days!). The children then photographed their faces and we made them into a lovely display.

 

Ive seen this done in yr2 and the children produced some great results.

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