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Roleplay Ideas

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hiya,

ive just been given more responsiblity at work and now am in charge of the nursery attached to my school and the time has come to think of a new roleplay theme, we have just had a hospital, then a shop and recently we have had a pirate ship, a farm, and a castle. does anyone have any ideas of a roleplay theme that worked well for them? im thinking ahead really for september since i think i will keep the shop going over the summer as the children will hopefully spend a lot of time outside weather permitting!

im not very imaginative and havent had much experience of nursery so any help would be much appreciated.

thanks

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We have just changed ours from a hairdressers to a hospital. A cafe works really well too. :)

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One of the favourite with our children is a doctors surgery. we had the doctors desk/chair, medical kit of course but also had reception desk with phone and all the usual stuff. Had chairs and a table with books and magazines for a waiting room. It was great!

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our favourite is always the hairdressers,but they also love a cafe,garage workshop,a fairground,car wash,fireengines intend to provide opportunity for a castle when covering fairy tales.

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Also just remembered when we did the jungle and had a tent,camping etc Just providing materials such as a cover,blankets,pretend food or a cardboard box generates wonderful role play iniated by the children.

They love to bath the baby dolls as well drying them feeding them and putting them to bed.The space ship was a winner aswell.

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Ours too have loved a cafe/restaurant. We have also had a travel agents and the three bears house from Goldilocks.

Linda

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hi

 

our children love travel agents, opticians, workshops, bit messy but we had a garden centre last term that they could pot up their own flowers!!!!

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Our children really enjoyed a space station.. a tunnel to get in and out, lots of tin foilcovered hats and boots. They made the consoles themselves from boxes and bottle tops and paint etc. pictures of earth and planets and stars etc.

 

Inge

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We've done space too. We have a telephone box that we convert into a rocket!! Can't phone home, unlike ET, but they really had fun! :o

Linda

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Our children enjoyed the opticians - managed to get 'empty' frames, also made an eye chart, had mirrors, also appointments, telephone etc. At the moment we are setting up a baby clinic. Another popular scenario was the little pigs cottage.

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One that has worked really well for me in the past is MacDonald's! They are really good at giving you loads of freebies, and as the children are familiar, it runs itself!

Lots of opportunities for all sorts of learning and child-oriented activities so you can get some great observation opportunities as well !

 

Sue :D

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depends on the area our macdonalds wont give us anything!!! Burger King did though as did Kentucky fried chicken..... but we did limit to a very short period not wanting to promote 'junk food'.

 

Inge

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Hi,

 

We have just completed where do I live and had various roleplay situations - architect's office with computers, telephones, drawing boards, plans etc

- builders yard/site office with new house plans, new developments brochures, computers, telephone, laminated safety signs, tools, tool bench, builders clothes etc

- estate agents using various house details

- macdonalds

- market

- butchers/bakers/newsagent/corner shop

 

gr8 fun

 

love kizzy xx :o

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I always ask the children what they would like it too be and then have a class vote to decide from there. I normally start with a simple home corner for the first couple of weeks in september and then talk to the children and go with their ideas. Gives them the ownership and then can relate to many other areas eg writing lists of things we need, making and gathering the said items etc...

 

L

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I teach a Nursery class and am finding it increasingly difficult to offer different types of role play. We have a high percentage of EAL children and other children from more deprived backgrounds, that do not have the experiences or language to play in many of the role play set-ups that we've had in the past.

 

Our current theme is growing and so we wanted to set up a garden centre. However, when talking to the children before setting up, it transpired that only one child had ever been to a garden centre, the others didn't even know what one was. So of course we couldn't expect them to role play in this situation.

 

If only we had a real garden centre close by that we could take the children to visit, but it would have meant hiring a coach, and we already have a trip planned. Instead I wrote a short note to the parents asking if they could visit one if at all possible with their child. We have set up the garden centre in the Nursery now and the staff do have to spend lots of time in there with the children modelling the play.

 

We've had to do the same thing with a cafe, and even a shop. Some of our children seem to barely set foot out of their front doors, apart from coming to Nursery and just do not have the experiences to know how to play.

 

We do always make sure therefore that we finish and end each term with a "home corner" role play, which of course they are all familiar with.

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When I went on a course about role play a few years back the tutor said that first and foremost settings should have a home corner-and where possible have one all the time. She said that all children have the experience of a home, whether good or bad, and can relate to that. She said that if settings wanted to have other role play it should be as well as as opposed to instead of a home corner. This was particularly important for younger children, pre-school and nursery age. So I wouldn't worry too much Jackie if this is what you feel you can offer.

Linda

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Guest

we are lucky enough to have the space to offer a home corner all the time plus a second area which we change every fortnight usually. We have had all those listed- the shoe shop was especially popular, we added handbags as well as the week went on. Others have been vets, drs, hairdressers, shop, garden centre, cafe- thought about doing a school!

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Hi there,

 

Just been on a very good L.E.A course about I.C.T, where there was a suggestion to use a video of a relevant programme and place in the role play area, so that it could help children who have not first hand experience.

So you could play parts of 'Airport' if you were doing that or a vets programme. Not a practical thing for some settings I know but I thought it was a nice idea.

 

Lynda

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Our popular past role play- (inside and out)

 

space station

post office

babycare shop

hospital

florists

clothes shop

shoe shop

farm

seaside

restaurant

Going on a Bear Hunt

 

 

The favourite is always a good old home corner!

 

You could try concentrating on a book and 'bringing it alive' as a good way of giving them new experiences and extendng language opps.

 

Sorry if you have already had these suggestions but its early and didn't have time to read them all!

 

Sarah

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we had bear cave and it was fantastic. We brought all natural materials (logs for fire in the midle) inside and children loved to dress up like animals, to have teddy bear picnic, etc...

 

Also good one is shop. It is best put it in math area, if you have possibility.

Colect all empty boxes of food and things and you have lots of opportunity to disscus shapes, size, quantity...

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the role play ideas look really good but I was just wondering - do most settings have an adult stationed permanently at the area?

otherwise we have found that the children wreck it and dont play ie. shopkeeper/ customer unless we are there. I would be interested to know how others manage this. thank you Sandie

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We always have a home-corner and sometimes have another role-play area but we used to find that the children mixed up the resourses and everything ended up in the home-corner.When we create an extra role-play area I talk about it first with the children and put the writing table in that area and plan for an adult to be at thewriting table to model the play language/ writing of the senerio. After a few days the children get the idea. As Jackie says many children don't understand what they are supposed to be doing in these role-play areas . Many parents avoid taking children to shops,travel agents etc. because they find it too stressful. Many of them do these things when their child is at pre-school so children do not have opportunity to understand/consolidate their learning.

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I tend to use my teaching assistant to guide and model play in the role-play area,though i have to admit that because of other curriculum areas this only usually happens when i have introduced the new area. Saying that though my reception class are good at taking care of things in the area they MOSTLY play close to the theme of the area-well... i suppose you occasionally get 'robbers' in real shops don't you!?? The boys did love re-enacting this when i had a shop!

 

I do love this area-it is a passion of mine and i spend hours making them..This is my first years though! This year ive had..

 

A Classic home corner

A Corner Shop

Fairytale cottage (with a roof and everything!-i put props from many stories in and they loved this!)

Vets

Hot Air Balloon/story tent

An aeroplane (very good but noisy!)

 

 

Hope this is of any help!

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We were only discussing today the way we supervise our role play area. Up until now it has been supervised by an adult, we are now going to change this. I am a little nervous because as it has already been mentioned the children do seem to destroy it fairly quickly but I do feel it's important that the children have this area to themselves.

 

We are going to try to 'back up' our role play with lots of links and connections around the pre-school supporting the role play area, the aim being the children wil use it as its intended purpose. Having said all that it is a role play area and feel it's up to the children how they it. If we are going to ask the children their ideas we then can't tell them how to play with and use the area.

 

Obviously our usual rules apply to the role play area, tidying up after themselves, noise levels , taking care of our equipment etc. An adult will be stationed nearby to keep a close eye!

 

How does everybody else feel?

 

Sarah

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Another idea that my 2 year olds loved in their role play area is a bus.

we painted a big sheet of paper red to be the front of the bus, then pinned it up at the front of the bay, we then put some chairs on either side of the bay and a drivers seat, complete with drivers blazer, steering wheel and tickets.

the children had hours and hours of fun and still ask if they can have the bus back, we now have a gardening area, :o

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Guest

one of our early years people told us there is a company that sells videos of different scenarios to support role play

she said she will let us know where to get them from

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lynh56 and josiebrad I think the company you are after is Early Vision. They have role play packs that include a video, cd rom and a teacher pack with ideas for resources and activities to support the role play. We have obtained this using elc's and used it last week to introduce an Optician roleplay. As only one of our children had been to an Opticians, watching this short video ( it last about 10 minutes) enabled the children to understand what happens without us telling them. The videos are themed this one also has a hairdressers, dentist and a beauticians and includes different aspects of the role, for example a sight test for an adult, a child, buying glasses and ringing and making an appointment. We used this in addition to playing in the area with the children but we found gave an invaluable insight into what they could do in the area.

The web site which enables you to have a sneaky peek at one of the videos is www.earlyvision.co.uk

 

By the way I am not recieving any commission!

 

Sharon

 

P.S. We had a school as a role play and it was brilliant the amount of reading and writing for a purpose that resulted from it was fantastic, I was a little concerned where they modelled their cross behaviour from though!

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We have an Explorers camp at the moment - lots of maps, compass, torches, binoculars, magnifying glasses, rucksacks, tents, minibeasts,safri jackets, hats.

We have also has a PARTY another great hit.

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Sharon,

Thanks for that information. Very useful. I like the fact you can use your e-credits for this and for anyone concerned about children not having the experiences to draw upon for role play I think its something worth looking at.

 

Lynda

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