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Hi there, was hoping anyone would be able to give me some inspiration for my role-play area. I am ususally o.k with these but next tem my topics are a bit bitty as i am covering a few weeks on bears and few on seaside. Therefore not sure what to do? Thought about a cave-but not sure where to start and what the children would do in it for that long! Does anyone have any photos of a cave they have done before? Other than this what do you think i could do?



I have read, and contributed to the long thred on this in another forum and really liked some of the ideas (especially the school idea). Do you all always make your role-play areas linked to your topics or not??


Hope this makes sense!!

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hi alysha,


we made a cave last term and thought what would hold interest for longer term, but found by following the children their interest was held for 4 weeks and when we took it down they all complained.


we had an area we blacked out like a tent, making sure we had access to the area very easily, and then used for different activites.

It was very dark inside.


we started with torches and bears hanging up.all differnt sizes colours etc... how many? size, can U find them etc


they then wanted just torches and spent ages watching the lights get bigger and smaller depending on where they shone the light


we introduced things hanging down to feel. and different textures on the floor, soft an squashy, hard, crunchy, etc with whatever we had available


we placed a large mirror in the back so when they went in it gave an illusion of someone already there (themselves)


small mirrors in the ceiling to reflect light/disco light ball with coloured lights on the walls of the tent./ mirror ball


coloured lenses on the torches


natural materials for finding, touching, discovering.


find the hidden treasure in the cave


glow in the dark stars were used without any torches again for counting and matching they collected them and sorted them


One child asked to paint in the cave.....we compromised with pencils and paper and torches they lay on the floor to draw


the list turned out endless and we used the childrens ideas'


a very good day was when a member of staff curled up in the corner wearing a fur coat. She was completely hidden under it and the children went in with a torch...

the first child left very quickly and found me to tell me about the bear dragging me along by the hand to make sure I had a look....... no one else would then go into the cave...

we all stood at the entrance for 10 mins watching it and talked about bears etc hibernation etc etc. and the bear hunt of course...

they were all very quiet not wanting to wake it up...

then it moved a little and this they found facinating as they believed it to be a toy....

at last one brave soul went in to stoke the bear who stayed very still, they then became confident and about 6 or 7 went in together touching the bear....

who eventually woke up and growled making them all jump and run out of the cave.......as soon as they knew who it was they went in to stroke the bear and spent the next hour taking it in turns to be the bear curled up and growling at everyone.......a very noisy session but great fun.

as they were all confident in the dark by this time none were worried about this just excited...



we used it more for discovery and confidence building than role play. having said that one day they asked for the home corner to be set up in the cave.... and the hospital equipment to use in there.



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hi alysha -thought I could help but Inge has so many good ideas

Have you thought of using 'Going on a bear hunt' as a stimulus - it combines caves and seasides together!

Have fun with your cave!

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Great ideas from Inge - we have found a simple cardboard box as a cave works well. What about The Three bears house - different size beds chairs bowls and spoons. make or buy bear masks and attach a long plats to a hair band for Goldilocks.

Our Yr 1 class also invite a Goldilocks Character to be interviewed by the children to practice asking questions, this could be someone confident from the class or from an older age group. They also interview baby bear about how he felt after his chair was broken.

There are a couple of other books with a Goldilocks twist - the Jolly postman - Goldilocks invites baby bear to her birthday party; we often have a role play party - great fun.

Beware the bears, The bears follow Goldilocks home and trash her house only it is not her house. Good for citizenship training.

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