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We have a 6 x 4 wooden playhouse with veranda in our outdoor area and are unsure of the best way to resource it. We have in the past spent time transforming it into different role-play areas (usually with the help of the children) e.g. space-ship, cave, underwater world, superhero base-station, post-office etc, only to find that the children have pulled everything down the next day and using it as whatever role-play they are interested in on that particular day. We continually set rules and have even resorted to closing it when the children have not looked after it. However, should we actually leave it more open-ended and allow children to use it in the way that they feel on that day, just providing different resources to support their current interests and learning? We know that it may not look as lovely to the adults but maybe the children will get more out of it and respect it more if they are left to set it up and develop it? Hmmmm

What do others do?


Green Hippo x

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Hi GH, think you have answered your own question there, we too have wooden playhouse and as I only recently took over where I am ,ours had not been used and was still full of dressing up clothes etc and a real mess, I think it is better to allow the childre to develop it and adults to assist in their learning rather than prohibit but also still think you should have some ground rules in place - respect toys/resources

observe and then evaluate your new approach and take it from there

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we had hanging bags in ours with resources in them and they chose which ones they wanted..very often not used much though.


we found they used it well when set up as a book corner with pillows a rack of books etc...


and also a writing area where they could lay on the floor to draw.. ( ours had a piece of lino covering on the floor, cold but in their coats and wrapped up did not really bother them!) or a table with chairs and mark making items..


but more often they used it for role play with no props at all, very good for imagination and pretend play, it became an ice cream parlour , cafe, shop.. all with pretend items..and when we added play ones they lost interest , so we decided to keep it as a pretend house, model with new ones what it could be used for but most times the older children modelled and the younger ones joined in..


ours was used as storage in the garden so was full of bikes etc We needed storage and felt a sheed took up too much room so had the playhouse as a double use item.. worked well for us.

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