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Healthy role play


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I am just starting up two new role play areas, one inside, one out. The inside one is a cookie/sweet shop and the outside one a Macdonalds drive through. Both of these came about through the children's interests. Our role play has been somewhat uninspired and uninspiring for several weeks now but both of these started with something the children were doing anyway and have generated interest and excitement and some really good discussions about what needs to be in there.

 

My head is out on a course this morning and stopping at Macdonalds on the way back so has been commissioned to bring me back some useful empty boxes/bags/cups etc. As he was going he said "So, how does this fit with our Healthy Schools image then?!" He was teasing but it did make me wonder if/how others have tackled this issue. I'm thinking that actually it lends itself to lots of discussions about what does make a healthy diet which is something I often find hard to cover.

I'm also thinking we might follow the indoor one up with a dentist role play ;) !

Just wondering what others would do - would you avoid either of these like the plague?

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Sounds fab and I would definitely go with your follow up ideas. Lots of opportunities to have meaningful conversations and as it is based on childrens interests so you will have their attention when delivering your 'healthy schools' message

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I wouldn't avoid it at all. I know just what you mean by uninspired and uninspiring role play and your two choices will be much more meaningful to your children and hopefully mean some deeper learning. We find our role play always works best when we can visit places and make the play real for the children. I'm not suggesting that you have snack time at the Golden Arches, but I'm sure you will find your children are more engaged in something relevant to them.

To me, it's about balance, in the same way as a healthy diet is about balance. Maybe later on you could introduce a greengrocer's shop, a dental or doctor's surgery etc. You can still talk about making healthy choices, even if you're sitting at the McDonald's Drive-in!

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Certainly go with it the children may not know that there are choices that are healthier at macs such as salads ( not the dressing apparently,) but there are small bags of fruit and bottles of water etc. but when some parents are buying would children be offered these? Also they should be able to understand treats are now and again not every week! I think you could have fun with these areas

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Thank you all, glad it isn't just me that is happy to go with it! My HT arrived back in the middle of our PE lesson and walked through it with a bag in his arms full of Macdonalds bits and pieces. Much excitement from my lot because "Mr B's been to Macdonalds" We looked at the packaging when we got back in and there's lots of great language around maths already - how many chicken nuggets go in this box/bag? What's the difference between these two cups - one's smaller for children. The coffee cup is thicker - why? etc etc etc. Their main question though was which toy did he get?! ;)

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Hi Helen,

In my previous school I was PSE coordinator and I remember from a course I attended being advised to be careful about avoiding less-healthy foods and not to use the term 'un-healthy'. The lady explained that some children may only get protein when they visit MacDonald's and although we want children to understand that there are 'healthier' choices to make sure children know that it is ok to have these foods but to educate them about the quantity and frequency etc.

I say go with the children and use the role-play as a way of getting across some messages. E.g. making smaller boxes for the sweets as we don't want to eat a large box of sweets at once etc and do your follow-up role-play like you have already thought of!

Green Hippo x

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