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Domestic role-play in the book corner


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Hi,

We're having that age-old problem of domestic role-play happening around the setting and not just in the home corner with a particular concentration of it in the book corner. To be fair, the children are often reading a story to the baby who is cuddled up on the pillows, so in a way I don't want to stop this as at least they are looking at a book. However, the book corner isn't big enough for any other child to get in who just wants to read a book.

We have a small sofa and large floor cushions in the book corner at the moment. I moved the sofa out of the home-corner as no-one was using it, other than to stand on to peek over the shelves! I have tried asking the children to take the cushions and blanket into the home-corner but they just emigrate back to the book corner. The book corner is enclosed on 3.5 sides which may be it's appeal.

I've planned to used my spare role-play area which is next to the home-corner as a cosy/bedroom/home extension type space to follow this particular interest, however, I will need it to follow other interests after a few weeks!

Do you think that I'm worrying about this more than I need to - true Child-initiated play should allow children to choose WHERE to play, after all!

Do you find this happening in your setting? Have you tried anything else that has been successful? I'm wondering whether to open up the book corner a bit? Make it less of a corner really? But then is it less cosy, quiet and inviting?

Any ideas gratefully received!!

Green Hippo x

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Yes this happens to us too. We have switched areas so made book area home corner and vice versa. We have books in the role play area and have had soft toys, dolls in the book area too.

I have observed children moving objects purely so as not to have to share too. We decided to have books in lots of areas. So in small world, construction area, maths area, home corner/role-play area, this now works much better for us.

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Our home role play was more of an open plan living style, small kitchen, sofa.,book shelves, with books.. etc..along with high chair, baby, small cot , wardrobe with some clothes and accessories.. this gave a lot of the items needed for role play in the area.. We wanted it to be used as a home not only a kitchen .

 

Sounds like a large area but it was not that big, we were a pack away setting so all had to go away at end of each day in our tardis cupboard. Was more about being selective and not overstocking the area. .

 

We did enclose the home corner on 3 sides..

 

and we too had books in almost all areas of the setting..

Edited by Inge
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Oh my word Green Hippo, this has been happening in our setting too! Was driving me crazy - "Boys, can you play that game in the den......"look there's a soft cosy cushion over there.....". etc. But your right - it is child initiated so why's it bugging me!??

 

I guess, again, its all that 'cosy corner' book area talk that we strive to provide - only for it ending up being used for all sorts of social play and anything but looking at books!!

 

A bit like the child who plays with the box -rather than the gift inside I suppose! They know what they like :)

 

Was going to change things around next term.......but maybe i'll leave it be......?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I took the plunge - after 2.5 years of not re-arranging the furniture (previous to this, our room was smaller and I was never happy with the layout, so often had a shuffle round), I had a move round. I have put my creative area and writing area together (they were next to each other before but separated by the painting unit, now it's one big space. This meant that my book corner had to move. So we are trialling having it more open and also in a 'passing' area - not the cosy, quiet corner it used to be! We're going to see how it goes and if it isn't successful, we can move another unit to enclose it. I may now need to create another quiet space - possibly underneath a table to ensure that there is somewhere for the children to re-treat to. They often go and sit on my big chair which is near the construction and small world but I think they feel that they are away from the play as they are on the chair. 2 child can fit on it as well so they can still be sociable. I have also got room in the book corner now to introduce a book nook if necessary.

By moving things around we have created a lot more space in the role-play areas, so hopefully this will also allow for the children to extend their play within these but we will continue to be flexible with this.

Thanks

Green Hippo x

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