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What's In Your Role Play Area At The Moment?


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Following on from the recent discussion on "What's in your tuff spot", I'm just being really nosey and wondering what everyone is doing for role play.

 

I find that the role play area is a real challenge. I work in a Nursery class which is part of a large inner city primary school. I have a very high proportion of EAL children with 14 different home languages in one class. Many children have no spoken English and many of the parents also have limited or no English. The children mainly live in back-to-back terraced houses with no gardens, or large blocks of flats. They have very little "outside experiences". Many have never even visited the shops, let alone a cafe, travel agent, garden centre, garage or library.

 

They therefore do not have the experiences, language or imagination to take on roles within the role play area. Even when the role play area is simply a home corner, they do not know how to play - it needs staff to play alongside modelling laying the table, making dinner, doing the ironing, feeding the baby, etc.

 

To try and change the role play to something linked to the topic is very difficult when the children do not have experiences of these situations. I would love to take them to the garden centre or a cafe or simply to walk around the local supermarket, but unfortunately all of these places are too far to walk, and to expensive to arrange transport for.

 

Anyway, last week, we changed our home corner to an underwater world, linked to our topic of "the rainbow fish". We've made it very visual - netting hanging from the ceiling with tissue paper seaweed, a large treasure chest full of jewellery, coins, beads, sequins, a large box of interesting shells for sorting and observing closely with magnifiers, toy sea creatures. We've made dressing up outfits for divers (backpack containing lemonade bottle "oxygen" cylinder, diving masks. Old cameras for taking pictures of the sea life. We also have mermaid tails and tiaras and material that can be draped to be an imaginary crab, seahorse, fish, etc. I have also downloaded some "sea and wave" music which is playing quiety and makes it very atmospheric. There are also various fish, octopus, jelly fish, seahorses and crabs that the children have made to decorate the walls and hang from the netting. We hope to add a boat (inflatable dinghy).

 

I must say that this is one of the best role play areas that we have done. Most of these children have never been to the seaside, but through using stories, books , pictures, drama (walking like a crab, being wobbly like a jelly fish, etc) bits of video of divers, we seem to have captured their imagination and they are really interacting well and are beginning to find confidence to take on different roles.

 

It seems to have taken hours to set it up, searching for and collecting resources, making outfits, cutting out and putting up pictures, etc, but well worthwhile.

 

So now I'd like to find out what others have in their role play at the moment. Also, how often do you change it? We try and start and finish each term with a home corner, but change the role play once or twice in between to something linked to the topic. If there is no home corner inside, then we ensure that our outside playhouse is set up as a house.

 

Look forward to hearing your replies.

 

Jackie :)

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I dowloaded some role play resources from sparkle box, they are realy lovely and today we had a Doctors Surgery. We can change ours daily as it has to all be put away at the end of every session. My favorite home corner role play has to be a blow up boat with oars, we made a cave out of black sheets and had pirate outfits for the children together with lots of 'treasure'. The kids loved it! I would really like to try an estate agents! Has anyone ever done that?

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Your role play sounds lovely Jackie. Unlike you, our children have had lots of rich experiences already, even when they arrive to us at 2.5 years old! This too can have its drawbacks though, as some children 'don't know how to play imaginatively'. Having so much done/provided/bought for them at home, and quite a wealth of possessions/materialistic goods hinders the ability to engage with their creative and imaginative development.

 

This week our role play is a Teddy Bear's hospital.

 

We are a pre school in a church hall, so set out and put away every day with very limited storage space. Our role play changes weekly or fortnightly.

 

Looking forward to read some more replies.

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To tie in with a dentist coming on Wednesday Our role play area is the dentist

We downloaded signs from Sparkle box We borrowed display teeth ect from the dentist

We made up a dentist chair The doctors set doubles as a dentist set White coats for dentist and nurse We have a waiting area ,desk ,appointment book and cards, phone ect

Throughout the week we will be having fruit and veg tasting and talking about foods that are good for your teeth The Dentist is coming on Wednesday to show the children the correct way to brush and take care of their teeth

We will be sending home NHS leaflets A dummy all day keeps talking away and Munch crunch on a healthy lunch

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We have a pavement cafe outdoors (lots of great speaking and listening plus emergent writing) and indoors lots of bright fabric lengths in response to the children ...............last week we did a giant art attack type creative activity and used fabric etc. After the picture was completed a photographed the children wanted to dress up in the fabric.

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wow Jackie sounds great! I always have a home role play area but try to have an outdoor or alternative indoor area too. We are just about to create a cave for our light and dark KUW topic, we just use a tent and blankets but torches and coloured gels usually get the children thinking in an explorer or other way and we can take the cave on from their ideas then.

That doesn't actually make much sense when I read it back but I'm sure you know what I mean! :o

Liz x

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Sounds fantastic Jackie!

 

Ours is a bedroom at the moment with cots, babies, grown up clothes, dressing table with flashing lights etc. We have painted portraits to go on the wallpapered wall today.

HOWEVER, there have been several 'burglaries' through the window xD So we now have all the police gear out and a simple police station set up in another corner - this all came from their play and the incident file is growing by the day!! The children are arresting and writing reports non stop :( Tomorrow we are going to look at what else the police do other than arrest burglars!

 

After the holidays (ours are in 2 weeks) we will have a Doctor's surgery - at least that is what it will start out as :o

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