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Hi. In my toddler room, we now have specific areas for the children to play in, these being:


construction area, book corner, maths table, creative area, and communication table. I am hoping for another mat to go in the centre of the room to allow the children space to explore small world equipment, as we have quite a lot of it that isn't really being utilised enough.


My question, however is this: basically our creative area consists of a sand/water tray. And that's it but largely because of a lack of space. We struggle daily to find different things to put into the tray (the children aren't allowed to play in water, during the winter :o ). We have tried a variety of different materials in there but the children seem to prefer it when we do messy activities on the floor.


I was wondering whether it would be better to scrap the creative area, as most of our creative activities take place on the communication table (again, a matter of space) and set up a role play area, mainly as a home corner? All of the toddlers like exploring and experimenting with dressing up and playing with dolls. The picnic set is also a favourite at the moment. Only trouble is, we do not have 'proper' resources with which to set this up, so if it is a good idea to develop a role play area, what resources would be good to use?



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Our role play consists of 3 areas ( we are in a large hall)

A bedroom which consist of a camp bed, rug, dressing table, mirrors on wall, adult low comfy chair, length of wood with coat hangers fixed to wall for hanging clothes, a basket of cuddly toys, and dolls.

A kitchen - draw unit for plates, cutlery, table accessories, small 3 draw unit for play food, play cooker, low table. A screen secured around the draw unit which extends beyond the length has been adapted to make a 'front door' entrance, with a squeeky push 'bell' :D

Living room which is situated in our book/library corner, has a large rub, cushions, home made TV (clear plastic serves as a screen where puppet shows are performed), 2 seater rocking sofa ( IKEA), home made armchair ( two boxes, cut to shape and vastly taped together with bright red parcel tape)


Everything is self select and children are able to move freely between the areas, which are adjascent to each other. Children often devise their own resources and equipment using everything and anything from within the whole setting so really our resources in terms of bought items are just the basics. ie: the other day two children decided to tip out the contents of the 'junk' modelling storage box and sorted all the boxes and containers into a display and 'sold' these items to their peers, transporting them in buggies, tractors, on scooters, in bags to the bedroom and living room areas. :D Where the containers were then filled with scarves, books (fit nicely into a cereal box :o ), cutlery, play food, which was then transported back to the display area where a picnic was laid out and a story told. :D

The children were like busy worker ants scurrying around with determined actions and aims, far too busy to worry about whether any of their imaginary utensils etc actually looked like the 'real' thing, as long as it did the purpose for them they were more than happy.



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Hi, in our 2-3's room we have a floor sand tray (like the type you have in the garden) - really easy for little ones to access. (we have actually been lucky to have several of these type trays donated by parents whose children no longer need them).


one large table - this is set up with activities such as puzzles, threading, drawing etc first thing then the group choose which creative activity they want set up after snack - playdough, painting, collage etc.


There is also an easel near to these 2 activities.


We always try to have some role-play provision - at the moment they have a house set up as this furniture is not being used in our main nursery room but they also enjoyed a much simpler provision - area set aside where the baby dolls & their equipment were set out, a tea set on a rug or small table, a tool bench...


Then we have a free floor space which is used for several purposes - construction toys, small world play, puzzles (all in adjacent free-access cupboard), soft-play equipment.

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I had to consider the size of the room and what i felt we needed most. the room is divided into what i call wet and dry areas. This being carpeted half and lino other half.


In my carpet half, I used a large mat and cushions, natural basket with books in and a small rack on wall (actually for lids off saucepans bought at ikea); for book display. Other corner has large mirroe with hook rack next to it with various bits and bobs including a blimp pod from ikea to store beads bangles etc. There is also a small table and stools in this area which the children use for different role play. Two units face into this area with boxes of resources on, they also act as a part divider between both areas.


In my 'wet' half i call it the 'creative' area. It has table which is where we eat, paint draw etc on. I had to choose between sand or water as only had space for one, i chose sand but i use a tray from outside when i need it for water. I also have a black board on the wall at their height, i use a builders tray as and when and it fits nicely on top of the sand tray, as well as the floor.


i should mention my children are aged between 16 & 24 months, and i have to consider things that can move etc, as the children sleep in my room as well as children from the toddler room.


I have altered the lay out a couple of times since i took it over, as i would try things and see if they worked or not. The 'flow' so to speak! xD


think i'm there now! I think you have to look at the size, what you have available and what is versatile. As well as storage!


Sorry looks abit like an essay! :o

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