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Role Play & the Importance of the Home-Corner

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Often in the home corner and dramatic play areas of the early childhood settings are easiest to set up play spaces that lend themselves to the exploration of families.

Written by: Early Educational Advisor - Jo Harris  

It is often in the home corner and dramatic play areas of the early childhood settings which are easiest to set up activities and play spaces that lend themselves to the exploration of families. Finding out what they have in common as well as how they are different is easy to explore through imaginative play.

Children may dress up in clothing and role play scenarios with their friends that reflect how they see themselves in relation to others. It is an opportunity to try out what it might feel like to be an older sibling if they are the youngest, or how it might feel to nurture and care for a baby or smaller children by playing with baby dolls, beds and prams when playing the role of a parent or grandparent.

Including dress ups can encourage children to explore roles that are often represented in relationships and themes between family members which also build skills such as empathy and cooperation through storytelling. Just like people, animals and mystical creatures also have families and share experiences together as relationships are formed.

It is often easier for children to consider alternative points of view that are relative to their own growth and development when they see and reflect through the stories and experiences, such as the addition and welcoming of a new baby or moving to a new house during play.

Sharing food is a well-known way to bring people and cultures together, adding a selection of pretend food to a dramatic play area is an easy way to discuss individual family identity. It can be a gateway for children to even try new foods as they share elements of their home cultures through natural and relaxed conversations.

The Papoose Felt Bread Set helps to extend the range of bread that children may have seen or tested. Combined with the Sandwich Toppings Set which has a selection of meat, dairy and salad items, children can be encouraged to express their creativity and imagination. Assembling the sandwiches will also challenge children’s fine motor skills by the way in which they choose to layer the ingredients!

Through role modelling and intentional teaching, there are opportunities to learn the origin of foods through their cultural groups.

A universal and relatable concept, discussions can be sparked about where food comes from and finding out about children’s preferences can put a positive spin on mealtimes. Presenting food items in containers that suggest how they might be served or including a variety of utensils that are used to prepare and cook food could assist in broadening children’s perspectives on cultures.

As many children are part of the coffee culture of the adults around them, going to a local cafe is a part of daily life. Introducing the New Classic Coffee Machine Set which looks so realistic, complete with wooden cups and saucers and coffee pods that make it easy to pretend to be a barista, customer or family member, and easy to re-enact these experiences during role play with their peers.

Introducing a world globe when reading a big book or completing a puzzle can help to facilitate discussions about the origins of the children’s’ different cultures, and bring an awareness of the diversity of all types of families. These are resources that can be implemented into play for the children to explore independently through small and large group experiences such as creating a map and adding photos of the group members matched to their home countries.

Valuable learning opportunities could be shared in relation to concepts like families who live in different locations or other countries altogether or speak different languages and have different customs or traditions which could be further explored.

Having the chance to see what it might feel like to serve others can give an insight to what others think and feel, while others can gain perspective that they have not encountered, through the safety of play with guidance from educators to support their learning.

 

 

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