Role play areas are great, but they certainly take a lot of time, effort and thought. I know some of you savvy teachers will have kept your role play resources and have a good bank of things you can use but, occasionally, a topic change might spring up and before you know it you are creating a new role play theme. NQTs, make sure you do save all your role play resources; you will thank yourself next year. Some schools can place high expectations of what is included in your role play areas, how children use them, how they should look etc. which can seem overwhelming.
With that in mind these are my top tips for a role play area:
- Use research activities – Give the children opportunities to find out more about your topic through books, pictures, key words and any tech you use e.g. tablets/laptops etc. This will deepen the children’s understanding of the topic and enrich their role play experiences.
- Create a bank of questions and activities – Use ones that just need a small tweak e.g. How would you feel if…. Write a diary as …. These can easily be adapted for each new area and will save you lots of time.
- Marvelous Maths – Use a Maths aspect in your role play, such as counting money at a supermarket, weighing pets at the vets and so on. This will help you get useful Maths observations and gives some variety to your role play activities.
- Beg and borrow – Does your neighbour have an excellent role play area? Ask if you can do a swap next half term. It could do you both a favour (this is also a good idea for your book corners too).
- Look around – Choosing themes and creating resources can be difficult and time consuming, so I recommend looking online and around your school before you get carried away making and buying everything yourself. You could be surprised what you find.
- Sharing is caring – Involve your class. Could they make some leaves for trees in the jungle? How about some tickets for the train station? What about sending a letter home to parents asking for children to bring in cuddly toys for the vets?
If you have any tips for role play areas or exciting themes you would like to share, then let us know.
Image source: depositphotos.com