Let’s pretend! The importance of role play

The Early Years Foundation stage particularly supports role play and the prompting of imaginative play within the early years. Little Learners Nursery St. Nicholas Ave, have a log cabin in our garden in which we create a role play area changed every six weeks to stay fresh and stimulating for the children within our care.

During October, we transformed the log cabin role play area into a Post Office! We supplied resources and decor to create a post office theme. The main aims of the post office themed log cabin are listed below, showing how learning can be fun!

Communication and language development
the post office theme is encouraging the children to speak out while they are role playing scenarios of buying items, writing letters, posting envelopes, wrapping parcels using packaging – the possibilities are endless!

Physical development
Peeling, sticking and even gluing stamps onto our envelopes encourages the development of fine motor skills. The children strengthen their finger muscles and practice a tripod grip to hold a pencil, then they can mark-make with control and even begin to form some recognisable letters!

Personal, social and emotional development
As the children role-play different characters and scenarios, they learn to listen to each other, take turns talking during conversations and follow instructions, strengthening those very important social skills and respect for peers. The children build confidence and self-esteem by becoming characters related to a post office and voicing their opinions through play.

Specific areas of learning:

As our Little Learners play with the till and count pretend money, they can give each other change and purchase items from the shop. By weighing parcels on the scales the children begin to build awareness of volume. We have supplied rulers and tape measures so they start to measure items in size and build on concepts of big and little, tall and small and so on.

Recognising letters and matching words together, the children have a go at writing their own letters to friends, family and loved ones. Story books based around post office themes are also on hand!

Expressive arts and design
The children can dress up as post office assistants and even a postman! As the children become different characters, they exercise their imagination, building confidence and language skills.

Understanding the world
As the children learn about other people’s occupations within society they grow in awareness, learning the purpose of a post office and what a postman does. The children start to understand what we might post and how our post gets delivered to us at home!