The benefits of role play at EYFS cannot be understated. Role play develops self-confidence and self-esteem, encourages showing initiative, helps learners to express their individual personalities, cultivates friendships, nurtures a use of the imagination and provides the ability to experience real-life situations in a safe environment. Role play also develops communication skills, providing opportunities for cooperation, teamwork and the use of new vocabulary. As educators, is there more that can be done to ensure these particular skills are developed?
We’ve come up with some 3 top tips for how you can improve communication through role play.
Mix up your role play corner or home corner
It’s common, and a good idea, to have a corner for role play that emulates the home setting. Providing real-life role play scenarios for learners provides a safe platform for pupils to revisit familiar events and engage with the rules and routines of everyday life.
However, if you’re looking to broaden the vocabulary of your children, try creating a role play corner that emulates a scenario of complete fantasy – perhaps from a storybook you are studying. New scenarios equal new words, sentences and conversation which equals new vocabulary. Provide pupils with dressing up outfits that encourage fantastic scenarios like superhero capes, or storybook character outfits.
Display vocabulary relevant to role play scenarios
Providing a comprehensive list of words and phrases that would commonly be used in the role play scenario helps your pupils make connections and feel confident to use new words, they perhaps normally wouldn’t. Don’t be afraid to use complex words and phrases to push those more able learners, as well as providing more simple prompts.
Outdoor role play
Children are often drawn to ourdoor play and outdoor role play. Outdoor role play provides learners with the opportunity to use vocabulary about their environment. When children are playing outsdoors, be on the look out for opportunities for when a well thought-out prop will allow the scenario to play out even further. But the outdoors also lends itself to specific role-play scenarios – pizza delivery, a builder’s yard, a car garage. You could also get really down and dirty and introduce the idea of a Mud Kitchen – mud pie anyone?
For everything you need for continuous provision, you can see our entire role play range here.