Boys and Mark Making!

abc doesBoys Learning, Mark Making, Role Play6 Comments


SO much going on at the moment, almost too much to tell you! Am really pleased with how much the environment is encouraging mark making, especially with the boys.

Now that the children who have been in the longest are really feeling comfortable with us and the environment they are beginning to use it in the way I envisaged they might.

Lots and lots of play going on in the role play area is including the creation of their own backgrounds. What has struck me more than ever is that if we were organising 'under the sea' or 'fire station' we would have the whole background relating to the theme. The children are quite happy to have LOADS going on in the one space – they just play to the bits that relate to them.

There was a lovely moment today when one of my boys wanted to draw fire because another was using a cardboard box as a fire engine and pipe insulation as a hose! He went and got one of the enhancement books that we had put on the small world to copy.  This is what he came up with.




Have had two significant developments in the child initiated interests this week that we are going to follow up.

The first is dolls. We have had 2 naked, anatomically correct dolls around for ages and none of the children have gone anywhere near them. We have had a girl start this week who has a baby at home and the doll play has massively taken off. Her play has inspired the others – especially the other girls. We have named the dolls Kylie and Jason and also dug a much larger doll  'Sinita' (!) out of the stock cupboard. All dolls have been scrubbed in the water tray and wrapped in large woolly hats!

The babies have been hungry, ill, pooed on the TA! We have written shopping lists for nappies, prescriptions for medicine, lists of names…and so on.

We have found some old dolls clothes and sorted them by size and colour and then washed them in the machine and hung them out to dry. The level of engagement has been VERY high.

So I have decided that babies will be our first enhancement box in the deconstructed role play.  The dolls and their accessories will go onto the shelves in the area so that if the children wish to use them in their role play then they can – if they don't then they don't have to. If I had set up a baby clinic then they wouldn't have had the freedom to role play the fire station and I wouldn't have got all of that FANTASTIC mark making!

Our second child initiated theme is photography/video. Lots of the children are very interested in all of the Flip and photos that we are taking and are really keen to try. So the 'How does it work' table is becoming a photography and video table with digital cameras, flips, old cameras and mobile phones for experimenting with.

It has already got off to a good start!


Have had a good few emails from teachers in mixed R/Y1 year groups asking how you manage cross phase planning so I will post my thoughts and some examples tomorrow.






6 Comments on “Boys and Mark Making!”

  1. The rolls of paper are just good old lining paper. These particular ones were from Homebase because they were slightly cheaper than BandQ!

  2. The way I am enhancing the deconstructed role play is with a box of ‘themed’ objects that can be taken into the area for the children to use if they want to. So, when an adult is in there they can use all of the objects and model their use and appropriate language – once the adult has gone the children can replicate/extend that play or play something completely different.

  3. Is an enhancement box a box with things added to it for open ended play in relation to a specific observation?
    Also I love the idea of the above post however can’t really visualise it, is it possible for you to post photos without the children in it?

  4. Am loving this blog!
    Have just amalgamated the Nursery and Reception classes into a Foundation Stage Unit in the small rural Norfolk Primary School where I work. We provide full day care for those who want it, and have taken the children from 2 years of age since the village pre-school closed a few years ago. It is soooo challenging but we absolutely love it!
    Can’t wait to see your ideas on mixed planning!

  5. no comments on your last two posts that makes me sad 🙁
    Loving reading your updates and helps me ask and answer my own “why” questions.
    Looking forward to hearing your views on mixed R/1
    I have introduced an amasing piece of “stuff” into my outdoor water area but sadly can’t share pics as they have children. Essentally it is a big piece of wood with loads of 12mm holes in. I have cut bottles into funnel shapes and punched a hole in each one, also done the same with some interetsing bottle shapes etc. These are attached to the board with large bolts and wing nuts (great for fine motor). Next on the list is to screw some guttering brackets and down pipe brackets onto pieces of doweling whch can be posted through the holes. Children have really enjoyed starting to make their own waterways and hopefully the idea will continue to grow. Sorry wafling now x

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