Deconstructed Role Play – A Practitioner’s Story

Alistair Bryce-CleggUncategorized5 Comments

I am really pleased to be able to share this guest blog post with you from St Margaret’s Nursery School Barnet. All about how they introduced deconstructed role play into their setting.

We had the opportunity to watch the online role play training on @abcdoes website and were immediately inspired by this idea.

Our nursery is a place of possibilities where we believe in free play in an environment where every child is empowered to take the lead in their play, have their own ideas with adults scaffolding their learning.

We have a large outdoor loose parts area and have seen how well our children play and learn in this area so knew a deconstructed role play inside would be a great addition.

We wanted the area to be visible to the children clearly a space for them to role play.  Allowing them to use their imagination and make up their own storylines, knowing that the boxes weren’t just boxes and could be transformed into whatever they wanted depending on their interests.

We began to plan

Where it should go?

Should we take our home corner away?

What resources did we need?

How much space to use? 

We have a house in the garden for role play so we decided to go for it and pack our indoor home corner away – yes this was actually quite a daunting thought, we know how much our children love this space. We needn’t have worried……

We kept it simple to start, adding prop baskets to include cups, plates and pans. Dolls, crates, cable reels and boxes. It didn’t take long for the children to use their own imagination and turn these props into table’s, beds and an oven. Boxes and tubes became boats and telescopes as the children became pirate adventurers.

We then had the exciting addition of a GIANT magnetic, white board which has been amazing to incorporate mark making in their play and we have used sheets and magnets to make dens.

Once the children had discovered new ways to use this area we added pillow cases for dressing up and the children were introduced to costume making. 

Our most recent play has included shops and shopping where we added visuals, empty food boxes and tills. The children then set to work making their shop. A cable reel was a great seat for the shop assistant and they wrote shopping lists on the white board. To extend this we offered them blank boxes where they could begin to produce their own food items which led to some amazing mark making. 

By placing our deconstructed role play area near to mark making resources and tables the children have had access to all they need to extend their prop making.

They are now showing an interest in trains so we have placed boxes, wheels and train tickets and look forward to seeing how they develop their play ideas with these additions.

We believe keeping the resources simple have enabled us to work with the children and add things appropriately rather than over whelming them with too many choices.

This new area changes with the children interests and is always busy with our children taking the lead in their play with enthusiasm. Using so many skills as they play and not once have they asked where the home corner is!

Thank you Mel and Carly for sharing your journey. It looks great!

If you are interested in the training that inspired this blog post, then you will find it here .

Have a great weekend.



5 Comments on “Deconstructed Role Play – A Practitioner’s Story”

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey. It has helped me to plan how I can introduce a deconstructed role play area into my classroom.

  2. Thank you ABCDoes for sharing this story . It is so fantastic to see the fruits of Mel and Carly’s labour in action , so many endless opportunities with recycled resources !
    With children’s imagination in action absolutely anything is possible 😊

  3. Brilliant and it’s so wonderful and clear to see the joy and learning that is happening in every picture. Feeling inspired.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.