How To Make Outdoor Role-Play Areas Work

How To Make Outdoor Role-Play Areas Work

Role-play is a great way for children to learn, play and develop. Children naturally like to emulate what they see on television, what their parents do, and copy what they’ve read in books. Children can benefit from role-play in several ways; including:

  • Development of creativity and imagination.
  • Enrich language and use of communications.
  • Develop social and emotional skills.
  • Enhance physical development.

Unfortunately, many don’t see this. Some experts have come across parents who reject role-play as just a way for children to be unproductive. They would prefer for children to learn through other means. But those, like you, in the educational sector know the value of role-play.

Different Types Of Role-Play

There are three types of role-play that can help children develop a variety of skills. The first of these is occupational. This is when children copy jobs that include teachers, policemen, builders and shop keepers. This is a great way to encourage empathy. You can also incorporate canopies in the role-play area to help give kids a great play session.

The second type is fantasy. This is when children create make-believe lands and creatures (like dragons). This is a fantastic way to build imaginative play. It can also help with language as children have to explain what they are seeing.

The third is real-life situations where children re-enact what they’ve experienced or seen in adults. This can be a way for them to explore their emotions and learn how to deal with challenges they can expect as they grow up.

Building A Role-Play Area At Your Setting

Some of the biggest mistakes that settings make with their role-play equipment is that they think clothing, equipment and other items have to match the imaginations of the children. But children are creative and many items can be multifunctional. You don’t need every emergency unit uniform, a couple can cover many different jobs.

At the same time, you don’t need to have lots of different of areas. Trees, canopies and other spaces in your setting can become any world, workplace or environment they want it to be.

Therefore, with just a few additional items, you can create an excellent role-play area in your educational setting.

So, how do you encourage role-play? Let us know in the comments below.

Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures at schools, nurseries and commercial organisations across the UK.
For more information call 0800 389 9072, email

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