Children like to re enact real life scenarios through their play. When it comes to using props like dolls, children can play out many roles which may be copying events from real life situations such as:
Playing at being a mummy or daddy, etc…
Recently my daughter has taken to play the ‘babysitter’ or ‘child-minder’. The only thing is, because she is at home on her own (as her sibling is at school) she finds it boring playing by herself. The result being is that I often have to stop what I am doing and join in with her. Sometimes this isn’t a problem and I enjoy playing with her, but other times I have too much to do!
This gave me the idea of providing prompt activity cards for my daughter to help her ‘know what to do next’ in her game. On the computer I made up some picture cards of things you would need to do to look after a baby.
I then helped my daughter to set up her child minders home/centre.
- We set up the beds / cots
- we set up the feeding area and bottle heating area
- we set up the changing table
- we set up a play area.
I used a one minute timer to make the babies arrive at the center at different times. When all the babies had arrived Ruby then selected her first card from the pile. She could then act out the role of that card for as long as she liked which kept her busy!
This was my daughters favourite role as a ‘child minder’. It was also her idea to have a story time card.
We had lullibies playing on the ipod to lull the babies to sleep.
Then when all the cards in the pile had been turned over and acted out I put the one minute timer on again for home time. Every time the beep went, another baby would be passed back to imaginary parents.
This role play activity worked really well for both myself and my daughter, as I had had some input in the game with setting it up and making the cards and setting the timer (as well as getting some chores done) and my daughter had enjoyed playing with some guidance.
This activity would also work well in a preschool/nursery or kindergarten/Reception classroom too! Plus the children can come up with their own ideas as to what activities are needed for the game. We had the following picture cards:
- music time
- feed time
- sleep time
- nappy change time
but there are many more you could add, such as ‘bath time’, etc…
This is a great learning activity through play which will allow your child to explore different aspects of everyday life in a safe environment. Watching them do this is a fantastic opportunity to see how they see the world around them, you will be surprised and often amused at what you see!