Summers are meant to be spent outside… enjoying the sunshine. It’s something that every Early Years setting looks forward - long summers with happy children, outdoors, learning and playing in the fresh air. The problem is that the hot weather has made running and jumping a bit of a challenge - and we know that several more weeks of it mean we’ll have to be a bit more imaginative if we’re to carry on enjoying outdoor play.
This year is our 20th birthday, here at Playforce, and as a special present to all those settings that have supported us, we’re running a special sale - with 20 products, each with 20% off, over the first 20 days of August. And we’ve thought imaginatively about the products we’ve included, to make sure that they’re suitable for both EYFS and hot summer outdoor play.
We all know that role play and imagination are a fundamental part of EYFS and touching on all areas of the framework, helping children to develop creativity, confidence, communication and problem-solving skills, as well as a greater awareness of physical literacy. Importantly, imaginative and role play gives children a fun way of exploring and learning about real-life roles, as well as fictional stories.
Here are our suggestions for encouraging imaginative play, using some of the products featured in our 20-20-20 August special offer.
Take story time outdoors
One of the best ways to encourage children to explore and expand their imaginations is to take story time outdoors. Our Circle Time Seats are perfect for little children to perch on, helping them to engage with the story being told… which is where our amazing Circle Time Chair comes in… this natural wooden throne is perfect for focusing attention on the storyteller, or individual characters in the story being told.
But don’t worry… if you’re worry about children getting too hot or sitting in the sun, our EYFS Tipi, Play Cabin and Woodland Cabin with Timber Roof are all perfect, shady places for children to sit during story time.
Encourage children to tell their own stories
An important part of role play at EYFS is encouraging children to create their own stories and plays. Giving children a chance to act out adult scenarios can help them to form an understanding of ‘how the world works’. Our EYFS Tipi, Play Cabin and Woodland Cabin with Timber Roof are just as brilliant for this, as they are for storytelling time.
Why not combine them with our Role Play Shop and create a village… it could be dressed differently each week allowing children's imaginations to run wild, or allow children to make their own games by using the space as a house, dressing up area or even a petrol station when combined with our Bubble Wash and Fuel Pump (not in the sale, we’re afraid)!
Or combine them with our Ship - complete with a den with portholes, a bench and sail, a platform with wheel and telescope and a slide - and encourage children to imagine that they’re playing pirates or defending a port.
Or, for the more practical, why not combine them with our Skippy and Cover to create a building site - especially if you already have one of our Cork House Brick sets (again, sorry, not in the Sale).
Written and drawn imagination
As well as listening to stories and role play, another great way to encourage imaginations is through writing and drawing. Our Freestanding Drawing Board has a chalkboard on one side and a magnetic dry wipe board on the other - making it perfect for pretending to be a teacher. Or why not use our Freestanding Clear Drawing Window is great for children to create drawings on a large scale. This board can be used with white board marker pens, felt tips, paint, and even face paint. Why not peg something linked to storytime to the board for the children to trace from the other side, or they could trace each others faces or the background. And finally, we love our Drawing And Weaving Board as a tool for is great to encourage mark making for emerging writers, or simply to draw on a large scale - especially when it’s linked to a story. The slots in the top and bottom can be used for weaving and just think of all the fairy stories that you can explore with that!
Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to find out more about our August 20-20-20 special sale, or contact us today.