I’ve always had a passion for supporting children’s learning, this passion is what led me to train as a teacher. I absolutely loved my teaching career and I look back on it with fantastic memories. When I had my second child in 2016, it was evident that I would not be able to continue teaching whilst my children were little. There just wasn’t the flexibility in a teaching career that I needed to be around for my family and this was when our Pop Up Play Village journey started!
In the summer of 2019, we decided that we wanted to be able to link Pop Up Play Village with learning in schools. It is an extremely educational role play village where every role play area was designed with a focus on what the children are learning whilst they play. We decided to create EYFS and KS1 curriculum planning which enabled any of our role play areas to be taken into schools and early years settings to teach most aspects of these curriculums.
Once the planning had been created, I had that buzz to get back into schools and early years settings to pilot our curriculum plans and I was not disappointed. In the Autumn of 2019, I started working fortnightly at a local preschool and then in January 2020, I also starting working weekly in a FS2 class in a local primary school and I am still in both of these settings today! Being able to go into settings and work with the same group of children has been incredible and because I am there regularly, I can see the benefits that the children get from learning through role play.
So, what are some of the benefits of educating children through role play?
The most noticeable benefit of learning through role play is the excitement that it brings children to want to learn. When the children come in and see what play areas have popped up for them each week, there is a class of children wanting to get stuck into learning which is just what is needed to achieve high quality learning.
The role play areas and opportunities for learning within them are targeted at a specific age group and what they need to learn when we go into educational settings. We work with each setting to plan sessions that are following key learning objectives that they are currently learning in school or following a specific topic to enhance their learning further. For example, for children in a FS2 class who are just learning to write, there are writing opportunities in every play area. This enables the children to practise their phonics and early writing skills in a relaxed environment where they are writing for a purpose.
What I have noticed from working with the same groups of children is that their play develops over time and the children challenge themselves further as they become more familiar with each role play area. This independent child led learning through first hand experiences is such a powerful way to learn. The beauty of it is that the children don’t even realise that they are learning, they think they are just playing.
Another major benefit from learning through role play is that it is a very sociable way to learn. Children develop the skills to work alongside and with others, it encourages team work and develops children’s communication and language skills. This is all done in a play based way again for a purpose making it easier for children to be able to develop these skills.
Role play is truly an amazing way for children to learn, it enables them to learn from first-hand experience, it gives them opportunities to learn about the world around them and test out ideas in a safe and relaxing environment. It is also lots of fun and a great way to stimulate a class of children to learn.
If you would like to find out more information about our work with schools and early years settings, do get in contact with either myself at email@example.com or contact your local franchise for more information.
Written by Becky Hoare
Creator and Franchisor of Pop Up Play Village