This week we have spent some building a castle role play area. Children’s learning can so easily be “cut” by doing things for them. When we make a role play I like to involve the children as much as possible. This gives them the chance to stretch their “planning muscles” as well as giving them a chance to make mistakes and to revise and reflect on their plans. I started by asking the children what castles need. We brainstormed a list that was full of ideas I hadn’t even considered (such as torches, a grand hall and arrow slits). We then thought about what we needed to do first and how we would distribute the jobs and the children got to it!
There was plenty of great collaboration, perseverance and problem solving to highlight and build on. The children are still adding ideas, like building lances and adding flags on Friday. They had an amazing time role playing in it on Friday, learning loads of valuable lessons in turn-taking and gentle but effective role play. We had girls being knights and boys being princesses – lovely lessons in acceptance and open-mindedness. One girl built a shield to role play which led to a class discussion about our end of term battle with the rest of the school, which we can now start planning towards!
Here are some photos of the ‘before’ and ‘half-way through’ of our castle. I will add some finished ones of it – if it ever is finished! It may just keep evolving …
P.S. We couldn’t quite work out how to make a safe, durable, moveable drawbridge. Any ideas welcomed!