Role play activity

Children learn a lot from role play. Playing let's pretend can boost their confidence and help them learn new words.

Role play

Role play is one of our fun activities for Early Years.

Kids love playing let's pretend. 

Choose a theme that your children are interested in.

Help them make stuff they can use when acting out the scene.

Enrich their experience by asking lots of questions – "Do big cars pay more to park?".

Let's pretend car park

  1. Make a car park out of cardboard boxes. 
  2. Pick up your ticket at the entrance from your security person.
  3. Post your ticket in the box.
  4. Park your cars in the numbered bay that matches your ticket.

We used card from an old delivery box, kitchen roll tube and masking tape. Dig around in your recycling for other materials.

Top tip: change the transport

Change the car park into a bus station, train station, lorry depot, airport or even stables for horses or unicorns.

Go where ever your child's imagination takes you.

Let's pretend car park

Take it outside

Take your transport theme outside into the big wide world.

Play spot the number plate. Look for numbers or letters they recognise, or car model badges.   

Spot different types of vehicles, colours or makes of cars.

You could even record your findings on a note pad.

More themes

Need ideas?

See if your child is interested in playing any of these different themes.

Listen out for subjects they are interested in. Eg, they might ask where you go to get a new house.

Then add them to your own list of themes.

More themes

How do I make props for pretend play?

Make props out of packaging that you'd normally recycle or throw away.

Cereal boxes, delivery boxes, plastic food trays and tin foil are all great for making stuff. 

You can also use real props for some themes:

  • Use old shampoo bottles and hairbrushes for the hairdresser. 
  • Build an indoor den with a blanket and chair to make a camp. 
  • Write tickets for bus stations, menus for cafés and invitations for parties. 

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy being creative.

What is my child learning?

Personal, social and emotional development: taking turns; gaining confidence in different roles; developing independence; and expressing preferences.

Communication and language: learning new words; developing speaking, listening and understanding skills; engaging in conversation.

Physical development: developing fine motor skills (using tape, scissors, crayons).

Literacy: making and assigning meaning to marks they make as they create props; reading by recognising print.

Mathematics: recognising numbers and counting; using everyday language related to money (cost, change, price); using positional language (next to, behind, on top) when using props.

Expressive arts and design: developing imagination; taking on different roles

Understanding of the world: learning how things work in the world through different role plays.

What is my child learning?

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