Role play

two children engrossed in outdoor role play

The importance of pretend play in natural settings

“Fantasy play is the glue that binds together all other pursuits, including the early teaching of reading and writing skills.” – Vivian Gussin Paley

Fantasy play, or pretend play, is an integral part of childhood. While too often limited by the narrow confines of a role play area, pretend play can flourish outdoors if children are given the space and materials.

Playground equipment like slides or swings encourage active play. What materials should you introduce to promote pretend play outdoors? Read the article.

little girl playing at the Mud kitchen

New for 2019: Outlast mud kitchens and Arbour!

In most settings, the home corner is a popular and firmly entrenched establishment. This spring take your cooking outdoors again, where natural materials, dirt and water are the perfect ingredients for hours of creative play and scientific discovery. And then escape the hustle and bustle to relax, read, or role play in a welcoming, protected den.


Watch our new Outlast mud kitchens and Arbour in action at Annan The Froebel School in East Sussex. Everything comes with our standard 10-year-warranty and free 2-week delivery.

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block play

Bring back the blocks!

For many young children, hands-on, sensory experiences with three-dimensional objects have been replaced by two-dimensional screens and worksheets. This is detrimental to their learning.


With all the evidence linking good spatial skills with future achievement in all STEM areas, we must find a way to bring back the blocks. “I am more convinced than ever that blocks are one of the most essential materials for the early childhood classroom,” writes Rosanne Regan Hansel. Read more.

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little girl doing role play under an Outlast table with flowie outdoors

Making sense of the world through role play

“The very existence of youth is due in part to the necessity for play; the animal does not play because it is young, it has a period of youth because it must play.” – Karl Groos, German biologist 1861-1946


Because children, like baby animals, learn best through play, it is in our best interest to create enabling environments which will ensure that their play naturally fulfils the EYFS learning and development requirements. Here's how role play can incorporate all seven areas of learning and development.

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Posting in Play Collection

Where do your children post things?

One of my earliest recollections of nursery is lying on my tum peering through the slatted patio floor at the interesting things people had dropped through the cracks and wishing I could reach them! Anyone working with young children knows how they collect and transport small objects and find handy cracks or holes to drop them through. There is magic in making things disappear. When something goes missing, isn’t your first step to check the favourite posting places?

Our design team wanted a wide age range to enjoy our new Play Collection role play furniture. As well as enabling the role play and puppetry that three- to five-year-olds love, the team had fun imagining how two-year-olds might engage with each piece. The team leader took prototypes home to observe how his family would use them. While his older children engaged in role play, the youngest was happy turning knobs and opening and closing doors! What was the biggest hit for his two-year-old? The holes in the side of each unit to post things into!

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