We have these play times scheduled in to the week. It works really well, because the kidlets know that will have a chance to play (so they don't bug me!) and also that the activities will be the same all week (so they are much calmer in choosing an activity knowing they won't miss out). The options for play include materials to explore a topic or concept that we have coming up (for example, water play with measuring containers in the weeks before we learn about capacity), sensory activities, fine and gross motor activities, imaginative play (dress ups, office equipment, dolls etc.), puppets, Lego/blocks/construction toys, computers or iPads and maths and literacy games/activities that we have done together that the kidlets can now complete independently. On top of those choices, there's 3 'corners' of the room that are permanent spaces and always an option for Discovery Play time (the others vary week to week).
Writer's Corner is simply a free choice writing desk, with lots of colourful pens, pencils and crayons to use with the stash of pretty paper, note cards, invitations and post its. At the moment, letters are the most popular genre choice, usually sealed in an envelope and reverently delivered to the lucky recipient! :)
I must admit, I was nervous to let my Preppies unleashed on the Creation Station. I kinda thought that letting them create whatever they wanted with the collage materials, boxes, paper, glitter, tape and glue would be a disaster waiting to happen. Fortunately my nerves weren't needed, and I have loved seeing this area become the most popular free choice option and the gorgeous art projects (or giant cardboard robots!) that they make each week. Bonus - they always clean up and leave it neat and tidy. :)
I almost had to get rid of my Home Corner because I was so pushed for space in my classroom - but just as I was carrying the stuff out to the shed I had an idea to put all the kitchen pieces against the wall, around a corner. It's a bit of an odd shape but means that there's actually heaps of room to play without taking up too much space in the room. I'm so glad I kept it, because I have a lovely group of 'mothers' who love cooking their babies dinner and some super keen coffee makers who deliver a cuppa to me approximately every 2 minutes... and then stay to watch while I 'drink' it. :)
Love this treasure busily cleaning her kitchen, using an empty spray bottle and cloth.
The conversations that happen on this phone are hilarious!
I'd love to hear what options you have for creative/imaginative play in your classroom! Please share so I can steal your lovely ideas. :)
I'm off to get my costume for our Book Week character parade tomorrow ready - our whole Prep team is going as the characters from Alice in Wonderland. I'm super excited!