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Den building, extending children's play

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by gretna, May 3, 2012.

  1. gretna

    gretna New commenter

    I have some children in my reception class who often choose to build a den using crates and drapes and then will spend a long time sitting under the fabric chatting. I've suggested they might like to share books in there and even placed clipboards near the entrance suggesting they may want to write a list of who is in there. I would welcome any other ideas to extend their play please!
    Thank you
    Gretna
     
  2. gretna

    gretna New commenter

    I have some children in my reception class who often choose to build a den using crates and drapes and then will spend a long time sitting under the fabric chatting. I've suggested they might like to share books in there and even placed clipboards near the entrance suggesting they may want to write a list of who is in there. I would welcome any other ideas to extend their play please!
    Thank you
    Gretna
     
  3. Hi Gretna it's great that your children have the opportunity to do this. I'd like to know where you got the crates from as the only place I've come across is selling them for nearly £10 each which seems excessive. Could I suggest you think about why they are making this den. Observe them playing in there and listen to their conversation. It could be a hideout, a house, a cave etc and so the way you try to extend them will reflect this. Putting a few saucepans and cups saucers etc if they are playing house or capes eyemasks and camoflage netting, paper and pens for keep out signs etc if a hideout. Or ask them what they need to make their play more interesting for them. It could be that it is just somewhere for them to chill, they may have hectic homelives and they need space and time to themseives. You need to make it relevant to their play and not just expect them to take on your ideas on how to extend their play. Hope that is helpful.
     
  4. gretna

    gretna New commenter

    Many thanks for sharing your ideas tracer24, tomorrow we'll be chatting with our Den gang and looking at ways we can enhance their ideas.
    We got the crates from our school milkman!
    Gretna
     
  5. You're welcome. I would be interested to know how you get on and oif any of my theories are correct! Keep us posted. I asked our milkman and he said they don't give them out any more. Grrr.
     
  6. I have been thinking again about the den question..,. I know I need to get out more. I've been on long term sick leave and am itching to get back into it! Anyway another thing you could try is taking the crates etc away and providing materials and equipment where they have to think more about the construction. Muddy Faces do some very good and reasonable poles with holes at the top for threading string or thin rope through. I think they have large pegs too or that might be on Early Educator's website. This would ensure that they are communicating to each other. They could tell the other children how they did it and maybe write intructions for them? Anyway let us know.
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Why on earth would they want to do this? They know who is in there already!
    I think we all ought to learn by heart the poem inky has quoted. We are being persuaded to interfere far too much in the children's young lives. Why do you think they build dens to start with?
     
  8. You are right of course and I too love that poem and the let me one by Peter Dixon. I think the OP wants to improve her practice and help the children to gain a richer experience through their den plplaying. None of the suggestions would inhibit their play and the children may choose to ignore all attempts by a well meaning adult to 'enrich' their experience but we all want to do better don't we and sometimes busy teachers can lose sight of the importance of play in it's own right. That's why this forum is a Godsend. Their are so many lovely, generous people out ther willing to share their knowledge and experience, don't you think? I think it's a positive thing that the OP felt he/she felt able to ask questions to inform and improve his/her practice as none of us are perfect are we?
     
  9. This thread reminded me of a day in nursery last year. We had made up a metal den frame and provided drapes, pegs etc. Some children were interested, and one or two had a go at swinging on the crossbar. They took the drapes out of the basket and strew them around a bit. Mostly they jumped around inside the frame (nothing wrong with that). I saw one little girl, a high achiever, approach and start to construct. . "How are we going to fix this up?" she said addressing the others. They looked at her and then carried on bouncing around boing boing, like bouncy balls, as she (and me) raised our eyes to heaven. Oh, the joys of nursery!
     
  10. Ha ha Thumbie that rings so true!
     

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