Most nurseries and reception year classes have a 'Home Corner' where young children are encouraged to play 'house'; you can easily create your own Home Corner for your own children or ones you look after. The Home Corner promotes dramatic play, both for individual children and for children participating in cooperative play. Give your children things that they see in their home and they will mimic what they have seen adults doing.
You can buy children's equivalents of kitchen 'white goods' - cookers, washing machines and fridges, but all of these are easy to make out of simple cardboard boxes. Acquire some suitable boxes from your local supermarket, cover them with plain paper, then paint on the relevant features: hobs on the cooker and a window and buttons on the washing machine. Cut out doors in the boxes - a full panel for the fridge, a small square for the oven and a round porthole for the washing machine. Score the back of each door with a knife along its hinged edge to allow it to fold open easily. Use a plastic bowl for a sink, just place it on another box that can have a door in to act as a cupboard. In no time at all you'll have a simple Home Corner that will keep your little ones happy for years!
In addition to appliances, add props. Donate old kitchen equipment like wooden spoons, mixing bowls and other implements. Toy stores sell play implements, but you will probably find it as cheap to buy real plastic sets from a supermarket! Add sets of plastic or wooden food from a toy shop.
If you have some low shelves, make these a part of the Home Corner too. Encourage your children to put everything away neatly and keep their Home tidy!
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