Early Years Podcast

Developing Key Skills Through Play

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Episode 5: The importance of imaginative role play with Simon Airey

Reading Time: < 1 minute
Alice Sharp is joined by Simon Airey, an educator with over 20 years’ experience of teaching, working in specialist provision and the EYFS. Simon is passionate about facilitating open-ended play-based learning to develop key skills and shares his thoughts on why role play is essential to language development in the Early Years.  
Alice and Simon strip the conversation right back to the basics, looking at what role play is, the different types of role play and practical ways to engage children in this type of learning to develop key skills.

Types of role play:

  • Occupational role play, where we might act out the role of a doctor, teacher, or shop assistant! 
  • Fantasy role play, where we focus on imaginary concepts, creatures and kingdoms!  
  • Real life role play, where we explore scenarios that are relevant to a child’s everyday life. For example, going to the shop, making a cake or playing on the park.  

Simon explains the importance of discovering the child’s interests and using this as the foundations for learning to spark imaginations and excitement.

Watch on YouTube

(The views expressed throughout this podcast are the speakers’ own, and TTS does not take responsibility for the views and guidance highlighted as part of this recording).

(Please note: When referencing the speaker’s views, theory and work for the development of your own materials, please ensure the academic reference of the speaker is cited).

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