A home corner is an environment to support cooperative and individual play. It’s a safe and nurturing place that provides children with a home-like experience. It’s the type of environment that many children in childcare centres are drawn to – they can zip and button, snap and brush, stir and shake, fill and empty, roll and fold, mix and explore. Whether it’s pretending to feed people or cooking a meal.
The Importance of a Home Corner
Pretend play is an important part of a child’s learning and development. In the home corner, children can act out familiar scenes they have seen at home or cook up wildly imaginative scenes they create from nothing. While the area may be referred to as a home corner, a creative child can transform it into a restaurant, fire station, vet’s office or supermarket. The opportunities for imagination exploration are endless.
When children act out their imagination, they develop a variety of skills. In addition to learning how to play cooperatively with other children sharing their space, they exchange ideas, engage in teamwork to problem-solve and negotiate how the space is used. The often-dramatic play that children engage in in the home corner has incredible benefits.
Children are impulsive so they must learn how to self-regulate. When children take on dramatic roles in their playtime, they feel motivated to stick to those roles and view them through the eyes of the rules that govern their play. This is an excellent way for children to coordinate, plan, and therefore, control their impulses.
· Language Development
The more children free play with each other, the more they develop their language. They need to learn to communicate clearly with each other, both to fill their imaginative role and to work with the other children filling their roles. As the play is unstructured, it provides children with opportunities to develop conflict resolution when disagreements arise. They also gain new perspectives through playing a different role and watching other children fill various roles.
Children are wildly imaginative; a simple scenario can quickly spiral into something entirely different. So, dramatic play in the home corner is a great way for children to problem-solve. As problems arise during their play, they have to solve the problem. If they are playing house and need to feed their pet, only to find they’ve run out of food, they have a problem to solve. And watching it unfold can be insightful into how children’s minds operate.
There is no limit to what children can imagine when they are in a safe place to create. What better way for children to explore and expand their creativity than a safe place to imagine?
The right childcare centre in Prairiewood such as Goodstart Prairiewood and beyond will provide your child with a wide variety of learning opportunities, from a home corner to climbing equipment and messy, heuristic, and puzzle play. Childcare centres are your children’s first opportunity for a more formal learning experience, and it’s up to you to decide which childcare centre provides your child with the variety they need to fully explore their world and develop.