A home corner is a familiar environment for young children. It is somewhere they can act out their real life experiences that they have in their own home. Spending time in role play situations can help a child to make sense of their world. While playing in a home corner with others (or even alone) children use fantastic communication skills and language as they discuss things, explain and mimic many elements of home life that can help to make them feel secure. All children benefit greatly from having a space they can call their own, somewhere they can relax and enjoy. Here are our top tips to starting your own home corner.
The most common starting place for a home corner is a kitchen. It's a great toy as most of the other props and toys you can add to the kitchen can be imagined when you are first starting out (my son uses a chair as an oven, or will just stand and pretend he is making a coffee in thin air!). When selecting a kitchen make sure you find one that will FIT in your space, one that is inviting and engaging for your child and that is sturdy and sure to last the test of time
The next thing to add to your kitchen is food! What is a kitchen without food. Some things to think about when adding food to your space are, do you want food that your child can cut up or would you like a wider variety of food in solid form? Would you like to invest in long lasting wooden toys or will you just reinvent empty packaging from your own kitchen to create the food? Starting with an empty Rice Bubbles box or a Milo tin or even an empty jam jar is an easy way to add some real life touches to your childs home corner.
Now let's look at some accessories! Would your child love a coffee maker or maybe a toaster or kitchen mixer to create their own food? The accessories you add to your child's kitchen should vary depending on your child's interests. I know one little girl who loves her coffee maker because she knows mummy has a coffee every morning, but another loves her toaster because her and daddy have toast together on a Sunday morning so she enjoys pretending every morning she is having this special time. A tea set is another great way to add to your set up - I personally had many tea parties with my cousins, friends and even teddies growing up!
Another way to extend your home corner is by adding a childs table and chairs. Somewhere to enjoy the food your child creates, somewhere to sit and read a magazine or do some colouring in.
To make your home corner REALLY homey (yep, it's a word) is to make a place for your childs dolls and teddies. Maybe a bed or cradle for them to sleep in, a high chair to spend eating times as a family. The benefits of playing with dolls are great, so a place for your child to be able to take care of them is something that will make them feel safe, secure and strong.
Finally, another piece that many larger home corners have is a dress up box or rack. Somewhere your child can express themselves and pretend to be someone else. Maybe a doctor taking care of their dolls? Something as simple as an apron can turn them into a world class chef, or a pair of sunglasses to become a 'cool dude'. It doesn't have to be extravegant or expensive, let their imagination roam free.
So there you have it, our top pieces to make your home corner really feel like home for your child, a space to call their own and somewhere they will spend hours upon hours playing, imagining and learning. It doesn't need to be expensive, it doesn't need to be grand, it just needs to be filled with love, like their real home.