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EYFS Home role-play area: ‘Going out’


What do we need for going out? Photo © Shutterstock


Domestic role-play is a core part of continuous provision in Early Years classrooms. This area of provision provides pupils with a permanent space to explore everyday routines as they develop new learning. This resource presents ideas for developing learning around the routine of ‘going out’. Linking the domestic role-play area to pupils’ experiences and stages of play will provide opportunities for introducing new vocabulary and knowledge development.

Links to Understanding the world

  • Support pupils to make sense of their physical world and community
  • Develop understanding and knowledge about the lives of people around them and in the wider community
  • Build on pupils’ personal experiences to develop knowledge


Links to other areas of the EYFS

  • Personal social and emotional development: Fosters pupils’ sense of security in a new environment, supports pupils as they develop social interactions and empathy.
  • Physical development: Using a range of resources at various scales, including authentic resources (such as pots and pans) and thinking carefully about how these are displayed for pupils to access will encourage development of gross and fine motor skills.
  • Expressive arts and design: Pupils begin to add narratives to their play
  • Communication and language: This activity provides opportunities for interactions, back and forth exchanges, encouraging use of new vocabulary and speaking.


Starting points

You will need:

  • A defined area of your provision, indoors or outside, to use for domestic role-play
  • Resources and props that reflect your school’s context and community
  • A small number of photographs of local places that pupils have experience of
  • Props – shoe basket, coats, bags, buggy or pram, baskets, sunglasses, hats, rain-coat, telephone, keys, wallet
  • Simple map of local area


Activity idea: ‘Going out’

Alongside a small group of pupils plan a simple (pretend!) outing. Gently guiding play, add a narrative of getting ready to go somewhere familiar and accessible. To support thinking, you could display a simple list of pictures of places which you know the pupils will be familiar with such as the school, supermarkets, the library, the park, garage. This visual aid will support pupils to make choices and talk about where they might be getting ready to go today.

As play develops you could encourage ideas about what you might need when you are getting ready to go out, these will be different depending on your location, context and community. For example: a shoe basket, a place to store letters, mail and packages, school uniform, a clock, sunglasses, hat, scarf, coat, wellies, rain jacket, a buggy or pram, keys, a map or information leaflet, bags to pack, lunch boxes and bottles.

You may be able to add spatial concepts such as ‘near’ and ‘far’ into play and encourage thinking about getting ready according to the weather today. Another simple visual aid could be a weather chart, or even a whiteboard in the entrance to your home area where the pupils record a weather symbol to show what the weather is like today.

Other areas of your provision could take on the role of destination for these outings – the book area becomes the library, the outdoor area becomes the park, four chairs set up becomes a car – with many opportunities to expand play, problem-solve and develop knowledge.

Questions to encourage thinking and vocabulary development:

  • I wonder where we will choose to go?
  • What will you need to take with you?
  • Do you know how to get there?
  • Have we been there before or is this somewhere new?
  • Will it take us a long time to get there?
  • Is it far away?
  • What is the weather like today?
  • What do we need to wear? Is there a uniform?
  • How do we feel about where we are going? Excited? Nervous?


Returning to the home area after an ‘outing’ might provide another opportunity for play to develop, to recall the trip, maybe to call a relative to tell them where we went, or to put away the shopping.

How to make this successful

  • Balance asking questions with letting play develop – too many questions can overwhelm play.
  • Listen carefully to what pupils add to the play, they may recount experiences of outings, walking to school or present misconceptions – this will support your assessment of their understanding.
  • You may need to model and scaffold play skills and empathy – carefully checking the baby has the right clothing for the weather, so that you encourage pupils to do the same.
  • You may need to reduce language, use visual aids or gesture to support communication for pupils.
  • Notice which pupils engage with this play sequence and how it might need to be adapted to encourage participation.
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to revisit the play – by modelling play initially and supporting vocabulary, pupils might bring the ideas into their independent play.


Ideas to build on knowledge

  • Map making – using our knowledge of local places.
  • Going on an outing to a local place.
  • Inviting a visitor from the local community into the class to talk about their work and local places.
  • Developing a weather chart for each day.


Primary Geography/Teaching Geography/Geography articles

Kennington, T. and Rotchell, E. (2023) ‘Introducing maps in the Early Years’, Primary Geography, 111, pp. 14-15.

Owens, P. Rotchell, E. Sprake, S. and Witt, S. on behalf of the GA Early Years and Primary Phase Committee (2022) ‘Geography in the Early Years: Guidance for doing wonderful and effective geography with young pupils’, Primary Geography, 109, pp. 19-22.

Sprake, S. and Rotchell, E. (2022) ‘Playing and learning with maps in the EYFS’, Primary Geography, 108, pp. 12-13.


This Teaching Resource was written for the Geographical Association by Sarah Sprake.

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