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I have had two play stands with arches in my Kindergarten classroom for the past year and I continue to be impressed with their versatility. I placed them in what used to be my “house corner”. Prior to the play arches, this area of my classroom had a traditional play kitchen, which was very limited in terms of use and play. It could really only be used as a kitchen. The opportunities for imaginative play were limited by the environment. In replacing the play kitchen with the play stands and arches, a whole new world of exploration and play opportunities has opened for my students. They are no longer limited. There continues to be a lot of play centered on “house play” and “kitchen play”. The difference is that now, on any given day, this area of the classroom can be transformed into a pirate ship, a restaurant, a lemonade stand, a puppet show stage, a cave where bears hibernate, a jungle, Santa’s workshop…the possibilities are truly endless.

The opportunities for oral language development have also been enhanced by the introduction of the play stands and arches in my classroom. The children talk together as they devise plans for the space. They negotiate and make compromises together as they play and interact with the play stands and arches. The open-endedness of this play space encourages children to talk together which fully supports the BC curriculum’s communication core competencies:

  • connecting and engaging with others to share and develop ideas
  • acquiring, interpreting and presenting information
  • collaborating to plan, carry out, and review constructions and activities
  • explaining and reflecting on experiences

These play stands and arches also serve to support the other core competencies listed in the BC curriculum: creative thinking, critical thinking, positive personal and cultural identity, personal awareness and responsibility, and social responsibility.

At different times of the day, this space can be used for different purposes. Creative play is one way. But it is also used as a quiet space. It’s a place where children with sensory processing challenges can seek some solace and comfort. It’s a place where children can share a book together or sit and talk away from the hustle and bustle of the room. Draping the arches with fabric creates a cozy comfortable retreat for those needing some calm and quiet.

Learn more about Natural Pod’s Play Stand with Arches.

Claire Spofforth
Brooksbank Elementary School
North Vancouver

This is part two of our three part series hearing from educators at Brooksbank Elementary School, North Vancouver, Canada on how they are using our Natural Pod Play Stands with Arch in their learning space. Read the fist story here.