Our Play Space: The Coffee Shop

A peek inside a reader’s play space…

Each week, my three year old nephew comes over to play and when I have the time, I try to come up with interesting ways to promote new kinds of play. Being a preschool teacher, play and creativity is always on my mind but I tend to leave most of my creativity in the classroom and forget to bring it home. On this occasion, I had painted a large cardboard box to look like a cafe. I let my preschoolers play in the cafe but when we were done with it at preschool, I brought it home and set up this small dramatic play area for my nephew.

Every person who came to visit us over the next few days was invited by my nephew to come and join him for a cup of “coffee” or “tea.”  As I observed the interactions, I realized that this special area ended up being a cozy place for one-on-one interactions between my nephew and the adults in his life. His mommy, his aunt, and anyone else who came over had to stop in for just a few minutes to share a moment in my nephew’s special place.

After a few days, I needed to take the “coffee shop” down so I could use it for a new scene at preschool but when my nephew came back over the first thing he said was, “Where is my house?” So now we are going to have to make a new special place for my nephew because play changed the day I took the coffee shop down. No longer was it about the one-on-one adult/child interactions that the coffee shop naturally invited. Things went back to my nephew running around the house while the adults in his life spent their time talking with each other.

It’s amazing how a simple play space such as this can define the kind of play and the quality of play for everyone in the house!

Thank you to Deborah of Teach Preschool for sharing this wonderful, playful reflection with us.

Do you have a family or kids play space in your home that you love (indoors or outdoors)? Submit your play space here and you too could be featured on Childhood 101.

Be sure to visit the previous Our Play Space posts for more inspiration!

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  1. My buddies would LOVE a coffee shop set up! Hmm… Maybe some sonuts, too!

  2. That’s so great! What a fabulous Aunty you are! Creating opportunities for quality time like that is so precious.
    Thanks for sharing :)
    Lusi x

  3. I have used that same cardboard for lots of different backdrops. I just paint over the it and change it up!

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