Hame fae Hame have recently introduced a spellbinding addition to our setting; The Shop That Must Not Be Named. This has been an idea that Kaye has been toying with ever since she visited Edinburgh Airport and was inspired by their take on a Harry Potter shop, and with the help of some joinery experts and fellow staff at Hame fae Hame, it has come to life.
The shop has been formed by putting up partitions in the far corner of the middle room, with a working door in place and windows cut. There are shelves of jars filled with various loose parts, intended to look like potion ingredients and such, and a book shelf that has started to collect a few magical decorations and accessories of its own. The shop is very much still a work in progress as we are constantly on the lookout for more bits and pieces to add to the enchanting vibe, and more ideas for the loose parts jars as we feel these play the part very effectively.
However, the inclusion of the above mentioned loose parts have not only been for style purposes. Loose parts play is a form of play that has been gaining more attention in recent years and has been well and truly embraced by many childcare and nursery settings. Loose parts are materials that have no deliberate or directed use, they are natural or synthetic resources that can be used and played with in any way that the children choose to do so. For example, twigs can become magic wands, marbles can become eyeballs which they stew in their “cauldrons”, kitchen roll tubes can be used to construct broomsticks, and so forth.
The flexibility to create anything out of anything presents the children with opportunities to freely explore their creativity; to learn to overcome and adapt obstacles using their critical thinking and problem solving skills; to further expand on lifelong social skills such as how to work effectively as part of a team and how to share and negotiate with peers. Above all, loose parts play can provide children with the confidence to try new things without worrying about the outcome. There are no rules, no rights or wrongs and no such thing as failure when it comes to their own creations.
The Harry Potter franchise is becoming increasingly more and more popular with children as the years go on, so it has been lovely to provide the children with a play area that brings them sheer enjoyment and fuels their imagination beyond no limits. The magic wands have been such a hit that we have already begun to craft some more – the fun has been endless! We look forward to the adventures ahead as the shop continues to take more shape and the children continue to let their creativity flow through role play and exploring the depths of their imaginations.