You DON’T HAVE TO HAVE role play toys for your child to enjoy Role play!  

One of the first Nursery settings I worked in when I lived in England was probably where creating role play settings for children began. I can remember being in the preschool room and the children wanted to play ice cream vans. I remember searching through the home corner and the role play box to try and put something together for them. But we didn’t have any ice cream role play toys.  

Rather than disappointing the children and telling them they couldn’t play that because we didn’t have the toys I asked them if they would like to help me make some. I remember the delight on their faces and the screams as they jumped up and down and shouted YESSSSSSSS!!!  

Getting Started!

We gathered the card paints glue scissors and other bits and pieces.  

We scrunched, we glued we cut and stuck. We spent the majority of the afternoon making wonderful flavored ice creams and lollypops, and before we knew it we had enough pretend frozen treats to stock a small ice cream van.  

The children got so excited by what they created they then wanted to make an ice cream van.  

So we found some big boxes from a delivery that we had and created our ice cream van.  

We stocked the van full of the ice creams and set about playing.  

This activity ended up being a month long project with other staff and parents becoming involved. We collected ice cream tubs and boxes, Ice cream scoops and bowls and various other bits and pieces to keep our ice cream van fully stocked.  

We then made our very own ice cream and the best treat of all was getting a real ice cream van to stop by the nursery and let the children have a go at filling an ice cream cone from the machine and eating it out in the nursery garden.  

The children gained so many valuable learning opportunities from this topic and all because we didn’t have the toys that they needed in that moment.   

Why don’t you try making your own role play props with your little ones?  

Shown below is an idea of how to create a pizza. Remember it doesn’t matter if you’re not creative, it’s not actually going to be eaten so it doesn’t matter what it turns out like It’s all about the process and what the children will gain out of doing it rather than the end product. 

How to create your own pizza

To create my pizza I used  

  • Cardboard 
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Different colored felt  
  • Plastic round tub lid.  

First I drew around the tub lid on to the cardboard to make the shape of a circle.  

Then I used the ruler and drew sections like pizza slices  

I cut some red felt into triangles for the sauce to go on top of the pizza slices.Then I used a pinking scissors to cut strips of yellow felt for it to look like grated cheese.  

I used pink felt to cut strips for ham, white for mushrooms and red and green for peppers. I also found some green buttons that could also be used. That’s the beauty with creating your own. You can use anything to be anything, it’s all in the imagination to what it is.  

I realised that the lid I used to make the circle could also be used as a pizza pan.  

I then went an extra step and created a pizza oven out of a cardboard box.

I already had the cardboard, pencil, scissors pencil, buttons and ruler. All I purchased was a pack of  colored felt costing me around £2.50. I had loads left over so it can be used for a number of other activities.  If you don’t have felt available you can use coloured card or even use old material/clothes and cut them up to use.

Give it a go yourself. Great lock down  activity to do with the children.  

If you would like a little extra help to create your pizza. You can download our FREE role play pizza pack.

You could even continue this activity by making a real pizza together.  Below is a recipe for you to download and keep.


Why not head on over to our Facebook group Ffrindiau Dre Twt Friends where we share lots of activities to do at home.

We hope once the lock down has been lifted that you can visit us at Dre Twt where pizza is served at Caffi Rhys. He even has a new delivery bike. Dre Twt also has many more role play stations for your little one to get imaginative with.