☆Promote children’s holistic development through Child- initiated play in the Corners☆

What is corner-play?


Facilitators set the center of a place for an activity in which there are appropriate tools and materials to enjoy the activity, with taking the purpose of the activity, children’s interests, developmental stages into consideration. Children choose one favorite play corner by themselves based on their interests and curiosities from some play corners set by facilitators and change the play corner whenever they want. In other words, children can enjoy favorite play spontaneously during corner play time.

Why is corner play important for children’s development?

Children’s development and learning are complex and holistic, and yet skills across all developmental fields can be encouraged through play, including motor, cognitive and social and emotional skills.

Learning occurs when children engage in activities that pique their interest and stretch their imaginations, and this is more likely to happen when children choose what to do.

Corner play, when well planned, promotes child development and learning competencies more effectively than any other pre-primary activity. By choosing to play with the things they like to do, children actually develop skills in all areas of development: intellectual, social, emotional and physical.

 For example, while children are playing, they can try out new social skills (e.g., sharing toys, agreeing on how to work together with materials), and they often take on some challenging cognitive tasks (such as figuring out how to make a building with smaller blocks when the larger ones are not available). Children are ‘hands-on’ learners. They acquire knowledge through playful interaction with objects and people.   

They need a lot of practice with solid objects to understand abstract concepts. For example, by playing with geometric blocks they understand the concept that two squares can form a rectangle and two triangles can form a square. From dancing a pattern such as step forward, step back twirl, clap and repeat, they begin to understand the features of patterns that are the foundation for mathematics. Pretend or ‘symbolic’ play (such as playing house or market) is especially beneficial: in such play, children express their ideas, thoughts and feelings, learn how to control their emotions, interact with others, resolve conflicts and gain a sense of competence.

Example of the set some appropriate corners for 3,4,5 years children

Craft corner (Drawing, Coloring and Clay)

Children can experience these things…..

-Enjoying an immense sense of achievement and satisfaction upon completion of the art work.

-Realizing the characteristic qualities and shapes of various materials, and cultivating creative thinking by producing something out of these materials while learning their proper use

-Developing persistence, through completing large-scale time-consuming construction work.


-Promoting communication with teachers and friends while describing and discussing one’s idea of what to make.

Pretend play corner

Children can experience these things…..

-Cultivating the children's communicative ability, through the process of thinking how they can get their friends to understand what they want to do and what they think.

-Raising the children’s ability to change their way of thinking and to accept other’s opinions, though the process of overcoming their troubles and conflicts with others.


-Getting deeply involved with their friends and creating a sense of camaraderie, though the process of developing their play by discussing and cooperating with their friends.

Picture books corner

Children can experience these things…..

-With exposure to words in picture books and picture-story shows, practicing expressing things and one's thoughts and increasing vocabulary to facilitate communication.

-In the process of understanding the story with pictures as clues, developing an imagination of the world of stories and fantasies that are depicted in words.


-Finding ideas for new play in picture books and incorporating it into one's activity.

Building block corner

Children can experience these things…..

-Developing imagination and cultivating creativity while constructing something with blocks through trial and error.


-Feeling an enormous sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, by discussing and cooperating with friends in a big construction project in which a child can display more persistence than in independent art play.

Playing with children


Facilitators enjoy playing with children, taking into consideration that the role of facilitators is to “facilitate and develop” the play of children as well as observing children closely.

Photo gallery

There are some nurseries which have already introduced corner play practice in Egypt.

 You can get the ideas of corner play from here!.

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