Over the past year, this game has provided hours of entertainment. Something so simple, yet so many EYFS objectives!


  • Dressing up clothes
  • Empty storage container
  • Empty tub


This game is one of their favourites. They tip out all their dressing up clothes, find their penguin and dragon costumes and then use a tub and the empty storage container (our dressing up box) for imaginative play.

They create their own worlds around the boxes. The transparent storage box is the penguin’s home and is surrounded by slippery, icy slopes, where they have to slide on their tummies. The pink tub is the dragon’s cave, high on a rocky mountain. I encourage them to develop their gross motor skills, by using different movements for the different animals and travelling imaginatively in the two different worlds.

I also also try and encourage them to express the different emotions that the animals might be feeling. We have used a mirror in the past to help them see the expressions they are pulling.

They love Donkey and Dragon’s babies in Shrek. These were their dragon and penguin babies!

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 01 – Listening and attention:

Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

ELG 03 – Speaking:

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space.

3. Personal, social and emotional development

ELG 08 – Making relationships:

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

6. Understanding the world

ELG 14 – The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

DfES Early Years Outcomes (2013)

1. Communication and language

Understanding (40 to 60+ months)

• Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.

Speaking (40 to 60+ months)

• Uses language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences in play situations.

• Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.

2. Physical development

Moving and handling (40 to 60+ months)

• Travels with confidence and skill around, under, over and through balancing and climbing equipment.

3. Personal, social and emotional development

Making relationships (30 to 50 months)

• Can play in a group, extending and elaborating play ideas, e.g. building up a role-play activity with other children.

• Initiates play, offering cues to peers to join them.

• Keeps play going by responding to what others are saying or doing.

7. Expressive arts and design

Being imaginative (30 to 50 months)

• Uses available resources to create props to support role-play.

Being imaginative (40 to 60+ months)

• Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.

• Plays alongside other children who are engaged in the same theme.

• Plays cooperatively as part of a group to develop and act out a narrative.