This video requires a membership to the Siren Clip Library. Please log in if you are a member or purchase a subscription.

The Factory Office

Christopher, Megan and Vicky aged 4 are playing together at nursery. They are joined later by Zoe and Kayleigh aged 3.5 years as their game progresses. There are two adults in the setting. Christopher, Megan and Vicky are in the ‘writing corner’ cutting out paper in their 'factory office'. They decide to be dad and two mums. The girls are making phone calls and Christopher is cutting out various sized trousers to go in the factory window.

Good for looking at

  • Complex socio-dramatic play
  • Co-operative play
  • Language and communication development
  • Physical development
  • Mathematical development

“The child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behaviour. In play it is as if he were a head taller than himself.”

Vygotsky 1978


  • Do you think this idea applies to the children playing this game?
  • What cues can you see that show what the children are interested in? (Look out for non-verbal and body language as well as spoken language)
  • How are the children learning? Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?


What are your thoughts about:

  • How and what were the children learning?
  • The children’s levels of involvement? How engaged were they in this child initiated play?
  • The role of the adults in this interaction – how did she support the children?
  • The value of this type of activity for the children?
  • What role did the environment, materials and resources play in this interaction?


What would you do to:

  • Support the individual children’s interests you might have spotted during this play?
  • Encourage the children’s efforts at producing products for their factory?
  • Support the children’s factory further? Where could it go from here? What do the children think?

What next:

  • Do you need to encourage more of this kind of pretend play in your setting? How could you inspire the children? Do you know what they’re interested in and what will get their imaginations going?