Dramatic Play...Don't Keep Baby in a Corner 

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Look around.  Are the props corralled into a 5 x 8 carpeted area like office workers in cubicles?  Do you carefully organize play kitchenware and think "Done."  Now to the Block area? 

I have to confess that I have grown to love Dramatic Play.  It is a fabulous area to spark imagination, make connections to the child's real world and dive into long, involved play.  But get it out of the corner.  Sure, you can start there. Give it a home. But allow it to grow and move wherever the children want. 

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I love seeing a turtle-clad boy seriously building a castle or a princess playing in dirt and worms or the whole class, complete with a clown, a mermaid and a fireman, constructing a train that spans the classroom.  Play should not be confined.  I have seen our Dramatic Play Area become a Town, then a post office appear in the writing center, a vet office develop in the book area and an airport grow in the block area.   Before I knew it a car wash was constructed on the playground.  

So, stop that voice screaming in your head, "But it will take so long to clean up!"  

Look around. Think about the world your children see. Bring it in the classroom and set it free.

 

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Car Wash...Bring Dramatic Play Outside

 

Creating a Woodshop in the Classroom 

 

Building together fosters cooperative play.

Building together fosters cooperative play.

Children love to hammer, saw, and build.  Change up your pretend center by adding a woodshop corner.  All you need to supply are the boards (scrap Styrofoam pieces), nails (golf tees), tools (age appropriate of course, no need to make an unwanted emergency room visit) and safety goggles.  Yes safety goggles, it’s never too early to start practicing safety habits with tools. 

 

Hammering nails is a fun fine motor activity while practicing eye/hand coordination.

Hammering nails is a fun fine motor activity while practicing eye/hand coordination.

Have a play workbench?  Add it to the center along with plenty of rulers, pencils, and a phone to take orders.  Turn it into a business with an adding machine, pretend money, and finished goods to sell.  

 

Let the kids' imagination take over and let the building begin!