dramatic play area is an area that allows children to participate in
different role-play scenarios and engage in a variety of literacy rich
experiences. As children plan, implement, and construct their play they
have the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with
language. Through the use of language they learn social skills,
negotiating skills, and conflict resolution techniques as they engage in
play with other children and teachers.
They draw on past experiences to try to solve problems and
construct their understanding of new concepts, which are important skills
for reading comprehension. Children see different types of environmental
print in this area and they will attempt to read it, connecting the idea
that print has meaning. A
variety of printed reading materials are available to the children to
explore so they begin to understand that reading is important and
beneficial to them. Tools and
materials are available to them so they can participate in functional uses
of print and emergent writing.
dramatic play area is often best situated near the block area. This allows
for the two areas to be integrated together, which children often spontaneously
do in their play. Plus both areas are usually louder and more active play
equipment used in this area with change depending on what kind of center
or theme you have going. Often times a child sized kitchen set is located
here for children to pretend play "house." Other
accessories can be added or incorporated to change the "theme"
of the dramatic play area.
dishes, food items, and dress up clothes are a must have in this area.
Also there should be multicultural dolls, and doll accessories for the
children to use. Other supplies will depend on the play scenarios being
carried out. For specific ideas look at the center ideas for the dramatic
Examples of two centers that can be incorporated into
this area are a family living center and a grocery
store center. Typically, a family living center is located in this
area. However, a variety of other centers that are interesting and
meaningful to the children can be incorporated and rotated into this area
throughout the year, based on the theme or unit of study at the time.
photographs of how the center looks when everything is put away
neatly. This will help kids to know how/where to put things at clean
where items belong on shelves with pictures and words for easy clean
the children help create "signs" and other "literacy
rich" accessories for new centers. For example, when you set up a
grocery center ask them what to name it and make a grocery store sign together
for the new center. If you set up a restaurant have the children
create the menus.