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Dramatic Play


The 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. 


The 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 areas. 


The 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. 


Play 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 play area. 


  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.  


  • Display 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 up time. 

  • Label where items belong on shelves with pictures and words for easy clean up too.

  • Have 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.




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