At Momentum Early Learning we hold four very important Core Values: Safety, Education, Cleanliness, and Technology. To maintain our higher standard of child care, we focus on education and curriculum. One of the most important ways children is through play. Dramatic play is important to children’s deployment because it allows children to act out their life in a way that they might not have the words to describe. It also helps them make sense of everyday situations that they may see adults in. With dramatic play, the creativity is endless! Ms. Lauren is passionate about creating a variety of dramatic play situations for her four year olds to experience. We hope that her ideas inspire you to create your own dramatic play areas at home or in your classroom soon!
Meet Ms. Lauren
Hi, I’m Ms. Lauren and I am the teacher in Little Scholars. In my preschool classroom, my favorite center to set up is Dramatic Play! There are many different names for dramatic play such as pretend play, make believe or imagination play. Simply put, dramatic play is taking a theme and allowing children to play and explore. A few of the main benefits of having a dramatic play center are encouraging conversation and conflict resolution, integrating math and literacy skills as well as helping children break out of their shell. When students are acting out pretend scenarios, such as a restaurant server taking orders at a cafe, they are able to not only use math and literacy skills (reading the menu or writing down what their guest wants), as well as communication skills – talking to their table and other peers as they then make the food.
What do you need for dramatic play?
When creating a dramatic play center in your living room, child care or school, some of the best ideas come from materials you already may have at home! Do you have extra pots, pans, cupcake tins and empty boxes of cupcakes? Let the children pretend to be at a bakery and whip up some yummy cupcakes. Do you have tons of luggage, old travel brochures, and kitchen table chairs? Set up an airport and let the children take you to their favorite places, whether it is Target or Disney World! One of my student’s favorite dramatic play centers came from their love of donuts. I went to Duncan Donuts and asked if I could have some empty boxes, napkins and cups. I have found that most places are always willing to give you a few extra items. These can really enhance the play and the dramatic play experience! They then helped me create a Donut Shop. We cut circles out of construction paper and they went wild decorating their donuts. They took turns taking orders for donuts, put them on fancy paper plates and delivered them to the tables. Our donut shop was a HIT and something that I will continue to do each year.
Be a kid again
Some things I have found to really encourage play in this center is to become a kid again and play too! When we made a campground dramatic play, I sat in a chair around our “fire” (basket full of sticks we collected from outside and scrunched up red and orange tissue paper), took a big stick and told the kids I was going to roast a marshmallow. Within seconds, I had a whole class full of students next to me ready to roast their own campfire food. Our favorite was to pretend we were cooking chicken nuggets!
Learning through play
Most times while playing in dramatic play, students won’t even realize how much they are learning as they play. For example, when we created an airport, I made boarding passes for the students. In order to climb aboard our airplane (4 chairs stacked together 2×2), they had to match the Uppercase Letter on their pass to the lowercase letter I taped on the chair. They giggled and laughed as they identified each letter to see just where they would be sitting.
With dramatic play, creating a fun and engaging area will encourage your children to learn and grow each day. Positive interactions and learning through play are part of our curriculum and hold an important role in YoungStar and at Momentum Early Learning. All it takes is a little effort to create a fun and exciting experience for both adults and children alike. The next time you are sitting in your living room, child care classroom or school, take a look around. Do you see a restaurant? A space ship? A pizza shop? The possibilities are truly endless!
Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.