This super sweet cookie shop dramatic play center is baked full of fun! Students will want to bake all day with plenty of different roles to play. They don’t even notice the secret ingredients of literacy, math, and social skills practice mixed in!
Of course, one of the most popular centers in any preschool is the dramatic play center. It’s a place where children try on dress-up clothes and different roles. It’s also a wonderful center for literacy, social-emotional learning, language development, problem-solving…so many things!
This Cookie Shop is Open for Business
Name tags help students determine what their role is within the center. Too many cooks, of course, would ruin the cookies. Putting the name tags on lanyard-style necklaces or stapled directly to brightly colored aprons means that students can change their roles with ease every time they come back to play.
These aprons are online in a pack of 12. Staple the job titles right to the aprons – super easy!
It helps if each new dramatic play area set up has some “centerpiece” — something that makes it look very different from the regular housekeeping center. At the hospital, it’s the cot for the triage room. At the restaurant, it’s the hostess station with menus. Here at the Cookie Shop, it’s the big double oven! The doors open so those little bakers can slide their trays of cookies right inside.
This oven is constructed from 2 small moving boxes ($1 each at the home improvement store). Cover the boxes in black duct tape and leave one side open to create the oven doors. Recycled plastic from some packaging makes clear windows for each door. The doors latch with a tiny piece of velcro on the shelf. Real handles from a hardware store add a touch of realism. As a final touch, dials to set the temperature and a big digital clock finish the oven. Showstoppers like this don’t have to be expensive!
Bakery on a Budget
Most of the items used to make a fantastic cookie shop dramatic play are available at the local dollar stores. These little ingredient canisters are from Dollar Tree.
- Chocolate chips = brown pompoms
- Brown sugar = kinetic sand
- Flour and sugar = foam “snow” also from dollar tree.
Super-glue the lids and the students just pretend to use the ingredients to bake their cookies!
The cookies below are made from felt glued to cardboard (for durability), but store-bought cookies are fine too!
Incorporating math into dramatic play is as simple as one, two, three. To increase math practice, students:
- count the cookies on the tray
- write the number of cookies they want on the order form
- count the number of chocolate chips added to a cookie (quality control!)
- add up the price of the cookies purchased by the customer
That Authentic “Cookie Shop” Feel
Children love it when there are “real” elements in the dramatic play area. Using authentic baking pans, utensils, and timers is great. Make it even more realistic by saving some plastic clamshell bakery containers, washed well, and putting a shiny new logo on the top. Some bakeries may even give you some unused packaging supplies – of course, taking one home full of bakery treats to enjoy is never a bad idea!
Dramatic play is a fantastic place to incorporate as many reading and writing activities as possible since students spend so much time there. Labels on the materials, shelves, and nametags are all great ways to learn environmental print. Another fantastic way to get extra literacy practice is to have “order forms” where students mark down what kinds of cookies they’d like and how many. Organize these materials by providing a sturdy shelf or piece of furniture like the Create-It-Station.
Working together to create the cookies promotes conversations, problem-solving, and turn-taking. It also involves sequencing and putting visual cue cards at the center helps students remember the steps involved in making a cookie. Of course, it’s also perfectly acceptable to bake the frosted cookies when they are all made out of felt!
Check out this Resource from my Shop!
Cookie Shop Dramatic Play$4.00
Young children will bake gingerbread men, sugar cookies, and chocolate chip cookies to sell at their very own Cookie Shop Dramatic Play with this fun dramatic play center.
Providing a mix of fiction and non-fiction books is essential for growing readers. Adding stories like these will make the reading area another invitation to play in the cookie shop or relive fun times.
Enjoying the Cookie Shop
Students require no encouragement to enjoy the cookie shop dramatic play. However, it is a nice touch if they have cookies for snack on the first day! Other ideas:
- Provide cookie cutters at the play dough table.
- Count out cookies at snack, or count the chocolate chips in each cookie and chart them.
- Play a rousing game of “Who stole the cookie from the Cookie Jar?”
- A whole unit on Gingerbread is available at the click of a button.
- Practice rhyming words with this Gingerbread Rhyming game.
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