Children love to imitate real life. And what is more real than a parent, exhausted, stopping into a coffee shop for a caffeinated boost? Or a couple of moms, along with their preschoolers, on a coffee-and-cookie playdate? With this Hot Drink Café dramatic play center, children can pretend they are baristas and adults enjoying a comforting cuppa.
Hot Drink Café supplies:
- plastic “to-go” cups and lids
- plastic coffee mugs
- This little tea set is from Melissa & Doug. Adorable!
- small white pom-poms
- empty “cinnamon” shakers
- coffee stirrers or craft sticks
- Printable signs, menus, and job tags
- play food sweet treats, such as cupcakes or cookies
- empty, rinsed milk jug
- toy or plastic dishes
- plastic or metal coffee pot (check out your thrift stores!)
- “Coffee Pot” (we made ours from a box and duct tape!)
- toy cash register
- play money
- A counter or sturdy furniture like the Create-It-Station by Constructive Playthings.
What do children learn from the Hot Drink Café?
This center has so much learning hidden in it! Incorporate literacy from exploring the menus and the labels. Counting how many cookies the customer ordered, ringing up the sale, and paying for the sale are all great math skills. Practice opposites by asking for hot or cold beverages, or practice sizes by asking for small, medium, or large drinks. Use the five senses and talk about how things would taste, smell, and look in the coffee shop. And of course, there are the social skills like cooperation, conflict resolution, and dialogue. You can even use this center to reinforce manners by using words like “Please,” “Thank you,” “May I help you,” and “Come again soon!”
Take a tour of our Hot Drink Café!
Want to see more of our setup? Take the tour right here! Or you can check out our Facebook Live video with tips on how we made the coffee machine, how this center gets used in the classroom, and how we got some of our supplies, with cameos from some of our very own PTL alumni!