Dramatic Play is a Vocabulary Builder
Children use name tags to select a role at each dramatic play center – a tremendous vocabulary booster. When students are playing Airport, the 3-year-olds say things like, “I have to call the Travel Agent” and “This time I am going to be a Passenger.” At the Grocery Store, the children become Clerks who stock the shelves or Cashiers who ring up the totals. At a Dinosaur Dig, words like Paleontologist, Photographer and Museum Specialist are being used with ease. Providing hands-on experience with these vocabulary words expands children’s vocabulary and helps new words, and their definitions, “stick.”
The Importance of Organization
Labels are the key to organization in dramatic play! Labeling where new elements belong is important so that students gain some key skills. Elementary teachers know that keeping things organized (supplies, mittens, desks!) is a constant struggle. This system encourages children to think about different properties of items. For example, does this item in my hand match the picture on the basket? Is this a mixing spoon or a carrot, and why do they go in different places. Students that practice basic organization are much more likely to be successful in later years.
Intentional Literacy is EVERYWHERE
Math Can Be Counted On in Dramatic Play
Dramatic play also provides many opportunities for children to use math in their everyday lives. Prices are written on baked goods at the Cookie Shop, and the children stop at the bank to get money before they shop. At the Grocery Store, they weigh the produce on small scales. At the Hospital they weigh themselves on big scales! There are tape measures at the Dig Site so that little paleontologists can measure the length of their fossil discoveries. The table at the Restaurant and the seats on the Airplane are all labeled for number recognition practice.
Sometimes teachers are afraid to stand up for what they know to be best practices. It is easy to get caught up in thinking that more rigorous academics early on will lead to success in school. Often, adults forget that young children have incredible brains. They have the remarkable ability to learn through play. When asked if children play in preschool and kindergarten, hopefully teachers and parents can confidently answer, “Yes, they do, and it’s exactly what they need.“
Have fun playing and learning with your children today.
FREE Home Living Dramatic Play!
The dramatic play area is the center of our classroom community. So much fun, hands-on learning takes place there!
After you subscribe, you will be redirected to the FREE Dramatic Play Set. We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.