Spice up the dramatic play center by taking a trip south of the border to visit the “Fiesta” Taco Stand Dramatic Play! This tasty pretend station is a fantastic companion for preschoolers that love the Pizza Parlor and the Pancake Cafe.
Bienvenidos!! With a few simple changes to the basic “kitchen” area, the Taco Stand dramatic play is easy to set up and maintain.
Materials Needed for the Taco Stand Dramatic Play
- Small baskets for “ingredients”
- Ingredients (pictured: Melissa & Doug ingredients!)
- Drink Machine
- plastic or paper plates, silverware, cups
- Taco Stand Dramatic Play printables
At the Taco Stand, students choose to be a customer or one of the many jobs in the Taco Stand. Name tags help students easily identify the different jobs while building literacy and vocabulary. NAEYC has a fantastic article on this right here.
Signage is important! It adds to the “real feel” of the dramatic play area while also encouraging letter and sight word recognition. This Open/Closed sign shows students that signs are functional in a way they maybe haven’t considered.
Talking About Tacos
The Taco Stand printable kit has a menu that offers 2 main types of food: tacos and burritos. Students will practice their communication skills when they discuss, “Which would you like? Do you prefer beans, ground beef or chicken for your meat? We also offer a variety of toppings: lettuce, onions, cheese, and more!” Children participating as customers practice choosing and stating their orders to the servers, which is an excellent real life skill they can apply with their families.
Students playing the role of “food server” then have to recieve the information correctly and mark it on the order sheet. Taking verbal information and recording it in a written form is a very important skill to practice! Even though preschoolers aren’t typically able to write down the words, they can circle the correct choices as they hear them.
The “servers” then use the order forms to communicate the information to the “chef.” The “chef” has to use their decoding skills to look at the written information and put it into action! These felt tortillas have a handy velcro tab so that the chefs can assemble them easily. The flour tortillas can even be rolled to make a burrito. Fine motor skills get a workout when the students participating as a “chef” assemble the order.
The beans, beef, and chicken are all fresh Grade A felt. 🙂
A Print-Rich Environment
It is important to have all of the toppings organized in the kitchen, with labels inside the baskets and also on the shelves. Even though students are at a pre-reading stage, they start to make the associations of letter combinations and letter sounds. ] It also helps students remember where to put the items when they are finished playing.
Super-Gemma and I worked on constructing the Taco Stand one afternoon. We were almost done when she had a vision for a drink machine. I laughed. Because, really? A drink machine?! But she insisted that if Chipotle and Moe’s have one, then we need one too! After another hour with black cardstock, a shiny sharpie, 3 cups and some tissue paper, we had this amazing contraption. (You can read more about how we built it HERE.)
Bring your baby doll next time. You know that babies love tacos, too, right? (Although one of our sweet kiddos told me that this baby couldn’t eat the shell because “no teeth” so she just got a plate of guacamole, jalapenos, onions and tomatoes!!)
At the end of a busy preschool day, it is time for the Taco Stand to close.
Have fun playing and learning with your children today!
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