Take the drama out of setting up a dramatic play area. Check out these tips to help get your dramatic play area ready for your preschooler.
What to Include in a Dramatic Play Area
When setting up a dramatic play area you are going to want to include a few items to help encourage your little one to come over and play. Something to put on like dress-up clothes, a printable hat, an apron, etc. is a great place to start.
Something with writing on it like a menu, a sign, or a list is a great way to expose your children to writing. You may even want to include paper and a pen or pencil to allow your preschooler the opportunity to write down orders, make cards, or write a receipt.
Any other props or equipment you think your littles might need would be great to include. If you pick a theme, it becomes easier to pick out items to add to your dramatic play area. A baking area may have bowls, a whisk, and a play oven. A winter wonderland dramatic play area may include coats, hats, fake snowballs made from white pom poms, and white paper-wrapped boxes to make a snowman.
Where to Find Things for Dramatic Play
Items can be found anywhere. After you have picked a theme, check your closets, basement, and the local dollar store. The beauty of dramatic play is that it doesn’t require much. It’s all about imagination. Props help your preschooler to imagine and play but having a ton of them isn’t necessary. If your preschooler decides she wants something else to add to the dramatic play space, she can improvise or ask for help acquiring the item.
There are many different items you can print off to add little touches to your dramatic play area. Printable hats and signs are a great place to start.
How to Store and Organize a Dramatic Play Area
If left alone, a dramatic play area can get messy real quick. Have hooks (removable adhesive hooks work wonderfully) or a box for wearable items. Other props can be put in a different box so they aren’t mixed in with all the clothes.
Tips for Having Dramatic Play at Home
Be Involved… At Least a First
The first few times your preschooler plays at a dramatic play area you will want to be heavily involved. Having your little one enjoy the dramatic play with you will make him want to play even more.
Pick a Theme
Pick out themes that you know your little ones enjoy. If they hate insects, don’t start with an insect unit. If they love animals, start with a zoo theme, a veterinarian theme, or an animal shelter theme.
Ask for Input
Let your little one help come up with ideas. If he is showing interest in something new, don’t be afraid to change up your dramatic play to encourage his interest.
Label the boxes that you are using to put items away. This helps little ones to know where items go. Practice putting the items back where they go together.
Encourage Math, Reading, and Writing
Encourage math, reading, and writing. There are many different things your children can count and write down during dramatic play.
You are there to PLAY
Remember that you aren’t there to tell them what or how to do something. You are there to be a playmate. Enjoy this change of role.
Dramatic Play Area
Dramatic play spaces aren’t hard to set up if you follow these few tips. Enjoy being a playmate with your preschooler instead of always being Mommy.