Why dramatic play?
I love to set up different dramatic play centers for my students. Dramatic Play is a favorite in my classroom – students love to pretend and imagine different scenarios. They also love to have the chance to role play different situations and this helps them process information that we have learned or they have experienced in their own lives. I don’t have a schedule or a rhyme or reason for when I change up the dramatic play center. I simply observe my students and when I start to notice that no one is using the center, or if they are using it, but using it incorrectly and inappropriately, then that tells me they are ready for a change.
My most recent set was an “Explore Your World” center. I set up my center to look like a transportation vehicle, but left it open ended to have students decide on planes, trains, buses, or cars. I created tickets for them for their journey and put maps and a globe in the space to decide on where they are traveling to. There were few fun items that I included in the center to help my students imagine their travels.
Steering Wheel Find!
I included a steering wheel in the center. I’m sure you could make one with a circular cardboard (like a pizza pie board), but I was lucky enough to have a steering wheel cover that I didn’t want to use myself that was shaped as a steering wheel.
Create your own binoculars!
The other thing that I created was binoculars for my students. I took two toilet paper rolls and covered them with colored tape. The students love to look through the binoculars and find things on their “explorations”.
I also included a photo album from a safari trip that my grandparents went on and gave me as a gift. This helps inspire my students for what they could find on their explorations.
Traveling windows for any landscape
The final thing that I create, I am really proud of. I created “windows” for my students to see different types of landscapes and cities around the world. To create the windows, I cut sheet protectors in half and taped around one edge so that there was still an opening. I taped these protectors to a wall in my dramatic play center. Then I printed out (and laminated for durability) some photographs from places I have been to around the world. Students can pick one photo and put it into the sheet protector, and it becomes the view outside the “window”. They love being able to see the places they are imagining
It is so fun to watch my students pretending to travel to different places. I wish I could see inside their imagination and see the world they are creating for themselves. Have you tried this dramatic play center or a similar travel themed one? Where do your students like to “travel” to?