Children always love the kitchen aspect of dramatic play and so turning it into a bakery dramatic play is a natural transition. The set-up is beyond easy and the children will have so much fun playing baker and selling their baked goods to their friends. Plus, there are great opportunities for academic connections.
Setting up the bakery dramatic play
Setting up a bakery dramatic play center is very easy if it already has the kitchen set-up. I know that most dramatic play areas include a pretend kitchen with accompanying cooking and food supplies. So, if you have all the kitchen items already, simply print out the posters and pictures and then make copies of the ordering sheets. I like to hang up the posters where students can see the helpful information to help enhance their play. Then, I hang up the pictures all over the dramatic play area to show off the realistic photos of making the baked goods, along with the bakery displays.
There aren’t a lot of extra materials needed for this dramatic play set up. If you have some small cardboard boxes, then children could “sell” their baked goods and put them in the boxes. Additionally, if you have whisks or other baking tools you could take them out and group them together. You could also have students make example baked goods if you don’t have plastic toys. Students could take a piece of cardboard or paper and draw the baked goods on the menu. I love to include student work whenever setting up a new dramatic play center.
Literacy connection in the Bakery Dramatic Play
This bakery dramatic play center has a lot of opportunities for literacy practice. Students are given ordering sheets where students will practice reading the different menu items. The word wall poster will help them with reading and writing their orders. Students are also encouraged to practice informational writing by writing their own recipes. They can keep these recipes in a recipe book!
There are a ton of math connections inside the bakery dramatic play center. Students will be exploring with the different types of measurements used in baking. There is a poster included to help students understand the different types of measurements and the fractions usually involved in baking. This is great exposure to more difficult levels of math. Additionally, students will be adding up totals of baked goods and determining the total costs. All this math connection is best when you have pretend money that students can explore with and practice exchanging money for goods and getting change back. This will all just be exposure until students learn about money, however, you can join their play and start introducing them to some of this important learning.
Setting up a bakery dramatic play center is super simple. Students not only enjoy the play center, but they also have great opportunities to embed academics into their play. Students will write and read different bakery orders and will add up the total costs of all the bakery items. Try setting up a bakery dramatic play center and let me know how your students enjoy it in the comments!