Changing up your dramatic play center is the best way to increase engagement and be more purposeful in the play your students are participating in, and a school dramatic play center is a perfect first set up for children. A school dramatic play center is easy to set up and incredibly meaningful and exciting for students.
Why should I have a school dramatic play center?
Dramatic play has many benefits for students and one of those benefits is that it helps students understand the world around them by trying out different roles. At the start of the year especially, students are focused on learning rules, expectations, and routines of the school. By setting up a school dramatic play, you are giving students the chance to try out different roles they are seeing in the school. This helps them feel more confident around their school and interacting with different adults.
A school dramatic play is also great because kids naturally love playing teacher and student. I’m pretty sure you can ask any teacher and they will tell you they played teacher as a young child. I know I did! Playing “school” is a role play scenario that children are used to and excited about.
What do you need for a school dramatic play center?
You really don’t need much for a school dramatic play center and that’s why it’s such a great center to try out in your classroom. A lot of the materials that will be most exciting are ones that you already have in your classroom. I put out pointers, alphabet charts, white boards and notebooks. All of these are things I have around the room. Additionally, I print out this mini-schedule and these photographs and images of schools to make the center feel more like a miniature classroom.
Whenever I set up a new dramatic play center, I like to think about how I will be incorporating literacy practice into the children’s play. In the school dramatic play center, I put out these different sheets for student to write on. They enhance their role-play and so children are excited to practice their literacy skills with them.
I also try to incorporate math opportunities in every dramatic play set up. In the school dramatic play center, I have included a clock along with the schedule to introduce students to the concept of time. They also naturally include more math practice by pretending to teach each other math. I am often hearing concepts they are hearing or learning about like addition facts.
A school dramatic play center is a simple and easy way to transform your dramatic play center and engage your students in more purposeful play. You can easily use objects around your classroom and incorporate literacy and math into the play the children are doing.
If you want to see more dramatic play set ups, check out these blog posts:
- Explore your World Dramatic Play
- Vets Office Dramatic Play
- Bakery Dramatic Play
- Pizza Store Dramatic Play
- Dramatic Play At Home