Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bakery Dramatic Play

Pretend play, dramatic play, imaginary play....all the same thing but I use the words interchangeably.

Anyhow we are really enjoying the works of Beatrix Potter right now, specifically The Tale of Peter Rabbit. One of the greatest benefits of reading aloud to Quinn is that she is exposed to concepts and vocabulary that are outside her regular experiences. Peter Rabbit has so many new concepts we are having fun exploring together! One of them was "baker." Old Mrs. Rabbit heads off to the baker's to buy a loaf of brown bread and 5 current rolls. Quinn isn't really familiar with the concept of a baker(y) because we buy our bread on the bread isle at HEB or I make it. So I talked with her about a baker and a bakery. I decided to extend it a little further and I pulled together a "bakery" tote. I raided several other play sets--the slicable sandwich bread is from a sandwich kit. Luckily all the pieces velcro-ed together, so she can cut them apart! The felt crossant is from a breakfast set, and the big loaf is one my sister got her with some other play foods at Hobby Lobby (or Michaels). I put these breads with a knife in a little tote and she loves to pretend she's going to the bakers. She also has some felt cupcakes she sometimes adds in, too.

I encourage you to extend concepts you are teaching to your children through dramatic play--often just pulling together some play props will encourage them to further explore the topic. And this is true for any age---from older infants to elementary students! It also encourages them to use new vocabulary in their play and assimilate these words and concepts into the framework of their minds.

I also encourage you to think outside the box with your children's toys. Just because items came together in a set doesn't mean they have to stay that way, or be used for the purpose they came with. I am constantly trying to find ways for getting more use out of the toys we have by "shopping the toy cupboard" in our playroom and pulling together different items.
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