Friday, October 5, 2012

Farmer's Market Pretend Play

We've finished up our birthday party play...and since our Kitchen School has moved to a fall Harvest/Farm theme, we decided that we needed an in-house farmer's market!  So our little kitchen area has been converted.  To begin with I took all the furniture out and cleaned underneath, then moved things back in, rearranging to a different layout.  I always feel new arrangements give us a fresh feel in our play spaces and always seem to reignite play in an energetic way.  I encourage you to spend the time rearranging the furniture in your play spaces!  It feels SO good!

I had grand schemes for a super cool sign....but life got in the way and I wasn't getting around to it, so finally I made myself loosen up a bit and I whipped this one up with felt scraps and some scrapbook stickers in about 10 minutes.  And it does the job just fine and is much better than no sign....which is what waiting for my PERFECT sign was leading to.  :)

The top shelf of this little wooden stand holds our meal essentials--cloth napkins (changed to orange for the fall season) and the kids' fabric placemats.  The second shelf holds a basket of fake apples and the bottom holds a basket of mixed produce.  We've been talking a lot about what items are fruits and what are vegetables (after reading about these in Gail Gibbon's book THE VEGETABLES WE EAT) and we decided we needed to label the bottom basket PRODUCE since it has both fruit and vegetables.  This was a great science lesson for us that delves into classifying and sorting and properties of plants!

On our actual little kitchen we sell other items:

Q chose the prices, and she can actually read enough to know how much items are--and is able to take the correct amout of bills according to price!  This is a great pre-reading and pre-math activity and she loves being the market clerk and getting paid for the items.  We're working on some simple adding anytime someone buys more than one item. 

These eggs are still out from our Easter wreath I re-did this year.  I pulled them off and put them out for her to work with.  She puts them into the cartons and sells them in her store.  We also have some pretend chickens (pics to come soon) in the playroom/barn that lay eggs!

A friend taught me to crochet a circle so I could make these flowers to sell at our market.  I couldn't get a great picture because if they aren't arranged just right they tip the pitcher over.  With Little Man and his grabby hands, we have to use a plastic pitcher, even though a larger vase would work better.  Anyhow, you get the idea.  Q can take the flowers off the stems and arrange them to her choosing. 

I have agonized for quite some time over what to do for a cash register.  Honsetly I really don't like the plasticy ones...and they are so big to store when not in use.  So I raided my vintage jewelery box collection (I LOVE THEM!) and this small one works just fine for her moneybox.  When Beck stops eating everything we'll be able to add some play coins in the small compartments, but for now we have to stick to bills.


Fruit and veggies...she has the knife to cut them if a customer only wants a portion (FRACTIONS!!) and she cracked me up because she had the peels/leaves/skins from these in a pile on the floor the other day and she told me it was the compost pile.  :)  THAT is my girl!

Baskets and bags for shoppers.

I moved the little curtain that usually covers the lower "cabinet" part of the little kitchen up (just tucked the excess behind the shelf) for a change of pace and put our library on top.  These are farm and harvest books we'll be reading throughout our unit!
I have fallen in love with using our little kitchen as a "stand" upon which to create different dramatic play areas.  Both kids--4 years and 13 months--have had lots of fun with the farmer's market already!
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