Dramatic Play Ideas

Dramatic Play Ideas

Dramatic Play Ideas

Dramatic play ideas for preschool through second grade.

For warming up the winter blues, we turn our room into a beach. We call this week our Winter beach bash! first, we ask parents to dig out the children’s swimsuits and bring them in then we fill a child size pool with just enough water for the kids to get a little wet.  Then we have out beach towels, beach balls, sunglasses, sand toys and of course ice cream cones. We have a great time and think summer at the same time.

During circle time, I passed out one green stick (taken from a Lincoln Logs set) to each of my preschool students. Then, I modeled some ideas for pretending. I used my green stick as a comb and a toothbrush. We started a chant: Let’s play pretend, Let’s play pretend, Let’s play pretend with our little green sticks. I gave each child a chance to think of a way to pretend with the sticks. It was a great way to stretch their imaginations and show them how to pretend.

How to make your own classroom Bath Tub :o)

Our school recently purchased playground equipment that came in a nice heavy cardboard box. We cut the box down to two feet in height, painted the outside white and let the children put their handprints all over to decorate it. Inside the box, we covered a paper drinking cup with silver glitter to be the faucet and made knobs attached with brass fasteners to represent hot and cold water. Inside the “TUB” we put packaging peanuts for bubbles along with wash clothes. For fun, we added empty shampoo bottles, towels, bath pillows, bars of soap and shower caps. The children had a blast. Oh … don’t forget your rubber duck :o)

I once did a whole month on the arts. It included a week of commercials, a week of movie reviews, and a week of theater. We did so many things there really were a ton of possibilities! The kids loved it. We taped our own commercials and watched quite a few 30-minute movies and reviewed them. We also practiced plays for an entire week then acted them out in front of the camera. For weeks after that, the kids took turns taking home the tape to share.

Looking for a way to spice up your house area? Sort through your old magazines and cut out pictures of food to contact onto your plates! will encourage so much imaginary play especially with toddlers!

Prop boxes are the greatest and most important part of teaching children different social situations and interactions. Our boxes range from puppets to musical instruments, to a beauty salon. The children involve the teachers during the open center time and assign teachers the roles they want them to play. Being able to be in charge of a dramatic play scenario allows the children to learn how to appropriately interact with a “client,” allows them to set the tone of the “game,” and also gives them the freedom of choice. Frequently revolving and recycling prop boxes will also alleviate boredom which can lead to behaviors indicating that it’s time to get some new boxes out!

As I tell a story (3 bears, billy goats gruff, etc) I choose the central characters and put minimal costuming on them (cap for baby bear, scarf for Goldilocks.) As I tell the story, they act out and the “audience” helps with sound effects or repetitive phrases (“then mommy bear” said…). In this way, all of the children are involved, imaginations must be used and we hear and see the story. I use this for Bible stories as well.

In our living center, we have a toddler bed for the children to use. The bed has become many different things. Sometimes it is used for a boat, car, dentist chair, doctor bed and sometimes the children just sit and read each other bedtime stories.

I have come up with a few ideas that may be fun and useful. In the spring I have the kids do spring cleaning. There are different reasons why I do this. First, it helps the kids be neat and organized. Second, It goes along with our Spring theme. And thirdly the area needs to be cleaned periodically. Hope this helps!

Take small empty clear water bottles, fill them half full with water and food coloring, then hot glue the cap on. The kids love pretending to drink these different “juices”.



  • Jane February 2, 2018 at 10:27 pm Reply

    Make a pretend donut shop simply by
    taking poster board and cutting them
    into donut shapes…twist…donut..
    bars..etc. Glue sprinkles on some.
    Use a cash register with pretend monies, some empty milk
    boxes and paper bags/boxes. Get some free paper hats from Krispie Kreme donut shop to add more fun.

    For Science/Math…let the children
    sort the different donuts according
    to types, sizes, shapes, sprinkles or not…etc. Then graph the results.

  • Mary February 2, 2018 at 10:26 pm Reply

    In my class we set up a Farmer’s Market. The children are able to purchase fruits and vegetables. I place plastic fruits and vegetables in baskets. I also label each basket and put the cost of each item in front of it. The children love pretending that they are purchasing fruits and vegetables. I also give them purses and wallets with pretend money. The cashier takes the money and gives them a receipt. This is a wonderful idea to use in the Fall.

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.