Set up your kitchen area, add a counter and cash register and a menu. put play clay (I use scented) cookie cutters, cookie sheets, candy molds, cookbooks, aprons etc. This is pretty messy so you may want to cover the floor with a plastic drop cloth. Have a baker from a local bakery come in and do a simple food experience to reinforce the concept.
Your local Pizza Hut will give you small., med., & large. cups and pizza boxes if you ask. Put a red and white checked tablecloth on you housekeeping table. You will also need: cash register, pencils, a small notepad for taking orders, play pizza, aprons, menus, and the list can go on. The children really enjoy this center.
I also do the same thing with McDonald’s.
Veterinarian’s office. Use stuffed animals as the patients (the children could bring in their own if they wish). Provide band-aids, bandages, doctors kits, etc. It is especially fun to set this up during a Caring for Pets unit or Zoo unit.
With January coming up we always do Snow People (we are politically correct). I put my husband’s old hunting boots, a couple of old felt hats (a man and a ladies), scarves, mittens, gloves and some old brooms in the dress-up area. The kids really love becoming the “Snow Person”.
Put wrapping paper into the blocks area with tape, bows, ribbons etc. The children can wrap up small and large blocks like presents.
Post office. Since so many cards and packages are sent during the month of December this would be a great way for the kids to role play. Don’t forget to include stamps, envelopes, markers, pens, stamps and stamp pads, phone book, scale for weighing packages, phones, tape. Turn the block area into a wrapping station where they can package boxes to be mailed. Use a large box-painted and a hole cut into it for a mailbox. Make sure to include a canvas tote for a mailbag.
I have a play school in my dress up area. children take turns being teacher, principal, students, supply it with school-related things and lots of books!
Nursery Rhymes: The Three Bears
Make some ears(either construction paper or if you sew fake fur) and attach them to headbands. Get a little girl’s headband with a bow on it for Goldilocks. Set up your housekeeping area like normal with a few exceptions: make sure you put 3 sets of everything in if possible in the different sizes. Use colored masking tape to make a “path” for the bears to follow when they leave their house. Reinforce the dramatic play area by reading the story Goldilocks and the three bears during circle time.
Real and silk flowers
tissue paper (to wrap flowers)
toy cash register
Visit a flower shop on a field trip or talk with the children about what they might find in a flower shop. Set the props out in your dramatic play area and let the children explore!
Circus prop box:
Prepare this box to be brought in from time to time. Include such items as clown costumes, ballet shoes, ballet costumes, wigs, small umbrella, round plastic tub, yarn on the end of a straw(simulate animal tamer)etc. Ask children to bring stuffed animals to be circus animals for that week. Use masking tape on the floor as a tightrope. Set up chairs for an audience. :o)