If your making crowns from paper and you always find that they never fit two children. Also, the staples or glue do not hold it together. Try using velcro to hold the headband on so children of all different head sizes can wear it without ripping it.
With the project approach becoming ever so popular, I think that it is important to bring over to the housekeeping area the hats, crowns, masks, swords etc. that the children have made. It is nice to have props, but it is a great feeling to play with personal creations that the children have made with their own hands.
Just an addition that I add when we have a gardening center or florist shop. I fill our water/sand table with soil..and shovels…pots…plastic flowers….etc.
With regard to male/female dress-up centers: Ask parents for Dad’s old suits. Cut the sleeves down to child size (the cuff will still hang over the child’s hands!). Also ask for old, stained neckties. Pre-tie the knots loosely so the children can slip the ties over their heads. I also request old Halloween costumes. We are usually fortunate in getting animals (cows, pigs, dogs, etc.) and I tie these up into themes as well. Have fun!
Kitchen supply stores have some great oven mitts which are animals (the mitt part forms a mouth), and some cute fruit/vegetable characters. These really liven up imagination and creativity and can help to bring out an introverted child (I’ve found that some of my kids who are reluctant to talk or sing will make a puppet do so), and, best of all, is machine washable. I found a bunch of these at a dollar store, which was even better!
I ask the parents to send in the empty boxes of foods they use at home, I ask for multicultural food boxes too. We stuff them with newspaper and tape them shut. The children enjoy mixing foods, shopping, or serving using foods they are familiar with. I also put real materials into the area. Apples in September, gourds, pumpkins, Indian corn etc. It’s interesting to see the children explore the variety of different materials. The children have set up a store in the past sorting the fruits and veggies etc.
Look for old scarves of various sizes at garage sales. They can be tied millions of ways for more creative dress-ups. Some of our kids who like to pretend to be animals tie them together for long “tails” with the first one stuck in their waistband.
We have a dress up area for boys and girls. The girls have purses, gloves, coats, and hats. The boys have a custom of a dinosaur or cowboy plus they use ties around their heads like Ninja Turtles. We have had some Grandmas come to visit our class and dress up also and we didn’t have too much that could fit them!
FORT MAKING MADE EASY:
Need long pieces of material, bungee cord, clothespins, white cup hooks (with long screw end) Section off one corner of the ceiling where you want your fort, screw cup hooks every foot along two sides of the square. Attach bungee cording through the cup hooks. Use clothespins to hang material and let drape down to the floor. Makes a great fort and can be taken down and put away easily or can be pinned up to get out of the way. (I used white twin sized sheets and they worked out great…no sewing or fraying…then sponge painted them with animals and designs to match the room.)
Dramatic Play area as a Library. Make library cards for each child, have plenty of books available. Have a checkout area, book bags, carpet squares anything else that would complement the area such a sign, opening and closing hours.