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Dramatic Play

Even toddlers will enjoy this play area. Dramatic play is one way young children express themselves, experiment with behaviours, demonstrate their understanding of the world around them and the people in it, and try to understand how the world around them works. By providing children with simple items that they can use to dress up, pretend to be somewhere else, or to be someone else, you offer a child a safe place where they can try on different roles, different feelings and different behaviours. The simpler you make this the more likely children will be to use their imagination. Sometimes, your child may invite you into the dress up area – pick something out of the box and join the fun. Whether you have been part of the fun or not, don’t be afraid to ask some questions – you may learn something about how your child perceives the world. But, if they don’t want to share, don’t take it personally – remember this is a safe place for them to try out some things – it doesn’t mean they have to share what they have tried.

Here’s what you need to do:
Set up a box in a play area where the children are comfortable and often play. Place a number of dress up items in the box and simply leave it there for them to use whenever they like. Below are several lists of items you may wish to include.

Just a few ideas for Dramatic Play:

  • Barber shop/beauty shop
  • Bus/train/plane
  • Doctors/nurses/hospital
  • Farm
  • Fire station
  • Grocery store
  • Bakery
  • Shoe store
  • Pet store
  • Camping
  • School
  • Veterinarian clinic
  • Ice-cream shop
  • Library

For example: If you were to set up camping some props you could have:

  • Tent (either a real tent or a blanket)
  • Flash light
  • Compass
  • Logs or sticks (campfire)
  • Make fishing poles
  • Frying pan
  • Canteen
  • Backpacks
  • Sun hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleeping bags/folded blankets
  • Fake food

Comfort, Play & Teach™ Message

Comfort: When children feel safe to express their emotions, their ideas they feel secure and loved. Providing your child a safe place to use his imagination will lead to feelings of being loved, being safe and being secure.

Play: Play opportunities where children can use their imagination helps a child’s creativity grow.

Teach: Through dramatic play there are many opportunities to talk about your child’s ideas, what he is acting out, how he sees the world and some of the questions he may have about the world and why things are they way they are.

For Ages: 20 months and up

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Content Provided By:
Airdrie Family Services

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