Our Dramatic Play Area is one of our most popular centers in our classroom. We often observe our students spending hours there, working collaboratively to construct complex and stimulating scenarios and stories. We have discovered that dramatic play helps children:
- expand their creativity and hone their imaginations
- explore, develop original ideas and try new things
- deepen their ability to learn and reflect
- explore, develop inquisitive and flexible minds, and think in both concrete and abstract ways.
Our Dramatic Play Area has undergone two dramatic(!) changes over the last few weeks. Inspired by Ilana’s story of Noah and Na’amah and their tevah (ark), we built a huge ship to put in the rollicking waters of our dress-up area.
First we needed to paint our tevah. After much research (we looked at books about ships that Mrs. White found for us), we decided to paint our ark “battleship gray.”
We worked together to paint the wide swaths of cardboard. Afterward, we constructed a roof for the tevah (it didn’t hold up for long, but it was magnificent while it was lasted). We then needed to fill the boat with animals!
We had two spiders . . .
. . . two zebras . . .
. . . and two frogs (among other creatures). We had a wonderful time sailing our tevah around the world! While hearing the story of Noah – and during the ark’s construction – we had plenty of opportunities to talk about the special responsibilities we have (as human beings and as Jews) to care for the adamah (the earth) and all its inhabitants. We reflected on how we might make good choices, show kavod (respect) and treat others with hesed (kindness) and shalom (peace).
Then late last week, we decided our Dramatic Play Area should be transformed into an office!
First, explained a child, “we need a sign so everyone knows what this is!” So a number of students crafted a cheerful sign to be hung from the ceiling. We then thought about what equipment and materials we needed to create an office (“lots of phones!” exclaimed one child. “We need paper clips. Tons of them! said another). We also brought in a laptop, a fax machine (which makes lots of beeping sounds when its buttons are pushed), and a manual typewriter!
And, of course, there is an in-house, high-quality day-care center in the office for all the babies.
Wish list for PreK:
We need more 7th Generation wipes to clean our tables and toys!
We also need some flushable wipes for our bathroom!
Finally, if you have “real” (not plastic, but metal) tweezers, we would appreciate having them. In addition, if you have any materials that scientists might use in a lab (beakers, test-tubes, etc.), we would appreciate the donation!