Changing your dramatic play area will keep children interested in real dramatic play. I have seen the kitchen a big mess of food on the floor and babies in the oven. If the area is always the same, the toys tend to become just things to throw around.
It's a great way to include real language and to practice it over and over again.
We turned our dramatic play area into a restaurant.
It really is the easiest way to change your dramatic play area without changing or adding a lot.
I made a menu from ads in the newspaper. Make sure you use everyday words like appetizers. It will increase your students' vocabulary and connect their play and behaviors to real life.
When I first open the center, I model how you would play restuarant. This will prevent them from writing on your menu and keep them using the other materials properly. I might say, "Hello, I am your waitress." "Here is our menu."
What would you like to order? I will give this to the cook.
I included some small notepads and pencils, so the waiters and waitresses could use their pre-writing skills during play. I found this set of 5 at the Dollar Tree.
Just make sure you get your customer's order right or they might not come back to your restaurant.
Here are some interesting comments I overheard at the restaurant.
"Your restaurant is nasty. There is food on the floor."
"That's not what I ordered."
"How much do I owe?"
"I want ice cream and that and cake."
"Don't you have plates at your restaurant?"