Play in early childhood supports preschoolers to learn about their world, as well as develop crucial social, language, math, and motor skills.
Dramatic play is a unique opportunity to help your child learn while expressing themselves creatively. Many pretend play ideas require little to no equipment or supplies, but it can be fun to get creative with household items to support dramatic play.
Here are 10 dramatic play ideas for preschoolers.
- This dramatic play idea is ideal for preschoolers who already have lots of stuffed animals. You or your child can play veterinarian and examine, care for, and even apply cloth bandages to sick or injured animals.
- Doctor or dentist. This dramatic play idea can be useful for children who are afraid of visiting the doctor or dentist. By taking your temperature, listening to your heartbeat, or looking inside your mouth to examine your teeth, your child can feel a sense of control over the concept.
- Whether outdoors or indoors, you can pretend to be on a camping trip with your child. You can even pretend to do classic camping activities such as roasting marshmallows over a campfire.
- Support your child in learning about science while having fun. Some safe science ideas include putting some drops of food coloring in water, or a tub of water to experiment with how different materials float or sink. Your child can form their own theories and investigate their ideas.
- Post office. You can supplement this dramatic play idea by supporting your child in creating prop “letters” to pretend to mail to friends and family.
- Farmer’s market. Whether using real or pretend fruits and vegetables, farmer’s market dramatic play is an ideal opportunity for your preschooler to learn more about where our food comes from.
- Grocery store. This dramatic play idea is similar to a farmer’s market, but can incorporate canned and boxed items as well. This is also a unique way to help prepare your preschool for running errands with you.
- Whether you are the customer or the server, restaurant dramatic play is fun for preschoolers, and an ideal opportunity for you to model good behavior when in a restaurant.
- Tea party. A childhood classic, a tea party is a fun way to support your child in building social skills while exercising their imagination.
- Many preschoolers love books and reading, and library dramatic play can encourage this interest while helping them to learn how libraries work.