Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Gardening Dramatic Play

gardening dramatic play (Brick by Brick)

I love dramatic play activities. I have had groups that loved dramatic play and regularly created elaborate scenarios. Some groups have been uninterested in much of dramatic play. And some groups dabble in it and enjoy most playing with the dishes and dolls.

Dramatic play activities are so versatile and so full of learning possibilities. Kids can explore literacy and math concepts. They can try on various social roles. They can explore social studies by playing out store or family or firefighters or office or gym. They can pretend to drive or travel. They can cook and eat real or pretend foods. They can use their imaginations and create narratives and develop their abstract thinking.

And they can have fun!

One of my more "dramatic" groups constantly challenged me to provide different resources for them to use and explore. And their levels of imagination always amazed me. One activity they enjoyed (and I've used several time since) is gardening play.

We had pretend (and real) tools, a few flower pots, some seed packets, gardening gloves, green chenille stems, and tissue paper. They used the tissue paper to create flowers and plants.

gardening dramatic play (Brick by Brick)

But I watched as they cultivated the "ground" with their tools and planted seeds.

gardening dramatic play (Brick by Brick)

They tended plants and picked them at the appropriate time.

gardening dramatic play (Brick by Brick)

This play - coupled with related books and other experiences with plants - is great for thinking about the natural world and the life cycle of plants (and maybe insects).

gardening dramatic play (Brick by Brick)

You could add some cut flowers or vegetables (like carrots and cucumbers). Or add pumpkins, acorns, and leaves for more fall-related play.

A scale, baskets, and play money could create a farmers market or add vases and play money for a flower shop.

Never underestimate the power of imagination and the power of play.

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