Dramatic Play

Do you remember pretend play when you were young? As a child, it was one of my favorite activities to engage in with my sisters, usually in the form of “house, office, school or “dress-up”! Regardless of whether you call it dramatic play, pretend play or fantasy play, it still plays a valuable role in the lives of children especially in day care centers!


  • During my unit on play, I decided to take a couple of days to really focus on the importance of this type of play.
  • To begin, I had my students research dramatic play and learn more about it based on the criteria in the Flashside assignment.
  • The criteria included on the slide they create must include:
    • Explaining what this type of play was all about
    • 3 Key benefits to a child’s development
    • An image and explanation for both structured and unstructured dramatic play
  • When students finished with their flashslide, we discussed their findings as a class.
  • To summarize and support student findins, I show the YouTube video titled, “The Importance of Pretend Play in Child Development.”


  • iPads & Laptops
  • Sreen & Projector


  • Before introducing the project to my students we, brainstormed an example together.
  • I wrote the word “HOUSE” on the board and we created a huge web of props that could be put in a dramatic play center around this theme.
  • Students then choose a theme for a center that they will create props around in a digital format.
  • After students create their theme based play center, they present them to the class. Students try to think of additional props that could be added to the center.
  • If you teach a lesson or unit on Day Care Centers, this lesson could be extended by having students create a floor plan laying out their center and/or price out what this center might cost to create. You could even give them a budget to work with.


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Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

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