Blog Post by Tanner Nelson

Make-believe play is a crucial part of early childhood education. Not only is dramatic play fun for preschoolers, but it also helps to build social and emotional skills, language skills, and problem-solving skills! Here are eight dramatic play ideas for your preschool classroom.

1. Workshop

Set up a workshop area for the children in your classroom to enjoy. The Real Projects Workshop is perfect for little builders. Make sure your workshop is also equipped with the right tools for building. The Handyman Tool Sets include power tools that are like the real thing. Additionally, every handyman needs a tool belt. Encourage the children in your care to let their creative imaginations run wild while they build. 

2. School

All children love to play school! The Let's Play School set is perfect for the little teachers in your classroom. The set is equipped with all the essentials for the ultimate pretend classroom. Encourage the children to take turns with different roles. The preschoolers in your care will enjoy playing both the teacher and the student. 

3. Food Market

Set up a food market to encourage dramatic play in your classroom. Preschoolers will love pretending to buy and sell fresh produce. The Carolina Market, which includes a colorful awning and ample space for storing and displaying food, is the perfect piece of furniture for this type of dramatic play. Make the market even more realistic with the Go Green Market Set. The children in your care will enjoy using eco-friendly bags to tote their fruits and veggies.

4. Bakery

You can't go wrong setting up a bakery-themed area in your dramatic play center! For starters, you'll need a play kitchen and a bakery set. You can spice up the center with the Baking Spice Set! Encourage little chefs to bake goodies and "sell" them to other preschoolers in the classroom.

5. Puppet Show

Encourage your preschoolers to have a puppet show! Children will love the Floor Puppet Theatre, which includes all the essentials for a sell-out show. But what's a puppet show without puppets? Visit the Puppets & Accessories section of our website to browse hand and finger puppets for the little ones in your care to enjoy.

6. Cleaning Service

Little ones love to help clean up! Cleaning is a skill that children will need to learn for the future, so engaging in cleaning-themed pretend play is not only enjoyable but also a necessary life skill for your preschoolers. The Housekeeping Stand with Accessories has all the essential cleaning supplies as well as storage space to keep them organized. Additional supplies to put in the center include the 2-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner and the Spray, Squirt, & Squeegee Play Set. Bring a cleaning service to your classroom with this dramatic play idea. 

7. Hospital

Encourage the preschoolers in your care to pretend to be the doctor and patient with a hospital-themed area in your dramatic play center. Get the little doctors into character with this realistic Doctor Outfit. When the doctors have on their outfits, they will be ready to explore their Doctor Kits and find the right tools to get to work on the patients! The children can take turns playing different roles in the hospital. 

8. Camp Out

A classic camp out makes a great dramatic play activity! Pitch the Super Duper 4-Kid Play Tent in your classroom, and watch the children play. Complete the indoor camp out with the Pretend & Play™ Camp Set and the Grill-and-Go Camp Stove. Preschoolers will love pretending to cook food and camp out in the wilderness. 

Imaginative play is an important part of the development of the preschoolers in your care. For more dramatic play products, visit the dramatic play section of our website. You can also learn more about dramatic play learning centers by reading our "How to Set Up Your Preschool Dramatic Play Learning Center" Insights and Inspirations article. Additionally, for suggestions on what to include in your dramatic play learning centers, read our "10 Must-Have Items for the Dramatic Play Center" blog post. 


We hope you enjoy these dramatic play ideas for preschoolers!


About the Author: Tanner Nelson is Kaplan Early Learning Company's summer marketing intern. She will be a senior this upcoming year at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Tanner is majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and minoring in both arts entrepreneurship and psychology. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing at the lake.