Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Preschool Activities: Planned Pretend Play after Christmas

By: Deborah Pace Rowley
One of the greatest things about my sister's preschool program is that she incorporates planned pretend play into her weekly curriculum. I am sure she will tell you more about how she does this in her upcoming posts for this school year. But I was recently going through some old photos and came across this picture of my daughters playing "Beauty Shop" with their dad.

I can't tell you how often this activity occurred or how patient my husband was with his three girly girls. Let's just say, he was super grateful to finally get a son! The great thing about this was that I hadn't even read the research that demonstrates how important this idea is for preschoolers. It was just something my girls came up with on their own.

They would usually set out a beauty salon sign and then each of them would take a different job for the day. One girl would do hair. Another girl would do nails. Meanwhile the third girl would apply lots of smelly lotions and creams to my husband's hands, face and arms. Mom would also get roped into participating although the end result wasn't nearly as fun!

A Beauty Shop isn't the only location where pretend play is effective. How about playing pretend school? Or a pretend dentist's office? Or a pretend pizza shop or grocery store?  I bet your kids got some fun pretend play items for Christmas this year. Could you help them to add to these store bought props with some props of their own that they find around the house? Tiff will talk more about how to help preschoolers plan their play beforehand. This planning is what makes award-winning preschools stand out. I know you will love her ideas to use in future play dates with your preschooler and their friends. Pedicure or facial or up-do with mega barrettes anyone?!!

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