Learning through play: dramatic play

Children learn many social, emotional, and cognitive skills in the dramatic play area. They learn important social skills such as how to get along with others, how to make their needs known, and how to discuss roles with other children. If a child has a doctor’s appointment coming up or has just been to the doctor, all children can work out their emotions in the dramatic play area. They can be nurses or doctors, explaining why a shot is needed. They can be parents soothing a child during and after an illness.

Children learn math concepts while playing in the dramatic play area. They use play money and shop for pretend food. They learn that if there is one cash register and 4 children that want to play with it, they have to figure out a way to share and take turns. They learn about nutrition as they “make” dinner for their children. They can take turns playing check out clerk, grocery bagger, stocker, and customer. Their language skills expand as they write their shopping lists, look at cookbooks, write out menus for a restaurant, and take orders while playing waitress/waiter.