Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dramatic Playscapes

The ability to pretend is very important to a child's future success. To pretend, children must be able to recall experiences they have had and then recreate them. They must be able to picture experiences in their minds.  Children like to try on different roles, act out experiences, recall past events, and work out anxieties. One day a child may act out going to the grocery store, making a list, gathering items, and paying at a checkout counter. Another day the child might pretend to be on a farm, tending to the animals and caring for crops.

In addition to our dramatic arts center, we encourage dramatic play through the use of various playscapes around the room. Sometimes they take place in the sand and water tables, other times they are set up on our shallow lego table. An assortment of items that is centred around a dramatic play theme is placed for children to manipulate, and the scenario is left up to the children to improvise and enact.

We currently have our sand table set up as a horse farm. In the following video, you'll be able to see children engaging in dramatic play with one another. Two barns are set up and the children are negotiating the story - one pair pretending their horse is celebrating a birthday and the other pair attempting to entice the 'horses' to visit their barn instead. It's interesting to observe their interactions with one another as they improvise the story, and engaging in rich cooperative play with one another.

Other playscapes include:





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