Winter is here and what better way to keep your students engaged than with a winter lodge dramatic play center. Students will enjoy ice fishing, skating, making s’mores, building snowmen and more in this fun center for winter!
THE WHY BEHIND DRAMATIC PLAY…
I have posted a couple dramatic play centers but have yet to answer the important question of why is dramatic play important in a kindergarten classroom? I could give you a million reasons why I choose to do dramatic play but I will keep it short for the sake of time. One of the most important reasons is students develop self-regulation during play. Students have to take turns, share, and express their feelings in an appropriate way. And the reason your administrator will love… they are able to review previously taught mathematics and language art skills.
Self-regulation and the social skills covered in dramatic play can be difficult for many students to master. A dramatic play center is the perfect way to have students work on these skills. There is a great deal of conversation and listening that happens between students during dramatic play. The amount of language and social skills students practice during dramatic play is HUGE! They have to take turns and share materials. They have to engage in conversation with their peers and use content specific vocabulary. A large number of social and language skills are covered during dramatic play.
Dramatic play isn’t just a great way for your students to work on their social and language skills; you can also include many mathematics and language arts skills to your dramatic play centers. In this center students are able to read and write recipes. They work on counting and writing numbers. They are even able to work on money identification and counting.
My student favorite part of this dramatic play center is ice fishing. Students attach minnow bait to the magnet at the end of the fishing pole and then drop their line in the hole that has been cut in the ice. They love to see who can catch the most fish.
I created the ice fishing hole by cutting a hole in the side of a box and covering it in white paper. The fish are included in the teachers pay teachers unit; you can print them in color or print the black line master on colored paper. I cut out and laminated my fish then I hot glued a small washer to back of the fish (you may also use paper clips).
I made my fishing poles using dowel rods, string and magnets (any household magnet will do). I bought my materials at Lowes but you can find the same items at your local craft or hardware store.
I attached the string to the pole (I opted to have my husband drill a hole in the dowel rod but you can also tie it around the end and hot glue it). And then attached the magnet to the string.
Students are able to enjoy a indoor ice skating at the ice rink. It is great exercise and they love helping each other skate around the ice.
The ice skating rink was created by laminating white paper and cutting it to the desired shape and size for my space. The skates are mop covers that I purchased off of amazon. Students just slip the mop cover right over their shoes. You can also have students just skate in socks or use dishtowels under their feet.
BUILD A SNOWMAN
Students get to practice their snowman building skills. They can follow the how to build a snowman direction cards to create their own snowman.
To make the snowman pieces I covered 3 different size boxes in white paper. I added Velcro to the head of the snowman so students could add the felt eyes, carrot nose, and mouth. I also added Velcro to the body of the snowman so students could add buttons to their snowmen.
I pulled a variety of scarves and hats for students to choose from to add to their snowman.
My students love working the snack bar! They love being able to take orders, make recipes and count money.
I use a lot of pom poms and felt to represent many of the ingredients students use to make the recipes. I also take empty containers of items that we use at my house to place in my dramatic play centers.
My students were very excited that I brought the popcorn machine back for this center. They love scooping out orders of our pretend popcorn. I made the popcorn out of insulation foam (you can find directions for how to make it in my pumpkin patch dramatic play post). You can also use balled up yellow paper.
The thing the students love most about the snack bar is the s’mores! They all love roasting their own marshmallow over the fire in our igloo.
I created my marshmallows our of felt and cotton balls. I cut one rectangle shape and 2 circle shapes out of the felt. I added a small x cut to the center of one of the circles (this allows me to slide my marshmallow onto a stick for roasting).
I then hot glued the rectangle ends to form a cylinder and hot glued a felt circle to the bottom. Next I stuffed the cylinder with cotton.
I then hot glued the remaining circle to the top of the cylinder. I then inserted a small dowel rod for roasting. Students can easily insert and remove the dowel rod to make their s’mores.
I love adding labels to everything to help students with clean up and organization.
You can download the labels, recipe cards, and more found in my Teachers Pay Teachers unit.
For directions on how to make your own igloo check out Little Giraffes blog post.