The 3s preschool class has free choice center time during our day, and the pretend center is always the place to be! Preschoolers love to dress up like the grown ups in their lives! They work together and create their own story and act it out. They create their own dialogue and plot and let their imaginations take control! There are no scripts and no limits. I learn so much about each student by watching how they interact and play in the pretend center. Even my quieter students let the guard down and participate.
We started the 2018-2019 school year with the pretend center set up as a home. This included food, dishes, babies, brooms, a fridge, and an oven. The props and materials that I had available made it difficult for me to switch out the themes and allow more variety for my students. After a few months, the home theme was losing its appeal. The kids were ready for something new.
In December 2018, I was awarded a 542 Foundation Grant to improve my pretend center. With this grant I was able to purchase more costumes, an organizational shelf with baskets, and other props that would enhance the area. The winter and fall of 2019 included several new themes for my students to enjoy! We had a bakery, dino dig, post office, farmers market, and community helpers. Each theme provided new opportunity for my students to use their imagination as they joined their friends in pretend play. In 2019-2020 I will be adding a birthday party, pizzeria, and grocery store. With the additional supplies, I have enough resources to change my pretend center every month! I’m excited to see what my students do with these themes!