KinderGals: Apple Orchard Dramatic Play

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Apple Orchard Dramatic Play

Dramatic play isn't just an extra center. It isn't a time when teachers "get a break". Dramatic play is as important in the classroom as magnetic letters, pocket charts, and other teacher resources.  The dramatic play center offers the opportunity for kids to apply their learning through self selected activities.  It also provides the chance for kids to interact socially, work as a group, develop friendships, and become members of a society.  We recently set up an apple orchard in our dramatic play area.  Here's how we did it.
The Apple Orchard
To make the apple orchard we cut out some trees from pieces of poster board and added a brown trunk using bulletin board paper.  We laminated the trees but not the trunks.  We made the apples from 2 inch pompoms by adding foam leaves and stems that I just cut free hand.  I picked up some velcro dots from the dollar tree to attach the apples.  I added a few baskets from Goodwill for picking!
To play, the kids filled out an order form of how many of each color of apple they are picking.  Or, you could have them pick the apples and then fill out the form.
The Flower Shop
We also set up the fall flower shop.  I put some of the florist foam in the bottom of a few baskets.  I picked up the flowers at the dollar tree. Then, using a pair of wire cutters I cut the flowers off of the cluster of flowers.  I made some signs to attach to the containers, and the flowers to the correct container.
The kids used the flowers to make arrangements.
The Bakery
Our apple orchard also includes a bakery.  We picked up the pans from the dollar tree. I cut some brown felt that I glued into the pans (using hot glue).  I also cut some brown strips and circles for making crusts. We added pompoms for apples, and the kids are ready to start baking pies, muffins,and breads. I also cuts some doughnut shapes from felt and added a lighter brown felt circle to make the frosting.  I picked up some can food from my pantry (outdated food!) and removed the label.  Then, I attached an applesauce label to the cans. 
I found some red plates and added a stem and leaf to make it look like an apple.  I also found red bowls and muffin tins.  I made some placemats and the table is ready to set.
Time to play! After making the pies and other treats, the kids used a fall themed pot holder I picked up at the dollar store to pop them in the oven!
Dress Up Area
I set up a dress up area that contained the types of clothing that would support the play I wanted to see.  I added some fall themed tops and a chefs outfit.  I picked up the aprons in the play area of the dollar tree and just added a tag to the front.  I also hung our shopping bags on an empty hook.
The Tools
I scrounged around and found a wagon and a wheelbarrow to add to the area.  The shopping cart belongs to the classroom so I left it in the area as well. 
The Check Out Area
I added a "pay here" sign by our cash register.  The bakery and the apple orchard each have signs that tell how much the different items cost.
Along with other signs, we also added an "open" and a "closed" sign.
The "Office" Area
The last area to set up is the office area. We added signs for desk supplies, order forms, and price tags. We also set up our scale here. The kids can weigh the different apples they pick.
And there it is.  A perfect learning environment for fall! Go ahead...what are you waiting for! Set yours up too!
If you want to save time, I have a unit that contains all of the signs and other reproducible items. You can find it in this unit.

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