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Dramatic Play

The dramatic play center changes about once a month. We begin the year with a housekeeping center. Later, students enjoy a pizza restaurant, a home improvement center, an animal hospital, and a grocery store. We include lots of literacy in the dramatic play center (menus, signs, charts, etc.)

International Space Center

Come see my favorite new center on the blog HERE.

Post Office

The post office boxes are stackable trays from the Dollar Tree. I put each child's name on both sides. Mail is delivered inside the post office. It is picked up outside the post office. The mail box is an empty package from a Scholastic Book Order big book. I made a cut in the top for kids to put letters in. The letters appear inside the post office for delivery. The box also folds flat when centers are closed. This has been a great way to get the kids writing each others names, etc. There is even some practice in folding sheets of paper and fitting them into envelopes. We only use recycled paper for our letters (the back of previously printed paper donated by class families). We also have a rule that every letter must have words or pictures on it. Blank pages are considered "junk mail." The kids really enjoy using a date stamp. They always notice when I forget to change the date!

Sandwich Shop

The bread, ham, turkey, lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes were cut from felt and foam. I found some white foam thicker than usual (for bread) at JoAnne's Clothworld. The pans are cake pans from Dollar Tree. I laminated the menus so they could be used with dry erase markers. They can be printed here:


Sandwich Shop Menu

Sandwich shop labels

Order Here sign

Home Improvement Store

Suggested items for this center:
PVC pipes cut to short lengths
Hats, aprons, shopping bags with the store logo
File folder color matching game made from paint sample cards
Cash register, play tools, real items such as padlock with key, paint brushes, large nuts and bolts  

Animal Hospital

We set up this center during our Community Helpers Unit.
Suggested items for this center:
Stuffed animals, leashes, bowls, dog biscuits
Scrubs, latex gloves, bandages, syringes, tweezers, cotton balls, play doctor's kits, clip boards.
Cages made by attaching two baskets (from a dollar store) with binder rings. (The baskets can be detached and stacked for storage).
Pet posters including words from a teacher supply store. Real brochures from an animal clinic. 

Grocery Store

Pizza Restaurant

Suggested items for this center:
Empty pizza boxes, tomato sauce cans, wooden pizza set, dollar store pizza pans, pizza fraction puzzle
Telephone, aprons, cash register, menu, signs
There is a kitchen to the right that is cut out of this picture.


This puppet barn was made from a large moving box. The animal puppets were purchased at a dollar store. Additional props include plaid shirts, bandanas, shovels, plastic plants, etc.



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