I just love watching my preschool kids play store! This particular store, the chocolate and flower shop, has been a hit with my students many years in a row. We often set it up around Valentine’s Day, but it would fit our home center just fine any other day of the year.
To transform the home center, Mary Poppins placed some heart wreaths in the “window” over the sink. Fake flowers were added to the center, as well as empty chocolate boxes and bags from a local candy store. Toy cash registers and old phones were already in the home center, and they completed the shop. The kiddos used brown and white pompoms as the “chocolates” in the empty boxes.
Next to the home center, the discovery center acted as a chocolate factory. An old metal chocolate box was requisitioned by the children to act as a candy box, while brown play dough was the raw material for making “chocolates”. The children broke off pieces of the play dough, rolled the pieces into little balls, and placed the pieces into the metal candy box. We also placed a few heart cookie cutters in case they wanted to make heart-shaped chocolates.
As I already said, the students had a lot of fun at both these centers. I loved hearing their conversations as they played in the home center and the discovery center. My favorite child quote from the week — “Well, that’s how much it costs. Do you want it or not?” Hopefully that little one won’t go into sales when he’s older! 🙂
Children learn so much through pretend play and sensory play. Here are just a few of those things:
- Language and conversational skills
- Turn-taking and sharing
- How social situations work in the real world
- How to observe with their five senses
- Textures, shapes, smells, etc. of different materials