Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Writing Center, Dramatic Play, and Pen Pals

Activity: Writing Center (AKA school or office)
  • Turn a section of your dining room or family room into a writing center.
  • Encourage dramatic play such as school or office.
  • Older siblings can join in the fun, especially if playing school.
  • Children can work in their office while parents are teleworking in theirs.
Materials
  • Table and chairs
  • Scrap paper, envelopes, mailing labels - make good use of your junk mail!
  • Notebooks, folders, binders, sticky pads, business cards
  • Pens, markers, pencils
  • Scissors and tape
  • Staplers and hole punchers
  • White board or cork board
  • Old cell phones, computer keyboards, calculators, any other "gadgets"
Time
  • Ongoing
Extension: Pen Pals
  • To maintain connections with family and friends, have your children write letters and draw pictures to drop in the mail. How exciting it will be to get a response!
  • Similarly, create an email account for your child (something anonymous like kittycat123) and have them send messages to family and friends. Check the email together at the same time every day to see if they've gotten a reply.
Skills Learned and Practiced
  • Social-Emotional - dramatic play teaches cooperation and creativity and writing to pen pals builds connections and/or strengthens relationships
  • Language - children will practice pre-reading and pre-writing skills and build vocabulary
  • Cognitive - this kind of dramatic play encourages planning and problem solving
  • Physical - all the fine motor activity helps strengthen the muscles in the hands
Personal Note
I still have vivid memories of playing office in my grandparents' house when I was 4 or 5 with supplies my grandfather would bring home from work. The notepads has his name on them! I answered the rotary phone, made appointments in a large spiral ledger, and used an antique adding machine in ways that seemed very important. It should come as no surprise that I played school as well. A lot. Activities like this can keep a child happy and busy and learning for days.

Thoughts or suggestions? Comment below!



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