The Dramatic Play Center in Child Care

Pretend grocery store

Dramatic Play Supports Children’s Development

Engaging in dramatic play enhances young children’s development. Pretending builds social skills, makes children more aware of their own emotions, and encourages shared language and problem solving. As children play and interact in the dramatic play center in an early childhood program, they practice skills in the following areas:

  • Social/emotional: negotiating different roles and themes, cooperating to keep the play happening, acting out roles and situations
  • Physical: using large and small muscles to

Planning a Successful Dramatic Play Center in Child Care

Dramatic play area
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license. Photo posted to Flickr by Diane Bales on November 23, 2015 with title “Dramatic play area”.

Dramatic play allows children to express themselves and use creativity. It also introduces symbolic thinking and encourages cooperation among children. In a dramatic play center, children will often act out behaviors and actions they see in real life (such as shopping at the grocery store) as well as make-believe situations (such as a princess in a castle).

Setting