Set up props for a familiar routine for dramatic play. For example a baby doll, large plastic bowl, washcloth, towel, diaper, etc. Materials for any familiar daily routine can be used.
See if the child sees the props and spontaneously begins to use them in dramatic play. If the child does not initiate the play, the adult can get things started by picking up the doll and saying, “This baby is so dirty. She needs a bath!” Once the child is playing provide minimal prompts, so you can see how the child constructs the play sequence.
The child will use the props to develop a play sequence of a routine. The order of the sequence is not important, just whether the child can use the props meaningfully in a representation of a real event.
Let parents know that they don’t need to buy lots of fancy toys for dramatic play. At this age real or realistic props are best. Their role is to value dramatic play, provide the materials from home, and be a play partner when needed. Sometimes, they just need to stimulate the idea and their child will run with it.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.