Children just need a play space and materials to come up with dramatic play themes based on their current interests. Provide props if they need them or materials they can combine to create them.
If children are not inspired to come up with a theme, the adult can ask about the children’s favorite books, movies, or TV characters. Ask them what the characters need and help them come up with some props, boxes for enclosures, etc. Then turn them loose!
A leader will emerge with an idea and others will contribute. There may be conflicts, but the child will stick with the theme and add ideas and actions. Not all children lead by telling others what to do, some just do something interesting, and the others follow.
Play dates! Children need opportunities, space, and time to develop their ideas. Have spare materials, boxes, sheets, and junk available along with their favorite action characters or dolls. In school, the early childhood educator should rotate through various themes so children are not just playing house.
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/.