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Permanent play centers provide a variety of open-ended learning experiences and should include a block center, sensory centers and a dramatic play center.  All children enjoy imaginative play.  They enjoy playing house, hospital, store, construction, veterinary clinic, restaurant and doctor’s office.  The dramatic play center allows young learners to stimulate real-life experiences. 

Dramatic play centers can be adapted during the year to provide for children’s interests.  Make-believe play is a unique zone of proximal development (Vygotsky) in which children try out a variety of challenging activities and acquire new competencies.  There are many opportunities in dramatic play to enhance children’s literacy and numeracy skills.   

Purpose of Dramatic Play:


  • Offers excellent opportunities for language development.
  • Provides opportunities to recognize and appreciate social and cultural difference and increases children’s self-awareness.
  • Encourages role-playing, perspective taking, decision-making, which involve organization and planning which are important parts of self-regulation.
  • Provides practice in social skills, such as sharing, cooperating in pay and taking part in group play.
  • Encourages creative and divergent thinking and problems solving.
  • Provides opportunities for classifying and organizing into categories.
  • Provides development in visual discrimination and eye-hand coordination.
  • Provides practical situations in which children become responsible for putting things back where they belong.
  • Promotes children’s emerging numeracy and literacy by providing opportunities to use numbers and letters and words in meaningful context.
  • Fosters science concepts when children’s interests are related to colour, paper, etc.