Winter Themed Pre-School Songs

Winter is a popular theme at this time of the year. There are many things to discover as we explore the weather, temperature, animals, clothing, melting and freezing and many more. Below are a few I have used and adapted for a winter study.

Warm clothes in Winter Time

This one is also useful for a clothes study. It talks about putting on different clothes that we wear in the winter. You can use it to teach body parts, names of clothes, materials that clothes are made of and pairing gloves, shoes and socks.

There’s a Snowflake on my Nose

This song also teaches body parts . You can have the children make a snowflake or give them a picture of a snowflake and they have to put it on the correct body part. For mine I added double sided sticky tape to help it stay. For added fun you could add a picture of a snowflake to a bean bag and have them balance that on different body parts.

It is Snowing

An action song about all of the things you might like to do in the snow. This is a good introduction to different activities you can do in snow. You could also use it as a springboard to create a graph of the children’s favourite activities to do in the snow. Create a grid with 4-6 activities and give each child a snowflake to stick on their favourite one.

Five Little Snowmen

This one is my favourite counting song for a Winter study. As the sun comes out the Snowmen melt and you subtract one. You can do this song with the children playing the snowmen and as the they melt they have to sit down. In this version I have used visuals from Lessonpix.

Bear is Sleeping

This song is about animals that hibernate and animals that migrate. You can insert any animal into the song, I chose a few more unusual ones that the children may not have heard about.

Hot and Cold Song

In this song we learn about things that are hot and things that are cold. Visuals come from Lessonpix.


I hope you find my selection of Winter themed songs useful. Let me know if you need any other songs specific to another aspect of winter learning.


New Picture Book Recommendations for May And June.

Here are some of my favorite new titles due for release in May or June 2021. (links are Amazon affiliate links, I will receive a small financial incentive for every title purchased via this link)

May Releases

Carol and the Pickle Toad by Esme Shapiro

Do not be put off by the strange title,I love this book! The story centres around Carol’s very bossy pickle toad hat, that is always telling her what to do. If you have read Glennon Doyle’s Untamed, (which by the way I highly recommend), this is a picture book that explores many of the same themes . It teaches children to listen to their inner voice and not to be afraid to be who they are, rather than who someone else want you to be. Yes, it is quirky, and I’m not really sure why the hat is a pickle toad , but for me, that adds to the charm. The illustrations are beautiful and I smiled as Carol went on her journey to find herself. I think it would appeal to young children’s oddball sense of humor and is a great conversation starter.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Sloth and Squirrel in a Pickle by Cathy Ballou Mealey

Pickles seem to be a bit of a theme this month!

Sloth and Squirrel are good friends but they have different ways of doing things and different speeds of doing them. So, when Squirrel gets them jobs as pickle packers to earn money for a new bike, things don’t go according to plan. Sloth and Squirrel in a Pickle is a fun story that I think little children will love. The illustrations perfectly embrace the personalities of the characters, through wonderful facial expressions. The story is slightly off the wall and zany, which always grabs the attention of my young readers. Hopefully we will see more Sloth and Squirrel adventures in the future.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

This is Ruby by Sarah O’Leary

This is a perfect book for a play advocate like me. It shows all the wonderful places your imagination can take you and the many things that play may, or may not lead to when you are a grown. It also relishes living in the moment. Another aspect I like about this book are the interactive elements promoting discussion between parent/teacher and child. It’ can be difficult to find books with children of diverse cultures, race and ability that are not specifically about that difference – Ruby does this perfectly. There isn’t really a story to the book but it has a good message and would be a valuable addition to a diverse library of books.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

June Releases

Dancing in Thatha’s Footsteps by Srividhya Venkat

This is a beautiful story about a boy who wants to dance just like his sister and his grandfather who shows everyone that dancing isn’t only for girls. Through the story, we learn about bharatanatayam, an ancient classical dance from India. The illustrations perfectly embody the movements in the dance, you can clearly picture Varun and Thatha dancing. Dancing in Thatha’s Footsteps ticks all the boxes for an inclusive picture book and I will be adding this to my preschool library.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Let’s go for a walk by Ranger Hamza

This book is for families who love the outdoors. Go for a walk with Ranger Hamza from CBeebies ‘Let’s go for a Walk’. Each page has different things to look out for and can be used time and again. When my children were young, I would often encourage them to walk for longer by challenging them to find things along the way. Let’s go for a walk could be used in this way and as a story at home to talk about all the things you see when out and about. I love the vibrant colours and the suggestions to look up, down and use all of your senses.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

I hope you enjoy my choices and find some other great new titles this month.

Can mindfulness be introduced to preschool children?

Mindfulness is broadly defined as the ability to pay attention to the present moment. A common way to get in a mindful state is to sit still and direct attention to one’s breathing. Preschool aged children enjoy and learn best though moving around – so can very young children learn mindful practices, or even understand what they are?

Anything we teach to small children needs to be communicated and used in a way that makes sense to them. Young children need to know why it might help them, in what context and it needs to be embodied in the things that matter to them. You don’t have to use the term mindfulness with small children, but we can explain that what we do will help them to be calm and to think.

I often introduce new concepts in my classroom through picture books, rhymes, action or song.

Mindful Mr Sloth by Katy Hudson, explains the value of slowing down and enjoying the moment, in a way that makes sense to children. Sasha rushes around and is always busy, until one day she meets Mr. Sloth. Mr Sloth is slow and at first, this frustrates her, but soon he teaches her the merits of taking time to slow down and see the things that you would otherwise miss. The book is a gentle introduction to mindfulness, explaining the need to slow down from time to time. You can relate this to things that happen in the classrooom e.g. remember that time that George was rushing to get his lunchbox and he tripped and fell. Talk about rushing and slowing down. Do you ever feel rushed? Have you ever wanted to stop to look at something like Mr Sloth? What could we do at school to make that happen? Gather the children’s ideas. (Mindful Mr Sloth is released on 1st Aug , currently available for pre-order. Links are Amazon affiliate links, I receive a small financial incentive if you order via the link)

Play listening games to focus on what you hear. Have everyone be very quiet and close their eyes. Make a sound and have them guess what the sound is. You could set a timer and have the children sit silently for that time. When the time goes off they can each tell you what they heard. When you are outside focus on looking – some days have them look up and others look down, do they see anything interesting. Maybe on a walk to the playground, have them stop and look for 10 seconds. Who saw something interesting?

Once children have a concept of what mindfulness is, we can teach them how to slow down and regulate their emotions. In our classroom, we practice slow breathing every day using the concept – smell the flower and blow the candle. The children can use a picture or their hand as a prop, as they breathe in as if smelling the flower and blow out as if to blow out a candle. Because we practice this everyday, when children need a strategy to help relax or self regulate, we can use the phrase , smell the flower and blow the candle and they immediately know what to do.

Too Many Bubbles by Christine Peck and Mags Deroma uses visuals in a similar way.

This book is a simple introduction to the concept of focusing on breathing. In this picture book the fish is gloomy and the bubbles grow and grow around him and the reader is encouraged to blow the bubbles away. Just like , smell the flower, blow the candle, it gives children a visual and meaningful cue. (Too many Bubbles is released on July 7th)

Rhymes are also a good way to teach breathing. I like the ones in Breathe like a Bear ,as they include actions that make sense to small children , for example, blowing the steam from a hot drink.

These expandable breathing balls are also a useful tool. Hold them in front of you and expand them as you breathe in, and collapse as you breathe out.  They can be introduced during a circle time, as part of an exercise routine, or welcome activity.  

 Form a calm down basket in a quiet area of the classroom.  It could be a cosy corner of the classroom or maybe a tent or large cube.  Establish rules at the start of the year, so that children know that this is a place for one child to use at a time, when they need a quiet safe space.    Include things to squeeze or spin. items with different textures,  things with nice smells, liquid motion bubblers, books and maybe a pad of paper and pencils to draw.

New Picture Book Recommendations For April

I’m grateful to have the chance to preview upcoming picture book titles in digital format via Netgalley. There are a lot of great titles coming out this Spring and Summer. These are my recommendations for April. All links are Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase the book using this link I will receive a small financial incentive.

Blossom and Bud by Frank J Sileo

Blossom and Bud, live in a flower shop amongst the most beautiful flowers but they feel that they are not beautiful enough. The flower shop owner has the perfect job for them and they quickly learn that however they look, there is a special place for everyone. I was prepared for this book to be a little preachy but it isn’t at all. It is a simple beautifully illustrated story which shows the value in us all, without laying it on too thick. The brevity of the words and illustrations showing parings of people who are different from one another, but bring each other joy, complement each other perfectly. There are also useful tips in the back of the book for helping support children in learning about and valuing their body image.

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

Arthur and the Forgetful Elephant by Maria Giron

Arthur meets an elephant, but the elephant is sad because he cannot remember anything. Playing together, Arthur helps the elephant to find happiness again and eventually to remember his family and be reunited. This is a sweet story about the bond between young and old and would be a good story to share with a young child who has a grandparent with memory loss. Beautifully illustrated, it shares the themes of love, joy, friendship and family.

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

My Dad by Susan Quinn

In My Dad, a boy tells all the great things about his dad. He isn’t a super hero or a busy run around dad but he bakes, gardens and joins his son in lots of fun activities. The simple text and captivating illustrations show the loving, relationship between father and son. This one would make a special gift for a new dad or for Father’s day.

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

The Grumpy Fairies by Bethan Stevens

I didn’t expect to like this one but it is a lot of fun and I think young children will really identify with the grumpy fairies. The fairies are grumpy because they keep getting asked to do chores, the moan and stomp around in a way that parents and young children will recognize. They are so busy being grumpy that they forget to heed the message of the woodland animals to look out for the troll. This repetitive part of the book will work great as a read aloud as the children call out the warning each time. When the troll arrives looking for a grumpy fairy snack, they soon change their mood – for now at least. I think this one would be a firm favourite with my preschoolers. As an added bonus for UK readers, the paperback is currently available for under five pounds.

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

Enjoy the recommendations. I’m looking forward to sharing some great new titles for May.

Preschool Songs About Trees

There are a number of preschool songs about trees, but what are they teaching about trees?

I love to use song to reinforce learning concepts. Songs make learning fun and meaningful. The songs below were adapted from traditional children’s songs to teach early learning concepts and information about trees for young children.

  1. I’m and Old Oak Tree – an action song to teach the parts of the tree, to the familiar tune of I’m a little teapot. This song has been used in my class to support imitation and naming basic parts of a tree.

2. I Have a Little Nut Tree – sung to the tune of the nursery rhyme – I have a little nut tree, this song features a squirrel who comes to a tree to find nuts. Finding none, the squirrel is sad. Nuts are added to the tree and counted one at a time. This song was used in my classroom to talk about things that grow on trees, naming nuts that grow on trees and to practice counting up to 10. I would choose a child to tell me how many nuts to put on the tree and we would count them together.

3. Walking Through the Forest – An version of the preschool song Walking Through the Jungle. In this song I use a tree with small soft animals peeking through the holes. As we go through the forest we look at the different parts of the tree, and try to identify the animals that live there. This song was used in my class to learn about animals that live in and on trees. In a regular, non-Covid classroom I would hide the animals in the tree with only a small part peeking out and have the children put there hand in the hole to see which animal they find.

4. Way Up High in the Apple Tree – this song is a counting down song. Using the tree prop, after each verse we shake the tree until an apple falls down and then count how many apples are left. At the end of the song the apples are revealed in my tummy and we count them together. It can also be used for early phonics and for children working on speech sounds. One line of the song is about eating the apple, I emphasise the mmmmmmm sound and show them how to imitate the sound.

5. 5 Little Leaves – This is another counting down song. As the wind blows the children join you by blowing the tree to make a leaf fall to the ground. You could use different kinds of leaves and identify which tree they came from.

6. Tree Seasons Song – this song is sung to the tune of the wheels on the bus and teaches about what happens to the trees in different seasons.

7. The Green Grass Grows – the green grass grows is a song about the parts of the tree and the sequence in which it grows. I used it to teach positional language and sequencing. The audio for this one has been added to a powerpoint showing the sequence of the tree growing and visuals for the positional words.

It will be OK – A Picture book about Anxiety and Empathy

During the Pandemic – we are finding more and more that our children are anxious and worried. I feel is is very important that young children know that this is a normal response to these uncertain times, we can help them but also it is okay to be anxious.

Finding a book with this message, that suitable for the preschool children I teach is a challenge. There are plenty of books about worry, some are a little wordy, others have slightly scary characters and many by the end show a character who is no longer worried.

For the times we are in ‘ It Will be Okay’ ticked all the boxes for what I was looking for. I will, without a doubt, be adding this book to my social/emotional collection in my preschool classroom.

The story follows Giraffe, who can’t go out with his friend because he is worried about a spider. He knows his fear is irrational, but hides in the tree regardless and can’t bring himself to come down. His friend Zebra, listens to his fears and waits until giraffe is ready to come down. Zebra tells Giraffe that his fear ‘isn’t silly if it bothered him’ (my favourite line from the book), he shows empathy and understanding and shares a message that friends can help us with our fears, but most importantly it is okay to be worried by things. I love the resolution of the story. Instead of ‘curing’ Giraffes fear, it shows the comfort of an understanding friend and the message that being afraid is perfectly normal. Bravo for this modern take on worry, anxiety and friendship!

This is an affiliate link – I will receive a small financial incentive if you purchase this book using the link.

Amazon UK Link

Amazon US link

Problem solving in Preschool Using Songs and Puppets

Problem solving in preschool is particularly challenging to teach in the virtual classroom. I have been using puppets and songs, to help teach problem solving concepts. The videos are recorded for my class, so they can watch multiple times. The children love the puppets and find these songs especially engaging. Though it doesn’t replicate being able to practice problem solving skills in the classroom, it is a tool to help support social and emotional learning in a non- traditional classroom.

This is an adapted version of the song ‘Oh dear what can the Matter Be?’ In it the puppets are sad and talk about their problem, and then we try to come up with solutions.

We have also talked in class about problem solving, using the puppets as a model. I have taught about taking deep breaths and finding a quiet space as a way to calm down. Sometimes, children in our class encounter problems, even in the virtual environment. If we see a child is upset or frustrated we often notice saying, ‘I see ….. is sad, if you have a problem you can tell us’. In some ways, I feel in the virtual environment, we need to be even more intentional about teaching these things than we would in person.

Almost a Year of Teaching Virtual Preschool -What have I learned?

We all know that online teaching is not the ideal environment for preschool children. I’ve been doing it since March , it isn’t easy but some things have been surprisingly successful.

For context, I teach in a preschool inclusion classroom, my students have a variety of needs, 50% or more have iep’s and many do not have English as a first language. My live teaching consists of a 30 minute circle time and some small groups, the remainder is provided asynchronously. My preschool sessions are 2.5 hours, I have an am and a pm class.

Live instruction

My goal for organizing live instruction is 3- fold

  1. To follow a predictable sequence
  2. To be engaging
  3. For there to be an opportunity to build relationships with teachers and peers.

Starting the Session

I start the meeting with a transition song that we sing everyday when walking into the classroom. I wanted to keep this as a signal that school had started and to introduce the transition song to the children in case we ever return to in person school.

I start the circle by referring to our visual schedule. This follows a familiar format



Sharing time

A demonstration of the project of the day

Good bye song


Our opening song is the song we use at the beginning of the circle when we are in person. It is both a signal to come to circle and to be ready. The song is sung to the tune of ‘If you’re happy and you know it ‘ but the words are changed to if you’re ready for the circle. We have 3 verses – clap your hands, nod your head and eyes on me. I play this on the ukulele and this helps maintain attention – most of the children look eagerly at the screen when they hear the ukulele.

This is followed by a song relating to our theme. I try to keep the songs as interactive as possible by using visuals, calling on children to contribute ideas for the songs or singing action songs. For example, I used puppets to help me enact nursery rhymes such as hickory, dickory dock and little miss muffet, we sang pat-a- cake and wrote the first letter of a child’s name on the cake and I used pictures and visuals for prepositions when we sang the green grass grows.

I have recently added some OT finger exercises that I adapted to a rhyme into this part of the circle.

Below is an example of one of my song videos. You can also see in this video, how I have my space set up. I sit on a cushion on the floor as this mirrors how I would sit at school and have an easel and basket of visuals behind me that I can use when I need to.


To get ready for our movement activity we practice our deep breathing by smelling the flower (breathe in ) and blowing the candle (breathe out)

For movement/dance we use a familiar song from You Tube. Sharing the video on the screen does not work so well, so we play the video on a phone and demonstrate the actions ourselves.

Before sharing time, we may introduce a concept relating to our theme by sharing some pictures, objects or part of a book.


Every day we do some kind of sharing/show and tell. This was built in to the session to allow children to feel like they are being listened to and to give them a chance to interact with peers. Sometimes children say they do not want to share but mostly they love it! We think of something that relates to our theme, season, or maybe book we have been reading and Mondays are always an opportunity to share anything they would like. Examples of sharing have been – a family photo, something beginning with a certain letter, something cold, a thing of a certain color and something that came from a tree. We hold up a name card of the child whose turn it is to share and they have learned that at this time they unmute their microphone.

Demonstrating a project

We demonstrate our daily activity for parents and children to see what they need to do and to talk about ideas for alternative materials or modified ways of doing the activity. We also do this as part of our circle during in person learning, before we move to small groups.

Goodbye song

One teacher leads the goodbye song and the children wave and sing whilst muted. All singing is done this way to avoid lag. Children participate well, even when they are muted we have found. The children can then unmute and say goodbye to teachers and friends if they wish. We always try to say goodbye personally to anyone who unmutes.

How I Set up my Activities for Asynchronous Learning

The platform my district uses is Classroom Teams. Within this we can set up individual channels; this has been organized to mirror our in person day. Each channel has a different set of information, for different parts of the school day. Parents can pick and choose what they want their children to experience. The channels are laid out as follows.

Information for families

This is for newsletters, weekly timetables and articles and resources relating to early learning.


Here we post a link to our daily live meetings and any specific announcements relating to our meetings.

Question of the Day

Each day at school ,we would have a question for the children to answer – we continue this on our teams site and provide visuals to help children answer the question. The questions are presented as a poll or form with 2 or 3 possible answers.

Daily Activities

Each day we provide a table top activity, with instructions modelled in our live session. Visual instructions are included. Some materials are readily found at home, some are to be printed (but we usually give an alternative if a printer isn’t available) and some are provided in packets to be collected at school. These are short activities such as sequencing, craft activities, counting, sorting , scavenger hunts etc.


Our playtime/free-choice is the biggest part of our usual preschool day, where the majority of our learning occurs. I cannot replicate that in a virtual setting, but what I am able to do, is offer suggestions for things to do at home and explain to parents why these things are important. I feel like this has given our parents a greater understanding of what we do at preschool and why. Examples of focus plays have been dramatic play, related to our theme, different kinds of sensory play, counting (with an explanation of the stages of learning to count with 1-1 correspondence and how that can be supported in play) and focusing on particular types of toys. Our focus playtime is for a full week.


This usually consists of a gross motor activity and a nature/environment activity – examples have included scavenger hunts, looking for items during walks and things we can do with sticks (including how to use them safely).

Stories and Books

We pre-record our stories and books so that our meetings are more interactive and the children can re-visit them as many times as they like. Sometimes we do a few pages of a non-fiction book during our meeting.

Songs and rhymes

I record all of our songs and rhymes so that children can re-visit them. Often these songs are a focus activity for children with iep’s, to develop imitation and making requests, so it is important for the parents to have ready access to them. Sometimes I also record the audio without video. We also post a link to our movement song.


This is the biggest challenge to teach remotely. I incorporate social skills during our meetings by using puppets to teach, problem solving, sharing , being kind etc. On the channel I provide resources to support that, by choosing a focus every few weeks. Focus points so far have been cues for transitions ( I made a video explaining the auditory and visual cues we use at preschool), problem solving, Tucker the turtle, waiting, imitiation and being kind ( for this I provided checklists and the children could earn badges for being kind). Sometimes I record a book with a social/emotional theme and explain what the book is teaching and how to follow up at home.

For children with social/emotional goals, I host a weekly small group session, in this we have discussions based on a book, photograph or puppet script.

Picture Wall

This is an optional space for students to post pictures of their work or things they have been playing at home. We always make a specific comment of praise for any child that posts.

There are additional small groups and parent – teacher consultations for our students with iep’s. For those that I do not lead such as speech, I use this time to observe and take data.

It isn’t perfect but I feel like there are many positives:-

  • The children are very engaged and enthusiastic about coming to online preschool
  • Parents are able to see what we do at preschool and we are able to explain why we do things
  • Through our discussions with parents, we are able to work on skills that may be helpful in the home environment
  • Children are learning new skills with technology

I have learned that young children can learn in a virtual environment and I would never have believed that before. Some things are hard to learn and the children are missing out on many early social experiences but in face of this challenge I have had my eyes opened to new possibilities.

Brightening the Neighbourhood with Homemade Chalk Paint

At the start of the lockdown, the girls and I took out our pavement chalks and drew encouraging messages and bright pictures to cheer up our neighbours. We received a lot of great feedback.

This time we decided to try something new and make our own chalk paint.


  1. Cornflour/cornstarch
  2. Water
  3. Food colouring

Use equal amounts of cornflour to water and add coloring as desired.

We mixed ours in a box that we had peaches in, it made a perfect pallet.

sidewalk chalk paint

The colours look brighter in the pallet and are more pastel when they are on the ground and dry. To make strong colours, like red, use a lot of food colouring. Mixing just the right shade was a really fun experiment. We even tried to mix a black.

We love how vibrant the colours are. The chalk paint didn’t wash away in a recent rain shower. It will fade over time but remains longer than typical chalk paint. Perfect for encouraging messages.

101 Ideas for Dramatic Play

As this unprecedented school year draws to a close, I created this resource to keep my class inspired to have fun playing over the Summer. I hope you can find some inspiration for your dramatic play adventures.

  • 1 . Bakery – you could make salt dough cakes and cookies, use playdough or make a mud bakery outside.  Accessories could include aprons, baking trays, mixing bowls, order forms, boxes to pack the goods in.
  • 2. Restaurant – Choose any kind of restaurant to reflect your culture or introduce new ideas. My kids favorite thing to do when playing restaurants was to be a food critic.  They would have a clipboard and rate each part of the meal.
  • 3. Home – the simplest of all dramatic play as they take on the roles of the things they see in your home.
The home corner is organised so everything has its place. The plates and cups are stored in colour groups and the pans in size order. The environment is organised, inviting and promotes interaction
  • 4. Laundry – you could make a washer from a box, add laundry baskets, wash clothes by hand and hang them out to dry. Also include sorting and pairing.
  • 5. Clothes shop – the children could choose which kinds if clothes they want to sell. Make tags for the clothes, the children could read how much they cost.
  • 6. Building site – indoors with blocks or outdoors with sand and mad, you could add vehicles if you have wheelbarrows, cars, carts or wagons
  • 7. Vet – with soft animals and a doctors set.
  • 8. Hospital – you could add bandages (crepe paper rolls also work), add a receptionist to book appointments over the phone.
  • 9. Hair salon – create fancy styles on dolls or make a cardboard head with paper hair that you can cut.
  • 10. Post office – collect envelopes, stamps, boxes for wrapping, cards – practice writing letters, post them in a mailbox, weigh parcels, which is heaviest, send the mailman to deliver the letters.
  • 11. Market stall – choose any kind of market stall, fruit, vegetables, crafts.
  • 12. Flower shop – provide fake flowers, ribbon , pots to put flowers in – someone can take orders while another delivers.
Delivery for you


  • 13. Workshop – this could be a workshop of your choice, wood with small tools or appliance with small appliances to take apart
  • 14. Café/coffee shop – similar to the restaurant but with a stronger focus on drinks.


  • 15. Book shop – the children could also make books for the shop.
  • 16. Camping – build a tent with sheets, make a pretend campfire and pretend to roast marshmallows on a stick.
  • 17. Train – use a cardboard box or chairs to make the carriages.
  • 18. Airplane – as with the train, add a flight attendant to serve.
  • 19. School bus – as with the train.
  • 20. Vacation – pack your suitcase, get your tickets and head off on a vacation of your choice.
  • 21. Pirate ship – you could build a ship with a box or just pretend.  Make a treasure map and search for buried treasure.       
  • 22. Castle – this could be a castle for kings and queens or for knights defending themselves from attack.
  • 23. Explorer ship – Explore the ocean waves with a telescope, compass and map – what will you find?
  • 24. Garden centre – buy seeds and plants, what will you grow?
  • 25. Eye doctor – make a chart to get your eyes tested.  Try on different kind of glasses. You could make some of your own.
  • 26. Looking after baby – babies need lots of looking after – diaper change, feeding, putting to bed, dressing them, cuddling them and singing them songs.
  • 27. School – what will you have in your school? What kind of work will you do? Maybe you could have a pe class, recess, lunch and circle time.
  • 28. Time machine – this was my all time favorite at nursery. During millennium year we build a time machine in our wooden hollow cube. Each day we travelled to a different decade – our adventures included a Victorian schoolroom, a 70’s disco and a street party for the Queen’s coronation.
  • 29. Space ship – take a journey to space – what will it look like in space? What will you need for your journey?
  • 30. Pizza takeaway – make toppings for the pizza from felt or paper, you could even make your own pizzas – don’t forget to deliver.
  • 31. Movie theatre – grab some popcorn and watch your favourite movie but first make some tickets and have someone show you to your seat.
  • 32. Theatre – what kind of theatre is your choice, make tickets and a program, make posters . Do you want to be on the stage or watch? Dress up in your favorite costume – you could even paint your face.
  • 33. Puppet show – just like the theatre bit this time with puppets. If your too shy to make up a story, put some music on and have the puppets sing along.

  • 34. Airport – what do you do at the airport? You need to check your luggage, hand your tickets and passport, go through security and maybe shop before you board the plane.
  • 35. Ice cream shop – make ice cream with playdough and cardboard cones.
  • 36. Shoe shop – can you pair the shoes? Put them in boxes to sell.
  • 37. Traffic patrol – use chalk to make a road, include stop signs and zebra crossings. Someone can guide the traffic or give the cars a ticket if they park in the wrong place.
  • 38. Fire fighters – use water guns and pretend to put out fires.
  • 39.. Tea party/birthday party – indoors or outdoors – what will you have at your party?
  • 40. Street party – similar to a birthday party but with more people. Decorate with bunting, play games, eat treats and dance together.
  • 41. Barbecue – make a grill with a box – pretend to cook and share what you have made.
  • 412 Grocery store – collect empty boxes and containers and build a shop. Don’t forget your list.
  • 43. Witches and wizard potions – you can make a real potion outside or pretend and make up spells around the cauldron.


  • 44. Acting out a familiar story – choose a favorite fairy tale or book and re-enact the story.
  • 45. Den building – indoors or outdoors
  • 46. Train station – buy your tickets, stop for a snack and check the timetable – perhaps you could make the announcements.
  • 47. Dentist – check your family’s teeth or use a puppet with an opening mouth.
  • 48. Car wash – Use a hose or build a car wash.
  • 49. Gas station – make a pump form a cardboard box or use a hose to refill – don’t forget to pay!
  • 50. Beauty salon – you could beautify dolls or practice painting nails, painting faces or even painting body tattoos.
  • 51. Picnic -grab a blanket and a tea set and have a picnic with your toys.
  • 512 Tourist information – collect some brochures or make some of your own.
  • 53. Pet shop – use stuffed animals – what do you need to buy for them?
  • 54. Farm – play outside, ride a tractor, collect eggs in a basket, milk a cow or ride a horse.
  • 55. Olympics – which are your favorite events – compete with friends and family.
staging an Olympic medal ceremony


  • 56. Winter Olympics – you don’t need snow and ice – check the link for ideas.
ski jumping


  • 57. Life guard – watch out for your toys swimming in the lake – did you have to save anyone?
  • 58. Music shop/band – grab your instruments and make a music shop or use them to make a band. Will you have a marching band, an orchestra or a rock band? You could also make your own instruments with materials around the house.
  • 59. Detectives/spies – can you solve a mystery, use a magnifier and look for clues, maybe someone could make you clues or a code to crack.
  • 60.. Weddings – dress up for a wedding – what does a wedding in your culture look like? What will you need to celebrate?
  • 61. Cultural events – choose your own cultural event.
  • 62. Parade/carnival – decorate your bike or other wheeled toys to create a carnival or dress in a fancy costume.
  • 63. Doctor surgery – You’ll need a patient a doctor and a receptionist to take the appointments.
  • 64. Superheroes – play at being your favorite super hero.  Do they have something special you could make?
  • 65. House painting and decorating – grab a bucket of water and pretend to decorate the walls of your house.
outdoor play
I’m Painting the wall
  • 66. Seamstress/tailor – you could learn to make some simple stitches or pretend to make some clothes. Don’t forget to measure your customer.
  • 67. Car mechanic – fix your toy cars with tools, you could use old tires and change a wheel.
  • 68. Office – print out a computer keyboard and put it on your desk, answer the phone, make notes and sort through your papers.
  • 69. Library – similar to the bookshop but this time you check out books instead of paying.
  • 70. Photography Studio – use a real camera or toy one
  • 71. Car park  – mark out parking spaces, do you need a barrier, have a parking attendant collect money and hand out tickets.
  • 72. Recycling centre – sort recycled materials into bins and containers – you could use some of the materials to make things.
  • 73. Pet grooming salon – wash, brush and comb your toy animals.
  • 74. Beach – put on your goggles and water wings and go for a swim, lay or towel and sit in the sun – don’t forget sunscreen.
  • 75. Realter/estate agent – show people around your house, fill out paperwork and answer the phone.
  • 76. Costume shop –  choose your favourite costumes, help customers find the pieces they need – you could make costumes too.
  • 77. Ball or disco – dress up and go to Cinderellas ball or dance at a disco , all you need is some music.
  • 78. Shoe repair shop – use a small hammer and fix your shoes. You could play the elves and the shoemaker.
  • 79. House move – use a wagon and load up like a removal truck – you could build 2 dens and move between them.


  • 80. Gardener – grab your tools, pretend to cut grass, plant flowers,water and prune.


  • 81. Hotel – check in at the desk, show people to their room and provide room service.
  • 82. Museum – what kind of things could be in your museum? Do you need signs?
  • 83. . Zoo – you could be a zoo animal or use your soft toys. Do you want to be a visitor or a zookeeper.
  • 84. . Toy shop – set up a shop with your favorite toys.  Make price tags. What will you use for money?
  • 85. . Circus – try your best gymnastics, be a clown and make everyone laugh or lead the ring.
  • 86.. Wimbledon – if you are a tennis fan, make a net and hit the ball over, you can be a spectator and eat strawberries and cream.
  • 87. Fishing boat – make a boat and a fishing rod and see what you can catch
  • 88. Face and body painting – use face paints and try out different designs.
  • 89. The 3 bears cottage – you will need a big, small and medium bowl for the porridge.  Will you be goldilocks or a bear?
  • 90. House cleaning – a spray bottle with water, a cloth, small broom or duster and you can clean the house.
  • 91. Fish and chip shop – make cardboard fish and paper chips and serve then wrapped in paper.  Don’t forget to offer salt and vinegar.
  • 92. jack’s beanstalk and giant’s castle – if you are the giant make everything around you small (small bricks to build a town, toy cars etc) if you are Jack pretend everything you have is huge – a ball could be a pea, bucket a cup etc.
  • 93. Lemonade stand – pour a jug of water, make a sign and take money. How much will your lemonade cost?
  • 94. Art gallery – Make some beautiful art and hang it for all to admire, make signs to explain your art.
  • 95. Driving school – make a cardboard box car and pretend you are learning to drive.
loose parts
Making cars from cardboard boxes
  • 95. Explorers – you need a compass, a map, a backpack and go on an expedition.
  • 96. Orchard – You could make a paper tree and add ballons or paper balls for apples. How many will you pick? Maybe you could make something with real apples.
  • 97. Pumpkin patch – make paper pumpkins or make some from paper mache.  Orange balloons would work too.
  • 98. Ice rink –  pretend to go skating on the ice, keep your balance.
  • 99. Act out your favorite movie or tv program – use any of your choice.
  • 100. Fashion show – make your own clothes from sheets of material or recycled materials.
  • 101..Ask the children – they always come up with ideas we couldn’t even imagine.

Additional ideas and images can be found on my Pinterest Dramatic Play Board.

Play, Early Education and more…

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