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Monday, September 14, 2009

Encouraging Pretend Play at School with Classroom Furniture & Unit Blocks


One of the best things about childhood is getting to pretend. Pretend play brings out the creativity in children while encouraging them to invent with their own ideas. Teachers love to see their students engaging in this kind of play. It can be like a little window into how they think, what they like to do, and what their talents are. Classroom furniture is a great way to encourage pretend play at school.


Use Tables and Chairs

The simple set up of a table and chairs within the classroom can give kids a place to pretend. Students can pretend they are at the dinner table while they serve and eat pretend food. This gives students a relaxed setting to act like a family and take turns doing different jobs.

Students may also arrange the table and chairs in a way that represents the classroom, pretending to be teacher and students. For a teacher, it is exciting to see students play school. It gives insight into what they are learning and what type of teaching they mimic. Teachers can observe and get some understanding into what parts of the day and what types of lessons kids enjoy. They will pick their favorite things to act out.

A table and chairs is also a good setting for pretend office play. Maybe students have seen their parents work at an office, have visited the school office, or watched the teacher work at her desk. For teachers, this type of play is a good way to see which students take the leadership roles and which students take other roles.

Keeping it organized using Book Displays

Having book displays in the classroom give students the perfect setting to play library or book store. This kind of play will encourage students to read and become interested in books. Students can take turns being the librarian or cashier and describe the books to the other students.
Whatever classroom furniture you have in your classroom, it can be used to encourage pretend play in students. This will give you, as the teacher, a look into the personality of each student and give you many options to reinforce classroom lessons.

Standard Unit Blocks

The possibilities with blocks when it comes to pretend play are endless. One of the most insightful activities a teacher can do with blocks is to dump out some blocks in front of each student and let them decide what to build. Some students will build towers, other students will build pens for their animals, some will build car ramps, and others will build their own unique designs.

Having wooden blocks in the classroom gives teachers many options to engage students in pretend play. Learning about space can result in the building of fantastic structures. Blocks with the alphabet can result in students "building" their name. Blocks also give students a great way to pretend play together. Learning to share and build on other students ideas are lessons that will continue all throughout the education process.

The key is school does not have to be boring if the tools are in place to foster creativity. Classroom furniture for children including book displays, easels, table sets, educational rugs, and unit blocks are long lasting, create infinite possibilities, and help teachers make each day fun for their students.

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