Dramatic Play Ideas for Pre-School

dress up image by Lisa Eastman from Fotolia.com

Dramatic play is a time for preschoolers to work out their imaginary ideas and pretend. During dramatic play, preschoolers can fantasise about the grown-up world or ones they invent themselves. They can flex their creative muscles and practice with real-world skills within the security of a make-believe scenario.

A preschool classroom should offer plenty of opportunities for dramatic play time for students.

Shopping and Spending

Playing out a shopping scenario helps preschoolers learn about planning a menu, spending money and the value of a dollar. Preschoolers can make a list and go shopping for play food at a grocery store, taking turns playing the role of the shopper and the cashier. This helps them learn about adult roles and interactions as well. For another shopping excursion, children might go to a pretend mall and shop for clothing or play jewellery. The teacher helps children learn how much each item usually costs and gives them pretend money to spend so they understand how much it takes to buy the things they need or want.


Preschoolers enjoy re-enacting familiar stories. They work together to play out the scene from the story they read during Circle Time in the classroom or a classic fairy tale or movie they all know and understand. This type of play encourages their creativity and also gives them a chance to understand the story elements more clearly as a precursor for later reading comprehension skills.

Job Training

Preschoolers enjoy pretending to have different jobs as part of their dramatic play. On a very basic level, this prepares them for future career exploration. Some children might like to line up teddy bears in front of a chalk board and teach them the alphabet. Other children might put on a red hat and pretend to put out fires. Still others might enjoy playing veterinarian, chef or dancer. When children try out job roles at this age they explore the kinds of skills they might like to have in the future.