Dramatic Play is an amazing way to teach your child important social skills, build empathy, and expose them to the fun elements of real-life situations. These themed activities encourage them to ask questions, make connections and learn more about the world around them. The materials I use are usually toys/books we already have, painted amazon boxes, and Dollar Store finds.
For each theme day I try to incorporate 5 elements to give my kids a multi-faceted experience. These five elements include:
Reading- I choose 3-5 books related to the theme, and with varying degrees of difficulty. For example, I will pick a board book with flaps for them to explore independently, as well as a longer book that I read aloud.
Games- Including games is a great way to get kids excited about the theme. They can be age appropriate board games, or even games you make-up, like a moon rock (balls of foil) collecting race.
Activities- The activities are always something they can explore independently, such as playing with figurines (to theme of course), collecting eggs from a cardboard chicken coop, or feeding animals with see through bellies.
Felt Board Story- Choosing a felt board story that fits the theme is easy and gives the student time to sit and interact with a teacher/parent led activity. This can include a poem, song, or story. I always encourage the kids to take part in the story by adding or taking away elements from the board.
Craft- Painting, Gluing, Molding, and Coloring?! What’s not to love?! Generally, I save the craft for the end and usually serve a snack while they work. For toddlers, I love a good Contact Paper craft, as it keeps the mess and glue eating to a minimum (post coming soon).
Timing wise, I like to introduce the kids to the space when it is completely set up. This means that it’s either the first activity in the morning, or after their afternoon nap. I also recommend letting them explore independently at first, letting them lead you through the sections that interest them the most.
Here are some pictures from some of the fun theme days we’ve had!
Using Literary Devices in your writing is a great way to hook your reader and help them find a connection to your storyline. As a reader, literary devices help you visualize and feel the plot, the characters, and the setting. Checkout this PowerPoint for an introduction to some literary devices that will take your writing to the next level.
The Home Classroom’s Summer Reading & Writing Workshop
The Home Classroom’s 5 week Literature Workshop is the perfect way to maintain and improve your student’s writing and reading comprehension skills over the summer months. The workshop focuses on one book per grade, engaging students in group discussions, literature analysis, and weekly writing assignments. Our writing assignments are geared to improve your student’s short answer and essay writing skills. By the end of the workshop, each student will have completed:
5 weekly short writing assignments (via Google Classroom)
Weekly plot and analysis questions and worksheets (focusing on citing evidence and themes)
5 weekly Web lectures (via eztalks web conferencing)
Weekly Vocabulary work (Quizlet)
One book from their incoming grade summer reading list
My “Trip Around the World” month was a school favorite when I was teaching in the classroom. Every few days we would “travel” to a new country and explore the food, sites, and culture. I incorporated writing, reading, math, and science lessons into each stop, and my students had a blast.
At home, the lessons can be even more detailed and customized to your student. You can also include mini field trips that may be appropriate to the lesson. Going to Australia? Why not visit the local aquarium to get find some of the animals that live in the Great Barrier Reef! Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers to download a free lesson plan for one leg of the trip, and enjoy the free Passport Page I’ve uploaded here!