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Dramatic Play and Active Play

Active and Dramatic Play – Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Dramatic Play and Active Play [Guest Post]

I ran a child development center for six years which showed me first-hand how important dramatic play is in the learning process for toddlers and preschool students. I noticed a trend in which teachers give our youngest students worksheets which concerns me because it simply is not the way young brains learn. Our littlest learners are ACTIVE learners; they have to learn through doing. Their bodies are not prepared to sit down for long periods of time and systematically go through a worksheet. Worksheets can be a valuable tool for older preschool students and they definitely have a place in the overall education of children, but should be used sparingly and with caution.

Adding visual aids alone can increase retention by 14-38 percent (source: Columbia University). There has been a lot of research regarding the benefits of active play as well. One interesting article can be seen here: Children’s Museums Research.

One of my favorite dramatic play lessons is space themed! What’s more fun than a bunch of preschool students pretending to be space explorers? We utilized the popular song “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, We’re Going to the Moon” and we built in some dramatic play elements that were based on our destinations! You need the song lyrics, pictures of planets/space elements, a great imagination, and of course some excited students.

The song lyrics are as follows:

Zoom,-Zoom,-Zoom,-Lyrics
Zoom,-Zoom,-Zoom,-Lyrics

Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
If you’d like to take a trip,
Climb aboard our rocket ship,
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1….Blast Off!!!!
(Change the underlined words to match your chosen space destination!)

The dramatic play came at the end of the song. Once we sang the song, we got into a crouched position and counted backwards starting with 10 down to blast off. Once we blasted off we jumped up really high and landed on whichever space object we had sang about and pretended to do different movements that were linked to that particular space destination. For example, we bounced on the moon due to the lack of gravity, skated around Saturn’s ice rings or fanned ourselves on the closest planets to the sun. The great part about this lesson is that you can customize it to fit whatever you are trying to teach. My lesson was an introduction to space so we used the following;

• Moon – Bounce around due to lack of gravity
• Mercury – Fan ourselves from the heat, since it is the closet planet to the sun.
• Venus – Pretend to be very beautiful and display heart symbols with hands. Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
• Mars – Aliens (I know it is not factual, but how could we resist aliens in space)
• Jupiter – Huge (Our biggest planet)
• Saturn – Skate on the rings of ice around this amazing planet.

Good afternoon everyone! Today’s post was written by Brittny from Brittny’s Learning Lane. Please take a minute to stop by her Pinterest page and follow her. She is an amazing teacher whose work has focused on ages zero through twelve years old. Thank you Brittny, we look forward to having you back!