We just LOVE a good party around here… and dramatic play parties are some of our favorites! Dramatic play is just a fancy way to say you are embracing children’s love of pretending. And what kid doesn’t like pretend play? It is the hallmark of the preschooler years, and even as kids get older, fantasy play grows more complex. Everything from princess dresses, sailor costumes, fireman hats, superhero capes, and cowboy vests, to play kitchens, tool belts, and fairy wings can add pizzaz to a child’s play scenario.
First up in our Dramatic Play Roundup, is our Grocery Store Party. To stock your child’s grocery store, scour your kitchen for items that you already have – empty egg and milk cartons, cans and boxes from the pantry stash, shopping bags, uncooked pasta or cereal, measuring cups for scoops, berry baskets, etc. You can even add some “real” fruit items, such as oranges, apples, or bananas or vegies like radishes, bell peppers, or onions. Such props will greatly enhance your dramatic play parties. And if your child’s toy collection is anything like the one at my house, I’ll bet you will find more items to add to your store – a cash register or box to collect the (play) money, a grocery cart or wagon or basket, miniature plastic food items, and more. Round out your store setup with some ADORABLE (if I do say so myself) printable accessories by yours truly.
Next up, an underwater ADVENTURE … our Shark & SCUBA Birthday Party. The highlight of this party was in fact NOT the blue-iced birthday cake. It was all the dress up options! Give your party guests a choice between playing the Shark, with a felt fin, or playing the SCUBA diver with a handmade tank and dive mask. We have some great step-by-step instructions for making the felt shark fins and tank. The tanks and fins were such a hit, that some of the kids wore both at the same time!
Arrrrrrgh you ready for this one? The ever popular, Pirate Birthday Party is a classic! To set the stage, start with themed decor (do you see that “iron” ball and chain made from a black balloon and black construction paper chain?) and a Pirate Ship cake. You can’t go wrong with personalized pirate hats – paper or felt! We can help you out with the paper ones – they are part of our printable set (we also have a pink version!). You can also order some Felt Pirate Hats and customize with a puffy fabric paint pen. And the best part? The birthday boy can captain his own pirate ship (made from an appliance box) and fill it with all his mates.
Last but not least, a Ninja Birthday Party. Everyone wants to be a ninja – especially kids. Because ninjas were originally ancient Japanese warriors, Asian props like paper lanterns can effectively be used as the theme décor. Today ninjas are superheros – clad in all black, they slip through the night unseen to fulfill their mission. Just imagine the many ways your birthday boy or girl can use dramatic play to act out this legendary role. Dress-up options might include a black, cross-over jacket; hood; scarf mask; and white belt, we’ll even help you with a diy sewing project! Part of the party fun can be having the guests make their own weapons – a sword, throwing stars, or nunchuks (don’t worry, they can all be paper). Ninjas also used kites to send messages or signals, so kite construction might be a good craft option for your group. In the end, it’s the real action that counts! Picture your little ninjas trying complex maneuvers such as cartwheels, slide kicks, jump kicks and so on.