The Benefits of Dramatic Play: 3 Centers That Promote Literacy Skills


While an onlooker may just see child’s play – dramatic play centers offer incredible learning opportunities for students. Although the pressure to remove this learning model from the classroom has started to mount, research shows that dramatic play centers should stay.

Dramatic play centers allow students to take on real-world roles and interact with one another through imaginative play. Students may not even realize that they are enforcing important skills, but in reality, they are applying various skills in an authentic and engaging way.

Dramatic play centers also provide the benefits of formative assessment, checking to see what level of mastery your students are performing the learning target or skill, but in such a way that is engaging and exciting! While dramatic play centers can be used to learn a variety of skills here are three centers from my store that can be used to promote literacy in your classroom:

Welcome to the Farm!

A farm center is a great way to get students reading and writing! Students will need to know how to take care of the animals and how to grow crops!

Providing your students with cards that they can read to follow instructions on how to complete farm tasks is a great way to have students read at this center.

Also, a farmer needs to keep notes of what is going on with their animals and crops. Make sure to include some reports that students can use to take note of what is happening around the farm which is a great way to promote their writing skills. 


Tea Time 

Time to spill the tea – a tea party can benefit your students’ literacy skills, too. First, the host will need to know how to make tea, so you must include a recipe for them to read and follow.

If your dramatic play tea party is set up food service style, you could even include a menu with different treats that could be ordered. Your student server would need to write down orders and make sure to have a receipt ready!

Cough! Ouch! Sneeze!

Another center for literacy skills is a doctor’s office. Think of all the paperwork you do during your first (or really any) visit. One student can take on the front desk, passing out the forms that need to be filled out and returned promptly. The patient can practice their writing skills by listing or explaining their symptoms to the doctor.

The doctor can read off some remedies and sign off on the prescription so that their peer patient will be feeling better in no time! Don’t forget to check out!

The Importance of Dramatic Play

Dramatic play centers are a valuable tool for student learning and growth. Students are accomplishing a lot more than “just play” when they utilize a classroom center. It is important to advocate for centers and to continue to offer them to your students.

Do you plan to try out these dramatic play centers in your classroom? Check out the shop for resources that will help get your center going! Do you have any great experiences with centers in your own classroom? Comment below and share center ideas that promote literacy or how impactful centers have been in your own experiences!

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