I am still working on a few items for the Boston Pizza Restaurant in my kindergarten classroom, but it is already up and running. I will add the extra items as I find and finish them. I really tried to make this fun and a great learning opportunity as well. Play is such an important part of learning and should never be considered meaningless or a waste of time. Here are just a few of the concepts I tried to incorporate to make the play area not only fun, but educational as well:
- size comparison (small, medium and large ~ pizzas and drinks)
- play money (opportunities to use play money for the exchange of goods and begin to learn the monetary value of the coins and bills as well as their names)
- writing (orders can be taken or for those not yet ready, I created a “write and wipe” order sheet that is laminated)
- reading (the signs in and around the restaurant as well as the menus)
- math (number recognition, simple addition for those that pursue it, money concepts and even fractions)
- how to set the table properly (use the placemats to properly set the table for customers)
- learn about the different roles of the people who work in the restaurant (Chef, server, dish washer, host, etc)
- fractions ~ we talked about how if one person likes a topping and the other doesn’t, you could order your pizza with a topping on only 1/2 of the pizza
- manners and customer service
- phone etiquette
- taking turns (only 5 children allowed in the center at one time and deciding who will work in the restaurant and who the customers will be)
- vocabulary development
- the opportunities for learning really are endless and something that is so engaging also makes a great springboard for other learning activities in the classroom
*Be sure to click on the first image. It will take you to the enlarged slide show and reveal the captions.
Some of these concepts are definitely more applicable to a classroom or day care setting, but setting up a similar play area for your little ones can foster the same great learning opportunities at home. Let me know if this sparks some creative play ideas in your home, classroom or day care!
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