Do you enjoy seeing how other educators incorporate dramatic play ideas for children into their environment and program? I do and it's one of my favourite visual learning tools because educators work across a diverse range of early years environments accessing different resources and unique groups of children around the world so everyone has a distinctly individual perspectiveand approach .
Each month we select some of the most engaging ideas posted in our Empowered Educator Facebook Group and this month's post gives you an interesting collection of Painting, STEAM and Dramatic Play Ideas from those REAL, creative and clever educators participating in our group and social communities.
...So let's start scrolling through Community Spotlight #2, perhaps you'll find a new idea for your program or something you'd like to try in your indoor or outdoor environments.
Painting Ideas and Activities
Painting was a popular activity this month with many of our members sharing their different painting activity ideas and reminding us that you can paint on more than just paper.
If you want to get out the paints you might like to try some of my homemade paint recipes - they are sutiable for babies through to school age.
Amanda set up acrylic paints on canvas (available quite cheap at most dollar stores). I love those bright colours mixing together.
Angad mixed paint with shaving cream and the children used cars for some sensory fine motor and mark making fun!
Helen and her children showed us that nature provides us with wonderfully textured canvases. Children painted on rocks, leaves and other items from nature and don't they look impressive!
These leaves would make a lovely colourful mobile to hang down from the trees or roof...
Narieta also got out the paints this month with some sticky tape art. Peel the tape off when you finish painting to reveal a different pattern, name or shape.
Desi from Little Mini Lighthouse Family Day Care shared her outdoor painting setup - a wonderful example of using upcycled materials and thinking outside the 'box' .
Munira used ice as her canvas - so many dripping patterns and colours mixing together to investigate...what happens when they melt? What happens if we add some warm water or paint?
Munira linked her painting activity to the book 'Ouch' and they painted dried prickly bottlebrushes. A simple sensory way to introduce texture and explore natives while painting.
You can find more painting activities and ideas HERE.
Science and STEAM activity ideas
Our Facebook Group members are always asking for more science and STEAM activity ideas and luckily there were quite a few ideas shared this month.
Janelle set up an old favourite - colour mixing using medicine droppers. This one is always fun and a great way for children to learn about colours. See more activities to explore colours HERE.
Suzie set up a potion making station - what fun! I really want that wood slab!!
Vicki used blocks to explore shadows and the effects of the winter sun. See some more ways to explore shadows and light HERE.
Tania and her OSHC children had fun making an erupting volcano. Find out how to make your own volcano HERE.
Sarah made some fake snow for their tuff tray. A great idea if you're in an area that never gets real snow! You can make your own fake snow with baking soda and conditioner - I use this recipe.
Kym added some engineering to her tuff tray setup - encouraging the children to make structures out of cups, plates and icy pole sticks. An open ended play activity like this is easy to set up and appeals to wide variety of ages from toddlers through to schoolies.
Inspiring Play Spaces & Dramatic Play Ideas
Peeking into dramatic play ideas for children shared by real educators is always fun, and this month we had so many wonderful ideas shared in our community so let's take a look together...
Suze set up a vet surgery, even including some x-rays.
Rachael shared her book corner with us. I'd love to curl up on that couch with a good book. What a lovely calm space for the children to read.
Rachael also shared her home corner - always one of the most popular play areas.
Helen opened a Pizza store- Yum!
Faseer took her pretend play outdoors with a cake shop setup using sand from the sandpit.
Christine added some flowers to her outdoor kitchen. Op shops are a great place to pick up cups and plates for pretend play.
A pretend play shop never gets old! Frances shared her shop setup with us
I'm always a fan of outdoor pretend play and this camping setup shared by Christie was inspired when the children used the sticks from some gardening to make a campfire.
Tracy kept the camping theme going with her indoor setup, complete with snags on the barbie.
If you're looking for more way to encourage dramatic play try some of my Empowered Ed related posts below:
Bec celebrated Autumn with this nature inspired collage craft - I love the colour of the leaves and how she used real sticks.
Melissa combined fine motor skills and sensory play with a herb cutting activity.
Bhagya shared her chicken lifecycle tuff tray set up. See more educator tuff tray ideas HERE.
Kirti coloured some spaghetti and the children used it to make art.
Tania shared with us how much her children enjoyed making paper chains - do you remember making these? This is a great way to use up scrap paper, old paintings or even newspapers.
Christine had a citrus theme for some outdoor play.
There was a dinosuar theme going on here - a great table top invitation to play from Faseer.
Want to be featured in our next monthly Community Spotlight? Share you photos in the Empowered Educator Facebook Group and you might just see your work featured here next month.
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.