What would childhood be without pretend play? Dramatic play is not only fun for children, its also a method of learning. Pretend play can lead to greater social-emotional awareness, improved motor skills, better communication skills, and improved confidence. Through imagination and creativity children can learn critical skills in an exciting and engaging way. The books listed below will help educators learn the different types of play, including dramatic play, along with how to best encourage creativity amongst their students.

The Possibilities of Play

Imaginative Learning Centers for Children>

Dr. Jean, beloved author of dozens of books and songs, and coauthor Carolyn Kisloski bring you a collection of practical ideas and tips to inspire engagement and spark learning in your classroom centers—and, importantly, keep children coming back for more. Discover how you can help your children thrive in learning centers.

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Thrifty Teacher’s Guide to Creative Learning Centers

It's a common dilemma in early childhood classrooms: How to provide new, interesting experiences on a shoestring budget. Thrifty Teacher's Guide to Creative Learning Centers vividly describes the unique ways teachers can use found and recyclable materials to encourage cognitive development and creative exploration in young children.

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Planning for Play

Strategies for Guiding Preschool Learning

Young children learn best through play. Planning for Play helps educators understand the different types of play and the rich opportunities offered through carefully planned time and environments designed for valuable pre-K play experiences.

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Play Today

Building the Young Brain Through Creative Expression

When young children are engaged in imaginative play, they are not just having fun; they are developing skills and concepts that are foundational to their learning. Using simple props and donated items, this book shows how centers can be transformed into rich and rewarding learning spaces for children. Play Today offers dozens of easy-to-do scenarios that will spark open-ended play explorations.

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Playful Writing

150 Open-Ended Explorations in Emergent Literacy

Adults and children write to communicate ideas, to share information, and to record events. Playful Writing builds on the cyclical nature of learning with open-ended play ideas that will inspire children to write. Authors Rebecca Olien and Laura Woodside offer teachers, caregivers, and parents of children ages three to eight, 150 ideas for inspiring and scaffolding children’s writing explorations.

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Story Play

Building Language and Literacy One Story at a Time

When a story comes to “The End” it does not have to be the end of the story. Instead, teachers can continue the learning with activities and experiences to promote conversation about that story. Story Play encourages even the most inexperienced teacher, librarian, child care professional, or family member to become a storyteller with ideas for expanding stories into meaningful learning experiences.

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Literacy Play

Over 300 Dramatic Play Activities That Teach Pre-Reading Skills

Children love to pretend, and dramatic play is the perfect environment for practicing and applying literacy concepts. Literacy Play is chock-full of creative dramatic play activities that teach important pre-reading skills while bringing children's imaginations to life!

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