Saturday, April 6, 2019

Italian Restaurant Dramatic Play

Kids are into the funniest things sometimes. I have a student this year who is obsessed with meatballs. He always wants to sing a song on GoNoodle that refers to meatballs, when we talk about favorite foods or what he had for dinner it's always meatballs, when he pretends to cook in the dramatic play area, he always makes meatballs...

Italian Restaurant Dramatic Play | Apples to Applique

Which gave me an idea to find a meatball-related activity for learning labs. This was one of those ideas that started small, by seeing a fun idea on Pinterest to use yarn and pom poms to make pretend spaghetti for sensory play. I knew this kid would love it, and the next thing I knew, I was designing an entire Italian restaurant dramatic play center.

You guys know I'm pretty crafty and love making things, so I got really in to putting this all together, and even decided to make some other felt food to go along with the menu. If you're not crafty, don't worry! Any kind of play food would work fine. But I did discover that some tan felt cut with pinking shears makes some great ravioli and lasagna noodles.

Italian Restaurant Dramatic Play | Apples to Applique

When it was all put together, I couldn't wait to see my student's reaction. I wasn't disappointed! All the kids loved it, but this particular student stayed at that center for the entire learning labs time. It felt great to totally make his day by customizing a center to his interests.

Italian Restaurant Dramatic Play | Apples to Applique
It was adorable seeing the kiddos use the menu and take orders. They got so serious about it.
Aside from the food, all of the realia I added to this lab was purchased at the Dollar Tree, so it didn't set me back a ton, but using the real spaghetti server and dishes definitely added to the play experience!

Italian Restaurant Dramatic Play | Apples to Applique

The printables for this center include a "Bistro" bunting banner, restaurant sign, open/closed signs, name tags for the various roles the kids can play (waiter, waitress, chef, and customer), menu (with and without prices to allow for differentiation), daily specials board with changeable options, order pad, and guest check.

Italian Restaurant Dramatic Play | Apples to Applique

Italian Restaurant Dramatic Play | Apples to Applique

I would love to hear about how your students enjoy this Italian Restaurant Dramatic Play Center!


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