Search form

Best Idea Ever: Themed Centers

Education World's Best Idea Ever feature highlights a favorite teacher-tested idea designed to help you teach a lesson, manage a classroom, communicate with parents, impress colleagues and administrators—and amaze them all with your energy and creativity!

"Prop boxes" are collections of dramatic play materials organized around specific themes. Those themes range from simple subjects like the beach or the farm to the more complex bank, dentist, or science lab. The boxes often are placed in a dramatic play center to spark students' imagination and promote role-playing and exploration.

"Prop boxes enable children to act out what they know, cement their concepts, practice skills in a meaningful context, and learn with and from other children who also are engaged with the materials," says Ann Barbour, a professor of early childhood education and the co-author of Prop Box Play: 50 Themes to Inspire Dramatic Play. The materials in the box, according to Barbour, encourage children to adopt different roles and to practice taking someone else's perspective and responding appropriately.

Submitted by: Ann Barbour, California State University, Los Angeles.

Education World®
Copyright © 2005-2015 Education World