make a craft: {the good food restaurant}

restaurant - ourschoolathomeblog-wordpress-coma restaurant is born! 

five star it may not be, nor is jamie oliver stopping by anytime soon {we think!} for the dishes we’re preparing, but it’s a space created wholly by observing and interacting in the natural play this space affords us. dramatic play kitchen areas so naturally lend themselves to this type of cooperative and interactive play that creating some simple props to assist in this play {as well as augmenting with some purchased “real” props}, our restaurant was created … and is in non-stop use!

so, how did we go about this?

here’s the general steps:

:: I spent a couple of days intently observing and listening to the conversations happening in this area — who was doing what, how were they doing it, what questions and conversations were happening. I interjected some terms here and there {“do you have a daily special?“, “can I take this order to-go?“, etc} to add another dimension to the play, but this was my time to just observe and understand.

:: our first order of business? a restaurant name! the conversation was guided by “what do you serve?” and so, {the good food restaurant} was born. and, who doesn’t want to eat “good food”, right?!

:: a menu was next on the list! the guiding question was “what do you serve?” elicited many responses but the consensus came back, time and again, to items enjoyed but also ones they felt were decadent (I adored the addition of cake and lemonade!).  as we talked about the food, we talked price: “what do you think someone would pay for this?” and numbers were kept easy and often the children would compare prices as we wrote all of this out (I took the role of transcriber as the discussions happened naturally, cooperatively and collaboratively).

good food restaurant menu - ourschoolathomeblog-wordpress-com:: next, I took a laptop to the children and we chose the menu format and each clip-art. each menu is printed on an inkjet printer on card stock and I printed double sided  for ease
(do you need the template? send an email and let me know! contact form at the bottom of this post)

restaurant 3 - ourschoolathomeblog-wordpress-com

:: from there, our menu on the wall evolved — as well as a pocket to place the menu’s in. the menu contents was printed, cut and placed on a 12×18″ piece of construction paper, the pocket is a piece of cardstock folded into a pocket and attached to the construction paper with clear packing tape.

at our local office supply store, “guest check” pads were purchased for a small nominal amount. we re-purposed some smaller-sized clipboards to hold the pads, found a cup to put pencils in and even a stray calculator to aid in adding up the bill. a small hook was added to the play kitchen to hang the clipboard and aprons were sourced from other areas in the school and clearly have become the ‘uniform’ of choice when playing the role of waiter/waitress.

restaurant 2 - ourschoolathomeblog-wordpress-com

each prop and item has created a space guided completely by the children’s imagination. the play is so intentional, so meaningful and incredibly cooperative and collaborative. it is a joy to see the play evolve, the conversations and questions, the smiles and the heaps of laughter that seem to easily erupt in this space.

:: where will your play take you today? can observing and allowing your presence to be a bystander, and a recorder, allow the creation of a new space?

interested in having the menu template sent your way? be in touch below:

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