Having a toddler in the family can sure take a lot of energy and focus. Dramatic play is a great way to bond as a family with some open-ended play. Check out these ideas to get things going, including a FULL YEAR of weekly dramatic play theme ideas.

Imagination Station

A great way to get started is to make an Imagination Station: a central starting place for all dramatic play. Instead of buying something, we decided to make ours following Lemonade Stand ideas.

Materials: 4 crate boxes, split 2×4, cross beam board, hardware and tools (we chose to drill holes and use bolts with tee nuts so that we could disassemble as needed).

Dramatic Play

What is dramatic play? A type of play where roles are acted out.

How do you do dramatic play?

  1. Choose your starting point. As you saw above, we created an Imagination Station to be our starting point.
  2. Choose a theme. We choose a new theme each week (see below for a year’s worth of ideas!)
  3. Prepare your materials. There is no need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on pretend play toys. Between paper and stuff around the house, you are good to go. For example, for the ice cream shop, you can make cones out of brown paper, some crumpled up pieces for scoops of ice cream and you likely have an ice cream scoop or spoon around the house.
  4. Play Together. Enjoy engaging in your family’s imagination. Play open-ended or even use it to teach moral lessons such as honesty and kindness.

52 Dramatic Play Themes

Having a new theme each week keeps things interesting. Here is a list of ideas to keep you going for a whole year. See below for some FREE Dramatic Play PRINTABLES. We’re doing this too, so check back often to see more ideas (updated Oct 7, 2019).

  • example of a dramatic play train station for pretend play
  • set up for imaginative play post office
  • Imagination Station Dramatic Play Veterinarian
  • Imagination Station Dramatic Play Flower Shop
  • Space Dramatic Play Center
  • Camp Site Dramatic Play
  • Dentist Dramatic Play
  • Pirate Imaginative Play
  • Dramatic Puppet Play
  1. Airport
  2. Aquarium
  3. Baby Nursery
  4. Bakery
  5. Bank
  6. Birthday Party
  7. Breakfast Restaurant
  8. Bug Lab
  9. Camping
  10. Car Mechanic
  11. Circus
  12. Classroom
  13. Clothing Store
  14. Construction
  15. Dentist
  16. Dinosaur Dig
  17. Doctor’s Office
  18. Factory
  19. Farm
  20. Fire Station
  21. Flower Shop
  22. Food Truck
  23. Garden
  24. Grocery Store
  25. Hair Salon
  26. Hospital
  27. Ice cream Shop
  28. Laundromat
  29. Lemonade Stand
  30. Library
  31. Movie Theatre
  32. News Station
  33. Optometrist
  34. Pet Groomer
  35. Photography Studio
  36. Pizzeria
  37. Pirate Ship
  38. Police Station
  39. Post Office
  40. Puppet Show
  41. Pumpkin Patch
  42. Restaurant
  43. Safari
  44. Sandwich Shop
  45. Santa’s Workshop
  46. Space Station
  47. Soda Shop
  48. Train Station
  49. Toy Store
  50. Veterinarian
  51. Work Office
  52. Zoo

Free Printables

  • Free printable post office dramatic play signs and stamps
  • School ISDP Free Printable
  • Dramatic Play Dentist Printable
  • Free library dramatic play printable
  • Bug Lab Dramatic Play
  • Free pirate printable

Like this? Check out our other family fun and toddler fun ideas!

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