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 November 14, 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
  • Pretend Play School Classroom
  1. Airport
  2. Aquarium
  3. Baby Nursery
  4. Bakery
  5. Bank
  6. Birthday Party
  7. Bug Lab
  8. Camping
  9. Car Mechanic
  10. Circus
  11. Classroom
  12. Clothing Store
  13. Construction
  14. Dentist
  15. Dinosaur Dig
  16. Doctor’s Office
  17. Factory
  18. Farm
  19. Fire Station
  20. Flower Shop
  21. Food Truck
  22. Garden
  23. Grocery Store
  24. Hair Salon
  25. Hospital
  26. IceCream Shop
  27. Junkyard
  28. Laboratory
  29. Laundromat
  30. Lemonade Stand
  31. Library
  32. Movie Theatre
  33. News Station
  34. Optometrist
  35. Pet Groomer
  36. Photography Studio
  37. Pizzeria
  38. Pirate Ship
  39. Police Station
  40. Post Office
  41. Puppet Show
  42. Pumpkin Patch
  43. Restaurant
  44. Safari
  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

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

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