Prop boxes are used as an organization tool for materials in dramatic play areas. Prop boxes render the means to ensure that teachers have a readily available supply of ideas and material for the thematic centers. A prop box contains materials and equipment that encourage children to explore various roles.
Some of the characteristic of prop boxes:
- Prop boxes should be light weight, easy to store, of the same size and clearly labeled.
- Each prop box should contain materials for one role.
- Materials should be non-sexist and multicultural.
- Prop boxes should contain as many real-life things and articles as possible.
- The contents of the boxes can be related to role play ideas, e.g. Doctors, Restaurant etc. or can be linked with stories e.g. The Little Red Riding Hood etc.
It is vital that children be exposed to many opportunities to role play. You can help this along with providing a few basic elements conducive to creative and dramatic play in your home.
Following are some prop box ideas:
- Doctor’s box: doctor’s coat, nurse’s coat, prescription pad, stethoscope, bandages, pill bottles, tongue depressors, appointment book, cotton ball, thermometer, gauze, and dolls.
- Restaurant box: table chairs, table cloths, chef hat, aprons, napkins, silverware, trays, menus, cash register, money, and plastic food.
- School box: chalkboard, chalk and erasers, report cards, write and wipe calendar, hand bell, whistle, clock, stickers, teacher’s desk or table, notebooks, paper, pencils, crayons, paper clips, text books, self-inking stamps, and desks
- Post office box: mail box, envelopes, stamps, paper, pencil, postman’s hat, telephone, mail, gift boxes, and mail bags.
- Grocery store or supermarket box: Plastic fruits and vegetables, cash register, money, shopping cart, shopping bags, coupons, and receipts.
- Veterinarian box: stuffed animals, doctor’s coat, nurse’s coat, stethoscope, animal cages or boxes, animal dishes, medicine bottles and other usual doctor’s paraphernalia.
- Beach party box: hats, thongs, sunglasses, blankets, swim suits, beach ball, towels, buckets, suntan lotion (fill baby lotion in empty suntan lotion bottles), plastic fish, beach bags, and umbrella.
Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,http://www.startingadaycarecenter.com.