Summer Fun Activity: Dream Vacations
Here's how children can turn the block area into a travel agency
- Grades: PreK–K
SKILLS: Children use creative-thinking and language skills as they design a play environment.
- basic block and dramatic-play area equipmenttravel brochures, maps, and posters from a local travel agency
- old airline tickets or passports
- small suitcases
- beach hats and towels
- plastic sunglasses, terry robes, sandals
- scrap paper, pencils, hole puncher, and stapler
IN ADVANCE: Bring the travel brochures and posters to group time. Talk about travel and summer trips. Ask, "What trips have you taken with your family?" (They can also include day trips.) "Where have you gone?" "What did you see and do?" Make an experience chart of the places children have visited.
1 Show children the new props they can use in the block and dramatic-play areas. Do they have any ideas for using them? Explain that the block area is going to be a travel agency, where people choose a vacation and buy airline tickets. The dramatic-play area is the place (hotel, beach, for example) where they're vacationing.
2 Ask children to choose which area they want to work in. They may want to try both places. The block workers use the blocks, chairs, brochures, and posters to create a travel agency. Provide them with scrap paper, pencils, and a hole puncher for ticket making.
3 Dramatic-play area workers decide what type of vacation they want to create, and use props and furniture to build the scene. Encourage children to change the scene whenever needed.
For younger children: Talk with them about overnight stays they may have made to a relative's or friend's house. Open one of the small suitcases and see if children can identify the different kinds of things they would need for an overnight stay.
For older children: Encourage children to tell stories about places they've visited (that can include a trip to the new grocery store around the corner). Print children's stories, and invite them to illustrate their tales. Display the stories on a classroom wall or bulletin board for all to enjoy.
Let's go camping. Use the block and dramatic-play corner for a pretend camping trip. Include backpacks and canteens as props. An old sheet can be used with blocks to form a tent, or take a large appliance box (washer, refrigerator) with both ends cut off, and cut on one fold. Fold in one side so a triangle 10-shape is formed (tape to hold in place). Long blocks and red-orange cellophane represent the campfire. Use old pillowcases as sleeping bags for children and their toys. Serve gorp, a popular hiking food, for a snack. Mix together cereal (granola, Chex, or Cherrios), raisins, and nuts and place in plastic sandwich bags. Take a hike around the school and eat the snack at the campsite.