Collaborative pretend play (also called "dramatic play") is essential for building language, learning everyday scripts, rules of play and social norms, perspective-taking, turn-taking and a host of other important early childhood skills. I thought Avery would love running a bakery, so I gathered all of her pretend baked goods which included an assortment of breads, cupcakes, a cake and a pie. I also threw in a couple of strawberries, measuring spoons and jars of jam and honey. A couple of other details that helped complete Avery's bakery counter were Nod blocks spelling out the word "bakery," a bell for customers to ring and hanging oven mitts. A rainbow felt garland added some colorful whimsy to the setting as well. We talked about the kinds of items that bakeries sell and how customers visit and buy things with money.
Sources: Play food collected over the last few years (from IKEA, Haba Toys, Pottery Barn Kids, Plan Toys), wooden trays (Plan Toys), cake stands (Macy's), oven mitts and apron (Anthropologie), bakery boxes (Susiecakes) and play money (Sanrio).