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).
Green is a unique children's book that is also a remarkable work of literary art. In it, Laura Vaccaro Seeger presents various shades of green, each with its own charming story and within its own gorgeous painterly environment, and then weaves the greens together in an intriguing way, using die-cut pages. Avery enjoyed seeing the die-cut shapes change and transform, from leaves in a forest to fish under water on the next page. Inspired by the book, we collected different green materials for Avery to collage and explore (paper in different shades of green and varied textures, tissue paper, paper leaves, ribbon, washi tape and crayons). Avery and her dad collaborated to build a race car (one of Avery's interests at the moment). More information about Laura Vaccaro Seeger and her creative process can be found on her website. We eagerly look forward to this Caldecott author and illustrator's next book!
I gave Avery a sheet of blank white labels to color. Later, she had a good time sticking them onto another piece of paper (although she needed some help peeling the labels off the page). Then, she chose to color the page a little more.
I love how Avery decided to decorate the cover of her notebook one day.