The public library is my happy place and this year my students are obsessed with books. My classroom is packed with book lovers, often during free choice, one or more children will be sitting reading book after book to themselves. It never ceases to make my heart fill with joy. Which makes celebrating Read Across America that much more fun. One way we will be celebrating is to turn our housekeeping area into a library, my students are going to love this dramatic play idea. We have accessible bookshelves and baskets of books out daily but this special dramatic play set up is geared to not only offer the children a place to read but also a place to practice and pretend to be library patrons and librarians.
Here is how I am going to do it. You can check my Instagram feed Monday afternoon to see how it all went!
Dramatic Play Library Prep
Gather your materials. You will need some library cards , an open sign, check out desk sign, some book sections signs, book posters and stuffed animals from books, a toy cash register for the check out, comfy seating ( extra couch cushions), cloth bags for patrons, and have writing utensils and a laminator on hand if possible. Oh and LOTS of books!
Print all the signs, library cards and badges here <— click here for the download.
this packet includes the printables you see here, a quiet in the library sign, an open sign, book section signs, and a checkout desk sign.
I will be creating library cards for all my students like this one I made for myself. I’ll be cutting them out laminating them then placing them at the checkout desk for students to use during play. Which is why I need that laminator good thing it fits in my purse! For the staff badges, I am laminating them and then punching holes and adding yarn so the children playing the staff can wear the badges.
I’m going to write their names and add their picture but you could have your students help create their library cards as an activity. My students are very young and not developmentally ready to write on small cards and one of our goals currently is to increase our recognition of our first names in print. However, for older students in Prek, this would be a great exercise in writing names and drawing little self-portraits. I have blank library cards and staff badges for you to print out and use however best fits your classroom.
Setting Up A Dramatic Play Library
Put some books on parade on shelves, tables or even window sills. I’ll be using little tables and an extra bookshelf for my “library” shelves but use what you have. It doesn’t need to be Pinterest perfect. Trust me.
A small table with a toy cash register and chair will be used to make a checkout desk.
Finally, I’ll post the library posters ( included in the printables), and I’ll scatter some pillows adding the book character stuffed animals to make the space that is much more inviting.
Here is the link to the printables one more time –>
How are you celebrating Read Across America in your classroom?