Housekeeping Center

This centre will generate a lot of use from children. The housekeeping area is a stage for dramatic play, from acting out roles such as Mommy, Daddy or baby (understanding their experiences better through abstract thinking), to dressing up like Aunt Jeany (building small muscle skills such as buttoning that teach self-help and develop writing); or from cooking and cleaning to shopping and playing restaurant. Simple activities like washing dishes and sorting cups, plates and silverware teach object categories helpful with math.

Housekeeping Centre Materials

The housekeeping centre can be put together from simple furniture created out of cardboard boxes, like refrigerators and stoves, or can be purchased as plastic, ready-made equipment readily available at most toy and department stores.

A sturdy set of child-size table and chairs is a must.

Dress-up clothing can be obtained from your own closet or by taking the children on a trip to the second-hand or thrift store to pick out an array of old shirts, dresses, scarves, jewelry, hats, shoes, etc.

Kitchen supplies might include egg cartons, margarine containers, old measuring cups, utensils, empty cereal boxes, and so on.

Basic materials for a kitchen centre include:

a stove, refrigerator and sink
small tables and chairs
pots & pans utensils, plastic cups, bowls, plates, etc.
an ironing board & plastic iron
a broom & dustpan
dolls and a doll crib or cradle
plastic food items or empty food containers
a play phone
play dough, cookie cutters, rolling pins, oven mitts, place mats etc.
food coupons
play money
magazines, newspapers,
pencils, note pads
dress-up items like shirts, skirts, dresses, pants, sweaters, blouses, hats, scarves, ties, belts, purses, shoes, jewelry, shawls, and
a full-length mylar mirror.