Literacy in Dramatic Play

Prompting Language and Literacy

Many of children’s behaviors have a play element in them-from fingerplays, to movement games, to building with blocks. However, the play that has the most profound effect on language and literacy development is dramatic play. The characteristics of dramatic play that provide the best opportunities for children to practice language and literacy include:

    • Using a variety of props and objects (“Let’s pretend this block is our phone and we have to call for help when the car breaks down.”)


    • Combining multiple roles and themes (“Toby is the daddy. He’s the doctor too.”)


    • Creating a pretend scenario and solving disagreements by talking and negotiating (“Let’s play hospital. O.K., you’ll be the doctor first, and then I’ll be the doctor. You wear this.”)