The kids absolutely LOVED the Winter Animal Vet Center so going with a seasonal theme.. I decided for Spring I would create a Plant Shop with a plant nursery! I love that this set has so many options and features!
In my classroom, I set up both areas at the same time. However, if space is limited you could break it into 2 different dramatic play setups. I am going to walk you thru my set-up with lots of pictures. Remember, make this set work for you and your students! Everybody’s space, budget, time, student’s needs and levels are all different. You know your students better than anyone.
All the Garden and Plant Shop printables are in THIS pack in my TPT store.
This post contains affiliate links.
The Set Up
I had different “areas” included in the dramatic play setup.
1. Plant Shop (sell garden items)
2. Plant Nursery (kitchen area)
3. Janitor’s Closet
4. Dressing Room (keep all themed outfits and accessories)
All the set-ups worked together to make one whole “Dramatic Play Theme.” To make it cohesive I added “I can” posters to each of the areas! It really helped the kids get into “their roles” and show the “expectations” of each area.
I explicitly teach what students can do in the area and my expectations. That includes cleaning and putting away items too.
It’s time to play! I mean PAY! 😉
Kids have wallets/purses that they keep their “money” in to pay for the items. All items have price tags (included in the packet). Students are engaged while hitting many academic standards (counting items, adding up prices, and writing numbers on the receipt). I have a full page receipt and half pages. I purchased the small clipboard at Wal-Mart.
The check out furniture was purchased from Target. It’s called One Stop Shop from Melissa and Doug.
Not only is this hitting academic standards, students are also engaged with social and emotional skills like learning how to stand in line, be patient, kind, and so many social skills that are so important! I include numbers so kids can practice lining up. They will be ready for Kindergarten in no time!
It’s so important to label everything to help students become independent. They know when the “clean up song” comes on, that everything has their “place.”
Let’s take a look at the shop area!
You will see I have labeled each and every item that is on the shelves. One shelf has all the plants (trees/vegetables plants/flowers/cactus). The other shelf has all the garden supplies. I purchased everything off of Amazon, oriental trading, Michael’s craft store, and dollar store.
Garden Tools: https://amzn.to/2RhPAjG
Garden Tools: https://amzn.to/2PIOvRw
Make sure to glue lids to secure items in the buckets that you don’t want kids to get into!
Find the Garden Wagon here https://amzn.to/3wEiPNC
Find the Gnomes here (They are VERY small) https://www.orientaltrading.com/gnome-characters-a2-12_3843.fltr?keyword=gnomes
Find the Garden Caddy here https://amzn.to/3cW9j0w
The vegetable plants were purchased on Amazon. From left to right:
1. https://amzn.to/3s1NGjI (box)
2. https://amzn.to/2RbqdQl (Fisher Price Framers Market – vines)
3. https://amzn.to/2PIaqbv (Learning resources – carrot and radish in the box)
The cactus rocks were purchased from Michael’s craft store here (on sale for $3 at the store! https://www.michaels.com/american-crafts-the-best-ideas-for-kids-cactus-rock-painting-kit/10653933.html )
I made the trees using pool noodles. I placed them in a drink holder that you can get from any fast food place when you order food. They fit perfectly! I added leaves on the top of the pool noodles. Find them at Michael’s Craft store or even dollar stores. Then I added price tags to them.
There are so many GREAT books! Kids can read books about gardening. They enjoyed looking back at books that we read in class together.
Here is a list of books I have on display:
Curious George Plants A Tree https://amzn.to/3s7Derf
From Seed to Plant https://amzn.to/3wM9xPY
How a Seed Grows https://amzn.to/3utOa3S
If You Plant a Seed https://amzn.to/2PBsjJb
In My Garden https://amzn.to/3wvRiy5
Lola Plants a Garden https://amzn.to/3wEhOVM
Oh Say Can You Seed? https://amzn.to/3cUtBYl
Plant the Tiny Seed: https://amzn.to/3uBdzc3
Planting a Rainbow: https://amzn.to/3wEPfYn
Seed to Plant https://amzn.to/3wzR211
The Tiny Seed: https://amzn.to/3dHniXs
Tops and Bottoms: https://amzn.to/3dJmAZB
I purchased the hose at the garden section for cheap. It’s small and light so kids could grab it and place it into their shopping baskets.
I added a Customer Service to this shop. Kids can pretend to be a clerk and help the customer find different garden tools/plants. Also the customer and clerk can design a garden or yard for added STEM opportunity. Then they will make a shopping list based on their design.
I purchased this stand here: https://amzn.to/3wBReg2
Students here pretend to clean by sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming the Plant shop and Plant Nursery. They also can help “stock” the shelves aka put items away for the customers. I have beans that sometimes spill out of the sensory bin when the kids are planting the trees and flowers. The janitor’s like sweeping up the mess. It helps cut down clean up time too!
Melissa & Doug Dust, Sweep, Mop https://amzn.to/3dNNAHD
Melissa & Doug Spray, Squirt & Squeegee https://amzn.to/3rXZHqx
Pinkfong Baby Shark Children’s Vacuum https://amzn.to/3wElp6e
I have the “dressing room” in every dramatic play. This area houses all the dress up play outfits and accessories! I teach the students how to put the clothes on and put them away on hangers/or on the shelves.
For the plant shop, I created labels (left) that you can add to t-shirts or aprons by printing on iron on sheets or laminating/attaching with pins.
Both the nursery and shop has open and closed signs. I flip the signs after we clean up to show this is “closed.” There are also number labels on the floor for check out lane.
I also have a banner to label the area for the kids.
I wanted a hands-on way to teach the plant life cycle, parts of a plant, observing plants, etc. This part of the Dramatic Play was a HUGE hit!
The Plant Nursery is at the back of the room and it wraps around the Plant Shop.
I made my sensory bin into a garden bed. I used pool noodles and brown felt (left over from the gingerbread bakery).
You can see here the pool noodle is under the felt. I cut down 4 pool noodles for this sensory bin.
I used this sensory bin two ways:
- Vegetable Garden
- Sorting Seeds and Planting seeds
I made the labels then taped them onto library pocket cards here.
Then I laminated the pocket chart cards. I used an exacto knife to cut the laminate to make the pocket for the seed to put into it.
Another planting activity the kids LOVED were these flowers. Please note I purchased 2 sets so I had enough for kids to play with here. Depending on how many students you have playing with these, I would recommend at least 2 sets. It’s SUPER cheap too! Find them here https://amzn.to/3rYCCUw
I added black beans in the sensory bin. I don’t remember how many pounds but it was 8-10 bags found at Wal-Mart. If you can’t do food you could always substitute with brown shredded paper!
I purchased The Little Tikes Garden Table Play Set and it held the flowers perfectly!
I had a tree farm in another sensory bin. I used pinto beans because they weigh more and held up the trees better.
I added roots to the trees.
Watch how I made the the trees in this Youtube video!
The kids liked digging and burying the roots of the trees and it was super easy to make.
I made printable microscope slides that feature 20 different seeds for kids to look at. If you don’t have a microscope you could also use magnifying glasses.
I purchased the Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope here! This is really better for little learners. The other microscope I would recommend for later Kinder to 1st grade.
You can find the Magnification LCD Digital Microscope with 8 Adjustable LED Lights for Kids here!
If you have older kids, you can add real seeds to the microscope. Some seeds are really tiny and hard for the kids to hold onto. Which is why I made the slides.
The kids enjoyed seeing how much the plants grew everyday. Watching and seeing their faces light up with excitement when the plants began to sprout or when they grew bigger and bigger each day made all the time it took to make this whole set up worth it!
I share with you the germination station!!
Purple Grow Light: https://amzn.to/3msAdjO
White Grow Light: https://amzn.to/3cWuK1u
Grow-A-Maze Green Science Kit was a HUGE hit! (It is smaller than I thought) Find it here: https://amzn.to/31VS49C
After observing the plants, students filled out plant reports. I made them kid friendly!
Plant Nursery receipt includes many academic skills (writing name, writing numbers, counting, money)
Every Dramatic Play I include “role necklaces”. I purchased the lanyard and badges here https://amzn.to/31VfWKm I love that I can reuse them over and over again. They are easy to clean as well.
We sprouted peas just soaking them in water!
Take a look at the growth we have had so far with our garden! We planted so many seeds (carrot, peas, radish, sunflower, tomato, and much more!
I hope this blog inspired you and gave you some ideas you can implement in your classroom! If you purchased my dramatic play and would like to share some pictures with the blog feel free to email me at Carolynscreativeclassroom@gmail.com
If you liked this set-up, leave me a comment below!
NEW theme means NEW shirt!
Diamond thanks you for reading my blog! Until next time! <3