To continue to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month inviting a child to explore through dramatic play is great way to connect children to different cultures. Dramatic play, imaginative play, creative play, role-playing, make-believe or just plain pretending…is a foundation of childhood development. Dramatic play, gives children the opportunity to imitate what they often see adults doing. Dramatic play allows children to imagine themselves in new roles, gain exposure to new ones, and act out different scenarios.
This invitation is play is all about Bee-bim bop a traditional Korean Dish. The story Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Ho Baek Lee is great way of sharing the Korean food shopping preparation, ingredients and setting of the table to children. To set this invitation you can set a table with all the Korean ingredients to make the dish and then invite the child to learn through play.
Children learn through play and are always exploring and experimenting – a dramatic play invitation allows children to perform, gain exposure, and test their own understandings of the world around them. They learn many things through trial and error, processing information, and their surroundings through pretending they are in them through play. The more we are inclusive about all cultures in classrooms or our homes, the more understanding we provide for everyone within our communities. Plus many of our favorite memories are associated with one or more of our senses, especially with food. That is why children learn best and retain more information/skills when they engage in sensory play or dramatic play with food.
To enhance another developmental skill, fine motor, through this invitation is by placing utensils and kitchen ware they can practicing pouring/scooping/mixing/picking the sensory materials. While tools such as tongs and chopsticks can be tricky for younger children to master, they often come up with their own creative ways of using them. Tongs/Chopsticks can help children to work on hand-dominance, pre-handwriting/handwriting skills, and improve their grasp.