Friday, 31 January 2014

Munchkin Market

       I've noticed a lot of the children carrying bags around the room and filling them up with various objects.    When I looked into their play more closely I had discovered they were shopping. Without hesitation I told Tabatha we needed to make a grocery store. I remember as a child taking all the cans and boxes out of the cabinets and turning the dining room into my personal grocery store. I also remember helping my mom put away groceries, but before I did I made sure EVERY item was "scanned" on my imaginary cash register. (In case my mom is reading this.. thank you for your patience!) 
     We both agreed this would be a great addition to our classroom, and started gathering materials we needed. All we added was an old cash register and a new shelf with a couple old boxes and the rest was up to the children. Immediately they flocked to the store with limited props, and began to play. In order for more merchandise to fill the shelves we asked families to donate old cans and boxes. We set up tables with stamps, stickers, crayons, and tape for the children to make their own labels. We also made our very own signs for the store by cutting old flyers. The left over flyers allowed the children to write out their own shopping lists. (Cookies and juice boxes were the most common items.)

      Every day the store fills up with more cans, boxes, and other props the children have added themselves. The children have all worked together to make the Munchkin Market their very own, and take keeping it clean and organized very serious. 


    The Market has been a very successful addition, and it's been so enjoyable to watch the children play together. They take their time choosing which products they want to buy and tell their friends what they are going to cook for lunch. Once they fill their baskets they head over to the cashier to pay. I went shopping and tried not to pay the cashier, but the Munchkin Market has very high security! (So don't even think about!) 

       I'm not saying the Munchkin Market has the best prices in town ($50 for a can of pepper is a little much if you ask me.) but building a play supermarket from scratch has really opened many doors for learning. It also led to conversations what foods are our favorite, and the importance of healthy eating! 

Why This Matters:

Imagination & Creativity - Children create imaginary scenarios in which they explore new    possibilities and take possession of their worlds.

Children invent symbols and develop systems of representation. 

Communicative Practices - Children form relationships.
 Children extend ideas and take actions using language. 

Democratic Practices -        Participate in decisions that affect them 
                                              Practice fairness and social justice. 

Physical Health -   Food & Nutrition

   - New Brunswick Curriculum Framework for Early Learning and Child Care

Literacy - Writing labels, creating signs, word & letter recognition

Math -  Number recognition,  measurement (comparing weight), counting 
Art & Creativity - Painting and making signs, setting up displays
Fine Motor Skills -  Cutting coupons, writing labels & shopping lists 
Responsibility- Keeping area clean, making merchandise to use
Problem Solving - Taking turns using the register, negotiations 
Dramatic Play - Role playing, use of materials & props, pretending & make believe
Communication - speaking & listening skills, making rules 

                                                                                                                           - Leslie Dionne

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