Dress Up Box
Especially as the year goes on and teachers prepare the children for first grade, they'll encourage kids to get as involved as possible in the stories they hear and read. This expands kids' capacity for imagination, of course, but it also supports important reading skills. In teacher talk, the ability to retell a story is a sign of “comprehension,” not just word “decoding,” and really good readers need both skills in order to advance.
This is one reason why lots of kindergarten classrooms include a “dress up” corner. Teachers call that stuff “realia,” and they use it a lot to help students enter the world of books.
Parents, want to help out? Make a “realia box” of your own at home, most of it assembled from odds and ends and toys you already have. Here is a list of “realia” we recommend for a starter box, based on classic kindergarten stories. The rest, of course, is up to you and your child!
What You Need:
- King or Queen crown
- Soft bear or bear puppet
- Little rubber snakes, frogs, and bugs
- Simple puppets or dollhouse-size figures of a man, woman, and child
- Witch or wizard hat
- Plastic dog, donkey, sheep, and horse
- Soft baby chick or duck (these can be interchangeable)