Since I will not have my room set up for a few more weeks, I'm pulling out some old pictures! These pictures are of the developmental centers I had at my old school. I did them all around a community theme. It's like our room was a little city!
Here's a shot of the home center. It's dressed up for the Lunar New Year. Our centers often changed throughout the year. Notice all of the environmental print I have up. Although these centers were fun, fun, fun...I wanted them to be rich in language and vocabulary!
Here I just stuck empty boxes up on the windows.
Here is our grocery store. The kids would often make grocery lists, practicing their writing skills.
We also had lots of money. Notice that the children would make their own money sometimes.
Setting up a table as a restaurant was also a popular choice. The kids would practice writing when they took orders. They also liked to make their own menus.
We had to have a bank to get all that money from! This is just a tri-fold science fair board that I covered with paper. I'm still not sure the kids understood that money just doesn't magically appear out of ATM machines!
The vet center was also popular. We kept our doctoring strictly to animals! The labcoats were the smallest scrubs I could find at Walmart--and I think they were pretty cheap!
The construction center was also very popular. You can see more environmental print!
Probably the most beloved center was the fire station. Do you see the cardboard fire? The kids would take that all over the room and set the other centers "on fire" so they could go put the fires out. (Hopefully not a sign of things to come!)
I loved these centers and I loved that room! I am at a new school now, and sadly, developmental centers for kindergartners are not allowed. I honestly don't even know where we would find the time, and my kids get to do plenty of fun things everyday. But I do miss those centers. Although many consider it strictly play, they have been shown time and time again to enrich oral language, develop vocabulary and increase social skills--especially among ESL and low SES students. So I'm not getting rid of my stuff yet--it will sit tucked away, nice and safe until I'm ready to pull it out again.
What about you? Do you have developmental centers in your kindergarten classroom? I'd love to hear about how different principals and districts across the country view them. Leave a comment below and let me know!