Kids love pizza, and my students this year are no exception! Pizza Restaurant is a fun and engaging theme for your dramatic play center. Let’s see how to transform your dramatic play center into a bustling pizza making restaurant!
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The first thing I do when I am setting up my center is to get it organized so students are able to play and clean up independently. Using labels to organize the dramatic play center lets students (and teachers) know where things go. For young learners, it is important to pair the word with the picture. Most of the props you see in the picture I bought at the Dollar Tree or made using simple supplies.
To get students invested in their play and learning, they can make many of the props for the pizza restaurant. It also saves money too.
To make the crust and sauce, I laminated brown and red paper. Then cut it into circles and then quarters. The students cut yellow string to make the cheese and red circles to make the pepperoni. We used pipe cleaners to make the sausage, olives, onions, and peppers. Using props students create also allows students to use their imaginations during play!
Don’t have time to make your own props? This felt pizza set from Melissa and Doug is fabulous!
You can make your own pizza seasonings too! I had three empty grated cheese containers that we filled up with shredded paper. To help students identify what they were, I added labels to containers.
Always save empty containers to use in your dramatic play center! They come in handy and hep students make connections to real life.
Don’t have time to make your own props? This pizza seasonings set from Melissa and Doug is fabulous!
Even though it’s so tasty, we all know pizza is not a healthy choice. I wanted to add a healthy option to our restaurant. I did not have any pretend lettuce in my food basket so students made it by cutting up green paper. One student wanted to draw the veins on the lettuce using a green marker. I added tongs to salad bowl to build more fine motor once play began.
A pizza restaurant has to have bread sticks! We rolled model magic, painted it, and added gold glitter to create our bread sticks. Do you see all the fine motor skills students are building when they help make props?
The pizza pans I had did not fit into our existing oven so we made a special oven. I took a copy paper box and covered it with foil. It was super simple but the kids LOVED it!
Students wanted to deliver pizza to students in other centers so we made a pizza delivery truck with our shopping cart! I taped a sign to the side of the cart, and we had a pizza delivery truck for our pizza restaurant. Students from other centers would call the pizza restaurant and place their orders. The chef would make the pizza and the delivery driver would deliver it. Students were building tons of oral language skills and using pizza-themed vocabulary!
In the pizza restaurant, students are learning through play. That is why having a dramatic play center in your classroom is so important for your little learners!
The pretend pizza restaurant is FULL of reading experiences too! Students are reading signs, pizza orders, labels, and recipe books.
Look! The chef is reading the pizza order the server filled out!
The chef is reading a pizza recipe another student made.
The pizza restaurant is full of writing experiences too. The server writes the order and receipts for the customer. This is just an oil pan I got from Walmart. Students love to hang up the orders with magnets.
Students are building math skills through play in the pizza restaurant. They are sorting the toppings, selecting different size cups, putting the pizza together to build spacial reasoning, and counting money.
Dramatic play is a social center. Students are interacting with peers and teachers during play. Social skills students develop are turn-taking, negotiating and compromising about plans for play, sharing, waiting, resolving conflict, and expressing feelings and ideas through appropriate language and gestures. Students are developing self-regulation through PLAY and having FUN!
Want all the Pizza Restaurant printables? I made everything you need including the signs, labels, unit plan, parent letter, role necklaces, bunting banner, prop patterns, and more! Grab it from my TPT store HERE or by clicking the image below.
Take the pizza theme all over your classroom! See my pizza centers in action in my classroom in a blog post HERE.
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