It all started with the Pet Store. Once we began printing our own money and creating price tags, the shopping idea snowballed. While I was working in the dramatic play area, purposefully placing price tags on puppies, Mrs. Pless was observing a completely unrelated (so we thought) scenario in the block area. Two girls at Blocks were setting up the large blocks as tables and placing random containers on each one. There was a potion table, a rock table, and a seashell table. Then the girls began discussing the sale of these items. Aha!
We hadn’t realized that the children on the other side of the room were paying attention to our Pet Shop. However, it seems they were inspired to begin a store on their own. Then, without warning, a telephone salesman appeared. He was carrying lots of phones and wanted help making an iPhone. He found the perfect shelf for his wares and began to sell them in earnest. Later, at lunch, I asked a small group what they thought of all of our stores. One child commented that we were making a Mall.
Thus, our next Morning Message posed the question, “What kind of store might be in a mall?” We had answers such as Build-a-Bear, a pretzel store, a ring store, a jewelery store, a shoe store, and a toy store. One practical student even suggested a food store. We discussed the meaning of “customer” and “cashier” to help them flesh out their scenario language. They’ve also tried their hand at copying money as seen through a magnifying lens and writing checks to pay for purchases. They haven’t asked for an ATM or Check-card, yet, but I’m sure that will come.