Mar 05

Bringing the Great Outdoors Inside with Dramatic Play

by Hannah Holt »


We love playing outside. However, during the winter and early spring it’s not always possible to get all the fresh air we’d like (darn rotating nap schedule and bad weather). Here are a few ways we try to mix it up on rainy days.


dramatic play camping

We used daddy’s black socks to create a fire ring and  yellow and orange shirts for the flames. Then we set up a blanket-fort tent and taped a cotton ball to a stick (for pretend marshmallows). If you wanted to go crazy, you could use real marshmallows.

Brainstorm: What do you need to go camping? A shovel? A flashlight? A backpack?


dramatic play bird watching

I don’t recommend releasing a flock of wild geese in your house, but you could hide pictures of birds around the living room. I recommend using google images to search for bird families. Younger children might be able to distinguish between groups of birds, like owls, ducks, geese, etc. While older children might be able to identify unique species. Cardboard-tube binoculars and a log book helped us feel like legitimate ornithologists.

Brainstorm: What types of birds are in your area? What kinds of food do they eat? What is your favorite bird?


geocaching dramatic play

I took an empty check box and fashioned it into a “GPS” unit. Then I hid another box of trinkets somewhere in the house and gave them clues to it’s location. Once they found the initial box, I had them trade toys and set up a new hunt on their own.

Brainstorm: What does GPS stand for? How does a GPS device work? Is there geocaching in your area?

  1. Tina Cho

    Love these ideas, Hannah, especially, bird sighting indoors :) You’re so creative.

  2. Erik - This Kid Reviews Books


  3. grandma weight

    very creative–but REAL marshmellows are in order!

  4. julie rowan zoch

    Love it – what lucky kids! (Was Dad hiding in a blanket cave, waiting to be discovered?)

  5. Lori Mozdzierz

    Love the campfire!