There is this gasp of joy in the classroom when housekeeping center transforms. It is my kinders favorite center. It is my goal to transform this center every two weeks. I notice that this refreshes the childrens’ play as well. There is an art to this – having enough materials to create new settings!
First, I collect wooden bowls, silver trays, tea pots, and other small items to fill this center. I love to collect special wooden items, international clothing, tablecloths, napkins, metal goblets – any sweet treasures I might find at a thrift store, garage sale or gift from friends.
Second, I keep about 5 large boxes with items to put into the housekeeping center when there is not a specific theme to set up. This gives me a large palette of items to choose from and create something special. I also keep several boxes of fabric to put over the top of my playstands. (I love saris for this! Look at your local Indian markets for lovely silk saris – they make amazing covers.)
Third, I avoid ALL plastic toys of any kind. I do not feel that having a center that mirrors what is at home provides any benefit to my students. I take extra care to make sure it is nothing like what they have in their own environments.
Finally, the children love to have real things to play with. I purchased as much “real” adult items as I can that are safe and appropriate for the center.
Here is a peek at some of the treasures currently in the housekeeping center.