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Creativity = Learning

Creative Learning | Gryphon House

With so much pressure being placed on children to perform academically, the importance of play often gets overlooked; yet it is imaginative play that allows children to develop interpersonal skills alongside their academic growth. In her book Play Today, Ann Barbour makes the case for incorporating dramatic play back into the classroom with imaginative science, language, and math activities for toddlers and older. Role playing and modeling will help children apply what they learn to the real world. Many social emotional activities are presented in extensive detail to aid in teaching social skills, teaching science, and teaching math to kids.

Below are two of the many wonderful activities Play Today provides.

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Play Today | Gryphon House



  • Cardboard box or tri-fold board
  • Card stock
  • Marker
  • Masking/duct tape
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Shoe box
  • Small calculator
  • Tables and chairs
  • Play money

Play-Space Setup

  1. Set up tables and chairs as bank teller desks
  2. Make a teller window by cutting a space in the tri-fold board for the children to look through
  3. Create an ATM by cutting slots in the shoe box for bankcards and cash. Fasten the calculator to the box to use as a keypad
  4. Display a diagram that displays dollar bill and coin equivalencies for the children to reference
  5. Use the card stock to create credit and debit cards

Additional Props

  • Calendar
  • Clothing for bankers
  • Wallets and purses for customers
  • Computer keyboard
  • Date stamp and ink pad
  • Open/Closed sign
  • Telephone


  • Children will use basic arithmetic to make change  and learn to recognize the word and numerical forms of numbers as they cash checks
  • Children will learn to interact politely and help one another
  • Children will work together and nurture their creativity as they play to their own scripts


Grocery Store


  • Markers
  • Masking/painter’s tape
  • Paper
  • Shelves
  • Table
  • Plastic food/grocery items
  • Play money

Play-Space Setup

  1. Use table as a check-out counter
  2. Set up shelves with the plastic food
  3. Label store sections (dairy, deli, fruits, etc.)
  4. Mark check-out lane with masking tape
  5. Use masking tape to label items with prices

Additional Props

  • Aprons
  • Additional grocery items
  • Baskets with handles
  • Cash register
  • Coupons
  • Open/closed sign
  • Nametags for the market employees
  • Wallets and purses for the customers
  • Notepads for grocery lists
  • Shopping bags


  • Children will use basic arithmetic to add up the cost of their groceries and make change
  • Older children may be introduced to the concept of a budget and shop accordingly
  • Children will communicate with one another about prices, shopping lists, etc.
  • Children will work together and nurture their creativity as they play to their own scripts

More Activities to Try