The Importance of Dramatic Play The children are fully engaged at play when they are in the dramatic play area. This home – away – from – home is a busy place in the classroom. The children are at their best pretending about their family. As the teacher observes children in the kitchen, they can see how children make connections to the real world developing social and cultural understandings. The children organize and use materials and they are able to express their thoughts and feelings through the familiar objects. They dress up engaging like a mother or a father cooking and caring for the family. They “greet” the mail carrier, walk the dog, put the children to bed reminding them to “go to sleep and don’t get up for water”. Children define the roles of the children they play with. “I will be the mother and you are the baby” says the child. “Now, it’s time for you to go to sleep”. Students often practice repeating parent conversations as they improve their own language skills. As children play, they talk to themselves, other children, and adults. This practice provides knowledge of many linguistic and cognitive skills, increases vocabulary, introduces new words and concepts to other children and is especially valuable to second language learners (Haywood & Perkins 2003; Haltcher & Petty 2004). The dramatic play center is a special place in communication and language development. Make believe play, using real symbolic items, helps children establish concrete and abstract thoughts. This area helps children pull together what they learn in school. Teachers can observe children make believe “reading” to their pretend children before “putting them to bed with a story” or “writing” make believe grocery lists so their “husbands” can get their favorite foods. Much can be learned about children in dramatic play and it is a treasure chest for parents to explore at home in their own kitchen. Once parents realize that sharing activities in the home, especially the kitchen area, can strengthen language, literacy, and equip children to use a variety material it will help teachers to build upon that early learning. Parents are the most powerful people in children’s learning. Once they realize they have all of the tools right in their own homes – and this home is mirrored in our early learning classrooms – this learning will be enhanced and celebrated by parents and teachers together. Then, the children benefit tremendously.