Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Collaborative Play

Learning Goals: Literacy, Reading, Writing, Mutually-Directed Play

What did this class do?

  • The educator introduced the students to the idea of creating a restaurant in their dramatic play centre.

  • As a class, the educator and students discussed what they would find in a restaurant as well as brainstormed the features and materials needed to create their restaurant centre.

  • Next, the educator used classroom resources and found materials for the students to create menus, signs, and money.

  • With the support of the educator, the children took on various roles in the restaurant such as customers, servers, or chefs.

  • The educator integrated literacy into the restaurant by supporting children in writing menus, signs, and receipts. To facilitate their writing, the educator helped children reference classroom resources, such as a word wall to identify common words, and the alphabet to help identify letter sounds.

Suggested Resources:

  • Pretend food

  • Coins/bills

  • Plates, cutlery, bowls and other tableware

  • Play kitchen and accessories

  • Cardboard, construction paper, markers and crayons

Why is it Collaborative Play?

  • Both the educator and children shared control over the direction and outcome of creating and playing in the restaurant.

  • The educator initiated this play context with the children based off their interest in restaurants.

We are the Play Learning Lab, run by Dr. Angela Pyle at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.



Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

45 Walmer Road, Room 320
Toronto, ON M5R 2X2

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