My dramatic play area changes monthly. In January, we had the grand opening of our Preschool Shoe Store. The Shoe Store provides opportunities for the preschoolers to expand their vocabulary, practice social skills and fine motor skills, as well as explore math concepts.
The Shoe Store “sells” various types of shoes: soccer shoes, boots, swim shoes, party shoes, slippers, getas (Japanese shoes), ballet shoes, etc. There’s a row of small chairs for customers, a cash register with play money and a mat for measuring feet. The mat was made from a solid colored inexpensive rug. Using a permanent marker, I traced around four shoes and labeled them A-D from smallest to largest.
To keep the Shoe Store organized I put pictures of the shoes on the shelves. To include a bit more math, some of the shoes are in shoe boxes. I have a picture of the shoes on top and a number on the box that matches a number on the shelf.
A magazine holder labeled “SHOES” provides a place for the preschoolers to put their shoes while they’re shopping.
The preschoolers continued to explore shoes by making shoe prints with paint and play dough at the Play Dough Table and Art Center.
Most of the shoes for my Shoe Store are from thrift stores. I keep my eyes open for different kinds of shoes in great condition. Parents also donated shoes.
Books about Shoes:
New Shoes, Red Shoes, by Susan Rollings
A Pair of Socks, by Stuart J. Murphy (good for patterns)
The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss
Smelly Socks, by Robert Munsch
Busy Toes, by C. W. Bowie
Shoes From Grandpa, by Mem Fox
Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes, by Eric Litwin