Candy Shop: A Pretend Play Prompt | Still Playing School

Candy Shop: A Pretend Play Prompt

A kid in a candy shop is a simile for a reason. What could be more motivating and fun than a pretend play candy store with real candy? 

Kid experience math, writing, and fine motor skills through this pretend play candy shop dramatic center!

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One of our favorite movies is the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Remember the scene where the candy man is singing in the candy shop? I wanted to recreate that magical enthusiasm while incorporating some writing, math, and fine motor work into our pretend play prompt as well.

Our preschooler E is fortunate to have an aunt in the candy marketing business. Between being spoiled with candy from her aunt's trade shows and the Easter Bunny's recent visit we had plenty of candy to choose from for this activity. I displayed the candy in glass containers with metal ice tongs, plastic ice tongs with grips, and a small scoop. With a pretend cash register, play money, paper bags, a note pad, and a mini pencil (which is recommended for beginning writers) E was ready to take candy orders!

She wrote down orders using numbers and kid writing. She really remembered what she had written when it came time to put the order together even when we listed several types of candy!

Putting the candy into the bags with the different tools was great fine motor work. She also had to use her problem solving skills to decide which utensils worked best. She counted as she bagged making sure she got my orders just right!

Any good business owner tests their wares before they sell them! We are frequently asked how much candy she ate during this pretend play prompt but honestly she was so busy playing that she didn't ask for more than a few bites. At one point I placed an order over the phone. She dropped the phone while talking to me so I said, "Hello? HELLO?! What happened?!" as we both laughed so much and she answered, "I still here!"

She went into great detail describing the candy. She is quite the sweets expert! When it was her turn to be the customer and I ran the shop she didn't hesitate to order specific colors. She told me exactly who she was purchasing her gifts for so the conversations we had were very entertaining!

Once the orders were complete I asked her to clip the note to the bag. She would ask me what my favorite color was and choose that clip. What amazing customer service!  Look at that face as she squeezes the clip to get it open and on the bag! 

We had math practice as she totaled my orders and counted out my change. Sometimes I ended up leaving with candy AND more money than I came in with (but I wasn't complaining)! It was the most fun we've ever had with pretend play.

Check out this week's Fine Motor Friday posts:

Yarn Wrapped Tulips from School Time Snippets

Fine Motor Skills With Coins For Play and Learning from Little Bins For Little Hands

Recycle Sort: a Fine Motor Game from Stir the Wonder

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  1. This is so cute & looks like so much fun!

  2. I am so in love with this activity! It focuses on so many different skills. We are also obsessed with Willy Wonka and this activity will definitely be making its way into our homeschool life eventually!

  3. I love this! How lucky to have an aunt in the candy business!

  4. Awww, I love this idea! What a blessed little girl to have such a creative and fun mama! I really need to incorporate more pretend play with my kiddos. We are kinda stuck on the "Oh, you made mama food.. thanks you" simple play! Ha : )