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These are materials to support children’s engagement in high-level make-believe play in early childhood classrooms and at home.

Lots of items to stock the shelves in the grocery store and to add to grocery lists for the shoppers! Ask families to send in empty boxes to help fill your store.

To see more titles for specific play themes, choose the theme below.

Family Grocery
Restaurant Doctor/Hospital Theme
Pets Theme Other Themes


Play money supports all kinds of play themes from grocery store to restaurant and beyond. Could children make play wallets, credit cards? Could a box become a cash register or ATM machine?

Educational Insights Play Money Coins & Bills Tray, Set of 200 Pieces of Play Money for Classroom or Home, Counting Skills & Pretend Play, Ages 5+

Washing produce is a favorite activity of Produce Managers in Tools Grocery Play theme. A small tub with just a little water and some rags or sponges will help them wash and dry these produce to sort them into containers for the eager customers! Don’t forget that your children can add their own fruits and vegetables — balled up newspaper covered with tape can be painted and transformed into apples, oranges, pumpkins – all kinds of produce for your farmer’s or supermarket.

Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set – 30 Pieces, Ages 18+ months Pretend Play Toys for Toddlers, Play Food for Toddlers, Play Kitchen for Toddlers

Tools are important props for solving all kinds of story problems in play. Is there a leak under the sink? Grill stopped working? The car won’t start? I’ll get my tools . . . .

Black & Decker Jr. Fun Tool Set

These knobs can be attached to a cardboard box or piece of poster board to make a stovetop or oven — adding actions and language to play!

Empty Squeeze containers can have labels added to transform them into different scents of shampoo for hair salon or groomer play, different condiments for restaurant or family play, different kinds of shampoo, conditioner for nursery or bath play – adding more language and interaction to play . . . “Would you like strawberry or mango scented shampoo today?”

uxcell 2Pcs 200ml 8oz Clear Kitchen Plastic Squeeze Bottles Condiment Ketchup Mustard Oil Salt

Open your own sandwich shop with this 33 piece smorgasbord of fabulous felt food pieces! Use white or wheat bread, or a pita pocket, then layer on the meats, cheeses, vegetables, condiments and more. Build a submarine, a grinder, a hoagie or a Dagwood sandwich! With dozens of sandwich stuffers included, we’ve got the ingredients for any special order!

Melissa & Doug Felt Food Sandwich Play Food Set (33 pcs)

Could children make rocks to frame a fire out of felt, felt flames? What else could they make to create the environment, props?

Labels like these can go on aprons or shirts to identify roles like ‘Doctor” “Manager” “Produce Clerk”, “Vet Tech” or ‘X-ray”!

Avery Name Tags, White with Red Border, 100 Removable Name Badges (05143)

Teachers and parents can use these to decorate plain white-t-shirts, to create ‘role props’ for different roles… a stethoscope can be drawn for a doctor or veterinarian on one t-shirt . . . what could you draw on a t-shirt for a salesclerk to wear? What about a receptionist? X-ray technician? Pharmacist? Baker?

TULIP Fabric Markers

Open/Closed Signs can be used to enrich play – children set up the ‘store’ or ‘office’ and then turn sign to ‘Open’ when they’re ready for customers!

Headline Sign 9395 Double-Sided Open/Closed/Will Return Sign with Clock Hands, 6 Inches by 11.5 Inches

Large pieces of cloth like this can be draped over tables and chairs to create play spaces… this one is the night sky… it could be attached to a bookcase or bulletin board and draped over some nap mats to make camping or bedroom area – cuing nighttime story telling and pretending to go to sleep!

Sarah’s Silks Enchanted Playsilk | 100% Silk Sensory Toys for Toddlers | Square Scarves, Montessori and Waldorf Toys for Pretend Play – Rainbow

Aprons like these can be used in multiple play themes – apply stickers to the front with a drawing or some words to indicate roles… beyond what chefs wear, could be the role prop for cashier, groomer, etc!

White Kids’Chef Apron and Hat Set,Home and School Artist for Cooking,Baking,Painting or Decorating Party (Medium/3-8Years)