Monday, May 26, 2014

"Puuurfect Paws" Grooming Salon Pretend Play

Have you hosted a Grooming Salon pretend play date yet? If's a must! I don't know if it's because it was our first time experimenting with a "real" dramatic play set up or because our theme was really fun but it was a huge success and I cannot wait to put together our next pretend play time. In the meantime, here's how this one was set up (and because a picture is worth a 1,000 words...this will be mostly pictures and few words...):

Golden Pup Taking the Plunge in the Finest Grooming Salon in Town!

As Europe's finest weather has finally arrived, I chose to set up our station outside for everyone to enjoy the warm (ok...a tad bit hot) and sunny weather. The children helped me carry everything in and out of the house but I did place everything without them prior to playtime for the surprise effect. I also gave them a tour of the salon once it was ready and pretended they were new salon staff and had to know where everything was and how it worked...Then, the fun began. My son didn't care for it nearly as much as my daughter did but that was not exactly a big surprise. He never liked plush toys, never played pretend and almost 6 years old. My daughter on the other hand thought everything was so pretty, loves plushes (especially cats) and plays pretend daily. She remained at the grooming salon for over an hour...and to this day, still asks me to bring back most of the items used in the salon so she can groom her kitty cats. :)

"Puuurfect Paws" Grooming Salon's Reception Area with the waiting room

Our cash register was very busy that day!

Patrons had to "fill in" a questionnaire about the service requested for their pet that day.

I created loyalty cards for the salon so they could be stamped after each visit.
This was a very popular feature!

The grooming salon's bath area with a wash basin, plenty of "hand towels" and "washcloths".
Lots of small empty bottles, clean combs and brushes.

Content of the salon' s bath area basket: Tried to keep within a certain color scheme
and decorated with silk flowers to make everything pleasing to the eyes.

Grooming Salon's Grooming and Relaxation Area: Pet books and everything for pet grooming:
brushes, combs, dryer, swabs, cotton balls, etc. Wanted to add out electric clipper but they were
still charged so I decided against it! :)

The Relaxation Corner of our Salon: cushions & pet books!

Handmade scarves, ties and bow ties for kitties and doggies:
I bought elastic and scraps of  cotton and made these in an evening!

"Flopsie" modeling a handmade bow tie after his
grooming appointment with Z.

The grooming area of the grooming salon featured lots of grooming
and styling tools...all presented on a nice tray! 

Doggies were treated to nice felt bones that day: Made
these for our pet unit two years ago.
Daughter at play: Many cats were groomed that day!

The official Grooming Salon sign we hung in our hedge

Ta da! That is how our first pretend play station of the season was set up. We have many more to come. I actually intend to put together one every week and I do expect most of them to be taking place outside as well (love spending time outdoors!). For a list of the stations to be taking place this summer, click here.

P.S. Interruptions during pretend play are never fun...If you have some ground rules to establish...Do it prior to the kids getting to work. Knowing my kids, I knew they'd play nicely with the station but I also knew it was our first time taking the plushes outside and wanted to make something clear: No plushes were to touch the ground. :)

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  1. This is such a great idea! My kids would love it! Thanks for sharing. I will be using this idea in the future!

    1. Glad to hear it! It's kind of a classic but I tried to make it as appealing as possible and since my kids had never had anything set up like this before, it was very exciting for them of course! I'm sure yours would love it too. :)

  2. I did a post about a Pet Store we set up in our classroom. That center was definitely a hit, but I wish I had seen your post about the Pet Grooming Salon because I would have done that as part of our pets theme, too! So fun! I love the little blow dryer, the tray full of goodies to use for grooming, etc. So cute! I'll file this idea away. Thanks for sharing! Corinne Orazietti, Teach Easy Resources

    1. Thank you for stopping by Corinne and for taking the time to comment. I am glad to hear you like my pet grooming salon post! I truly hope you'll get to set up a new station in the future. They are truly fun. I believe you when you say your center was a hit; it was here as well and I'm sure a new one would be welcome anytime! :) Have a great day!

  3. Very fun activity! We do something similar, but far more simple where I just set out the supplies and let my son groom a stuffed animal. He quite likes it, and this activity will be something we can try when he's a bit older. I really love how you have the prices of various services for extra math practice!

    1. Thank you Yuliya! Don't you just love stuffed animals? I think kids just love them and tend to care for them naturally so a grooming salon always makes sense. I did go to "extremes" for ours because I really did want to make it last longer and well, my oldest is nearing 6 but I remember the days when my baby was just enjoying brushing the fur away...Maybe you'll get to add some elements later! :)

  4. I really love the pretend play salon you have created. It looks like hours of fun!

    1. Thank you so much! :) We are new to "organized" pretend play but this set up was truly enjoyable and repeated several times for my youngest. Each time, it was worth the time of putting it together. :)

  5. :) I really liked this idea too. Just a quick question- how long do you think the kids did this activity?

    1. My son, who never liked pretend play and who is turning 6 in a few weeks didn't play very long; maybe 15-20 minutes. My daughter though, she loves plushes, loves to play pretend is is 3 and a half. She played for 1 hour the first day and a little less on the following days. I always felt like it was worth setting up the station honestly; she truly enjoyed it every time. :)