Places Please! A Look Inside Dramatic Play with foundry10

By Amanda Johnson


On April 25, BFCP parents will come together for an all school meeting. All school meetings are a great way to stay up to date on all things Bothell Family, connect with parents from other classes and meet new members of our co-op community. The evening promises to be a treat with a special guest from foundy10 speaking on the value of Dramatic Play and Creativity, a subject near and dear to many of our hearts. I’ve written before about the importance of creative play in preschoolers in my article Playing With Your Food. But I must admit I didn’t understand how dramatic play fits in there. I mean, isn’t it all kind of the same thing? Turns out it’s not. Similar, for sure, but not quite the same. Let me explain. Or, ahem, let Chelsea explain.

Chelsea LeValley, founder of foundry10‘s dramatic arts program, describes dramatic play as structured discovery-based learning while in character. Or as she calls it ‘in role’. (I love this. We’re creating tiny actors.) It’s guiding students to use their imaginations and develop stories and characters through a given context. Preschoolers are naturally gifted at this. They have an innate ability to suspend disbelief and engage in imaginary circumstances that gets lost as we grow into adults. These imaginary circumstances can help children problem solve and interact with others. Dramatic play structures and guides their activity in make believe with literature while introducing new concepts, settings and environments.

With this new insight, I liken dramatic play as an extension of the broader concept of creative play. To engage in creative play, a preschooler doesn’t need to take on a role within their favorite story. It can be as simple as making sand pies during Outdoor Time.

Dramatic play is important because, as research proves, students who see adults modeling play are more engaged for longer periods of time. This type of activity is beneficial for the brain, as a way to connect with others socially and emotionally, and helps develop imaginations. foundry10 teaches kids how to play by modeling this behavior. This gives children a framework so when they are at recess or engaging with peers they can integrate their learning from their school environment to their outside world.

foundry10 Dramatic Arts program was created on the idea that by examining the way students engage with drama, we can better learn how to foster creative leadership and individual identity. They create, produce, direct, collaborate and teach programming for students ages 3-adult. They often partner with schools and organizations to support the professional development of educators in the arts as well as the traditional classroom and to provide students with access to unique dramatic arts related experiences.

Thank you, Chelsea, for telling us about the Dramatic Arts program at foundry10! I’m excited to learn more about this concept and how to implement it with our preschoolers at our upcoming meeting.

To my fellow parents: see you there!

All Parent Meeting details:


When: Thursday April 25th 6:30-9:00pm

Where: Inglewood Presbyterian Church

Topic: The value of Dramatic Play and Creativity

Speaker: Duncan Frost