A place to share ideas about play in a Prep classroom

Posts tagged ‘prep’

Once upon a time some children built a castle and found a dragon!

Once upon a time some children in a prep class built a castle. They researched castles on the internet and in books, They learnt the names of the different parts of a castle and problem solved how to create a draw bridge and portcullis. They learnt about the castle keep and the different roles people played in castle life.

They made thrones with  fabric decorations for the kings and queens to sit upon “because thrones are special chairs for kings and queens. They need decoration.”



The fair maidens wanted to wear tall hats and spent a lot of time making, and painting them to their own designs.

The castle was decorated with palace portraits to celebrate the learning of the /p/ sound.

Everyone needed a Coat of Arms to identify the castle family they belong to. (I gave them templates of varying shapes to choose from and we discussed their initials and family names. All the children used their initials and painted things they thought represented their family.)


Every castle needs a dragon, and this castle had one that liked to swoop down upon the battlements.

The Dragon


The dragon was soon joined by other dragons who needed a place to live, and so they made a dragon cave.

This dragon made wings using crepe paper and patty pans.


Some of the dragons in their cave.

Now that there were lots of dragons swooping the castle, the people of the castle were puzzled – What were they to do to stop the dragons swooping? How were the dragons to be tamed? they pondered. The people of the castle decided to ask the dragon. The dragons left the people a “P” for a clue. What could this mean?  they all thought. What could begin with the letter p?  Popcorn?  Peaches?  Pears? Plums? Pasta? Pumpkin? People??????? (As I said earlier in this story we were learning about the sound /p/.) As the people of the castle suggested these things to the dragons, the dragons continued to fly around, until they heard the magic word…….. pizza! This was the secret food that begins with p that tames a dragon. The people of the castle promised to make the dragons some pizzas and so they all became friends

The knights and dragons played together in the tower.

To celebrate their friendship it was decided that a feast needed to be had!!!! But in medievel times there were no phones to order pizza and no shops to buy the ingredients, so the people of the castle set up a farm to supply the ingredients. (Again more internet research and information books.)

The water well and stables for the knights trusty steeds.

The farm animals.Some of the orchards

More farm animals!

More of the orchards.



 After a lot of preparation the day of the feast arrived. There were goblets and placemats and a long banquet table. We did lots of counting to make sure there were 25 of everything that was needed including chairs. The menu was published for all to peruse (lots of literacy) There were pizzas to make  and fruit to be cut up. (Life in medieval times was difficult!)

The pizzas were made using muffins, tomato sauce, cheese, ham, pineapple, olives and mushrooms. The children made their own pizzas, selecting the toppings they wanted. We cooked them in the tuckshop oven.


A Toast! We loved using our goblets and getting dressed up.

But there was a surprise for us from our new friends ……………… they sent us on a dragon hunt.

Where will we look first?

We searched all over the school asking everyone we met “have you seen a dragon?” Lots of people said “NO” until we got to the library………..

We asked the librarian "have you seen a dragon?"


She said " she hadn't seen a dragon but she had found an interesting bag."

 When we looked inside the bag we found a dragon. Our quest was successfully completed!

 There was nothing left to do but return, with our dragon, to the classroom and share another toast.

To Delilah the Dragon!

 Our castle play was quite an adventure and was sustained over many weeks, culminating in the feast. Many of the Learning Statements from the Prep, Early Years Curriculum,  were covered, in fact far too many to list. Delilah the Dragon became our class pet and went home with a class member each night. The children drew, took photos and wrote stories about her adventures at their homes with help from siblings and parents. We collated them in a book called…………
But that’s another story and for another time! 

Hello world!

Welcome to Playing in Prep!  My name is Lynda and I teach prep in a state school in Queensland. Early childhood education is my passion and play is my pedagogy but in saying that, I am also a Connectivist, someone who has a strong belief in the integration of technology into the classroom.

Anyone who steps into a classroom with a play based philosophy will often think how can these children be learning anything connected to curriculum and achieve mandated outcomes. Where are the literacy and numeraqcy rotations…….etc.etc.?

 On this page I hope to share with you some of the experiences and adventures I have with my preppies, along with “the method in my madness”, as we negotiate our way through the Prep curriculum.