It Pays to Play – Classroom Shop

Education is constantly changing. Sometimes I worry about the creativity lost in the clutter of Curriculum.  Play-based learning enriches vocabulary and fires little minds to explore and create, as children learn (and understand) by doing. When investing in a child’s education, it pays to play!


It Pays to Play

Where is the classroom shop;
where kids can stop
to pay their dues;
where purses bulge with
silver and gold
and notes that fold
for kids to hold; 
where kids converse –
through play rehearse
words overheard,
new skills transferred;
where empty packets
and plastic fruit
are sought and bought
as kids compute
the cash to pay
in exchange for change,
then count it out
‘til gradually doubt
and dollars and cents
make sense …

Where is the classroom shop?

© Kathryn Apel 2016


The Poetry Friday round-up will be collated at Mainley Write
 on February 19. I’ve missed a couple of weeks in the busy back-to-school days, but I’m looking forward to getting into the rhythm (and rhyme) of things again.


  1. When I was a permanent Primary teacher creating the role-play area was one of my favourite parts of the job, from garden shed to Chinese restaurant with chopsticks and dry pasta! 🙂 Heaps of fun and heaps of learning.


    • A Chinese restaurant… Now that I’ve not seen played out.

      It’s not just the obvious skills they learn; (ie money from playing shops) it’s the conversations and vocabulary, and the freedom to think and be creative. I realised the other day that I just don’t see class shops anymore…


  2. There is much that has been tossed to the side to make sure we have time for testing. It is a crime. Kids are being short-changed (pun wasn’t entirely intended, but I’m taking it as a score!).


  3. Thank you for sharing your much-needed “let’s-wake-up, people,” Where’s the classroom shop? poem. Funny…just a couple of days ago, when I started walking the treadmill again, I was remembering how when our children were little, the basement was their play area, complete with “play” stores, groceries, cash registers and “cash,” sinks, ovens etc. And I wondered if kids nowadays play with such toys. If not at home, then at school? “Where is the classroom shop?”..Sorry to say, we’re over-seriously testing our students out of creative play-to-learn time. Please spread your message everywhere! Thank you; God bless you!


    • There needs to be a balance, CB. Assessment is important. But so too is learning – and far better for kids to be actively involved in developing their own understanding. Your basement area sounds like the perfect place to play. 🙂


      • Thank you for your generous feedback! …When I shared with our grown daughter about my playroom remembrances, she said what she remembers is using it as her roller skating rink. (Guess we could have saved a lot of dollars on all the active learning stations we invested in:)…Who knew that an empty play space was all she wanted or needed!) …God bless you!


Comments from readers are purrrrfect!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s