By the following school day, Mme Hulskramer had collected many of the supplies requested by the girls. Many other students quickly joined in the play. After reassurances that salons are definitely not “just for girls,” several boys found roles in the hairstyling team. The children cooperatively shared the supplies and took turns styling each other’s hair. After a short while, the salon expanded to offer many spa services as well. “Clients” were soon offered manicures, makeovers, and facials, complete with cucumbers!
The students used their emerging literacy skills when they created a graphic organizer of the supplies they would need to launch their salon. Pictures, letters, and words were incorporated seamlessly and authentically into the children’s play because they were writing with a specific purpose in mind. The students displayed teamwork when they collaborated to make hair creations. They practised fine motor skills by twisting elastics, fastening barrettes, weaving braids, painting nails, and applying pretend make-up. From the beginning when the children brainstormed and recorded the supplies they required, to the evolution of the salon into a spa, this play experience was planned and guided entirely by the children. Bravo!