This salon pretend play activity will keep toddlers and preschoolers entertained and learning for ages. Great for fine motor development and to encourage role playing with young children.
This pretend salon is one of the most popular activities in my daycare every single morning. Every day when the kids arrive, we have a few activities that they can do while we wait for everyone to get here. Every single day, several of them gather around and play “spa”.
The children take turns brushing each other’s hair, giving pretend hair cuts, “painting” their nails and brushing each others faces with the soft, fluffy make-up brushes.
All of these exercises are great for fine motor skills and they make for a wonderful sensory experience. They also encourage the children to communicate and interact with each other socially and physically.
I made our pretend spa by putting together an assortment of items that we store in a plastic cosmetic box similar to a tool box.
Let me show you how you can make one for your kids.
Find a case or container for your pretend salon:
Grab a cute basket or container. I found mine at a thrift shop for a buck. I like that it has different compartments and swing-out trays. Any container will do though – a bucket, a tackle or tool box, a plastic organizer. Amazon.com has a large variety of cases available, like this Craft Storage Toolboxwhich has a storage tray for your smaller items, and a deep compartment to hold larger items.
What to add to your salon:
Add a brush and comb, some make-up brushes and sponges, hair clips, and costume jewellery. I added an ancient mobile phone as well. They’ve always preferred that to any toy phones that we’ve had.
Save your make up and lotion containers!
Wash up empty cosmetic containers, hairspray and lotion bottles, and assorted make-up pots and jars. Playing with “grown up stuff” is always so enticing! Jars with lids are popular with little ones; they enjoy screwing the tops off and on and will often get our glass beads out to drop into the containers.
The sky’s the limit as far as what you can add. Take a look around your bathroom. Clean, empty nail-polish bottles and lipstick containers are fun. If your child will be playing solo, it’s also nice to add a plastic mirror for them to sit in front of.
There you go! Easy and affordable fun! And if your Hooligans are anything like mine, they’ll spend hours playing with this.
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.