Playing School

What did you want to become when you were seven?

When I was seven, I wanted to be a teacher.

When I was eight, I wanted to be a teacher.

When I was nine, ten, eleven and twelve, nothing was more noble than becoming a teacher.

Then I came into maturity and started to see that being a teacher was the worst thing to become. My Mum was a teacher and she had plenty of headaches as a teacher. Given, she taught high school and that stage of a child’s life can be very difficult to teach and can be very unrewarding. Especially when you have 50 unmotivated students in one class for 45 minutes and you have nine similar classes any given weekday.

From then on, I wanted to be a glamourous newscaster. Or baker. Or architect.

Well, now, Hannah is Eight.

When Hannah was barely five, she announced on stage with a microphone in front of everyone and parents at the Christmas celebration of her pre-school that all she wanted to become as “A Mummy just like my Mummy”. Everyone awww-ed and turned to look at me, while I turned red and immediately thought, “Oh darling, aim higher!”. But really, there’s nothing more noble than being a Mother. Nothing more sacrifical, nothing more rewarding than being a Mummy.

Hannah, at 5, on the cusp of school-hood, with the ambition of being a mummy just like Mummy

Hannah, at 5, on the cusp of school-hood, with the ambition of being “a mummy just like Mummy”

Of course, that was so last century, Mum. Now it’s all about being a teacher, fashion designer and spy all in the one role that adults are poorly equipped to imagine. Poor Mum. Yup.

But now, she wants to be a teacher. Every day she drags out an unused poster-chart and her four markers and becomes the best teacher with best handwriting and drawing. She takes on The Teacher Voice and gets all stern. She has five to six invisible children. They all get names, have their roll call and distinct personalities.

Hannah playing teacher on our sofa

Hannah playing teacher on our sofa

When asked why she liked playing teacher, she said matter of factly, “It’s ‘cos I get to be in control.” That’s an eminently correct answer. Can’t err with that logic.

How she plays teacher

The Unused Whiteboard Poster Chart

Hannah with her whiteboard poster chart and teacher instructions

Hannah with her whiteboard poster chart and teacher instructions


Mum gave me a great set of flash cards for Hannah when she was three. She uses these in her pretend play and it’s so cute watching her convince and teach the invisible naughty boy that Three Fish and Number 3 go together!

Felt boards

She also plays “tell me what this is” and “tell me what this story could be like” with the felt board play kits I got her when she was four.

This is the nursery kit:

Nursery, Felt Creations, via Education Experience

Nursery, Felt Creations, via Education Experience

Other things I’ll need to get her pronto!

Chalkboard easel
Since she’s used that poster-chart to death, Husband and I thought it might be time to reward this playing-by-herself activity. I love watching her play by herself. So we’ve been looking for a good child’s easel. With chalkboard on one side and whiteboard on another side, like this one by Kidkraft:

Kidkraft Deluxe Wood Easel, available on Zanui

Available at Zanui.

Pretend and Play School Set

Self-inking stamps

Just for teachers! In Happy Colours too!

Other little teachers and their set up:

Good use of a RÅSKOG kitchen cart and vintage school desk!

Melissa and Doug have a great blog for all things play and parenting. Here’s contributor Allison McDonald’s (founder of No Time For Flash Cards) blogpost on Work Through Worries with Play School.

The Melissa and Doug Easel in a little girl's school set up

The Melissa and Doug Wooden Easel

 The Melissa and Doug <a href=

Wooden Easel, seeing little girl teach words and dates” class /> The Melissa and Doug Wooden Easel, chalkboard side

Miss Clara's little classroom

Miss Clara’s little classroom

Little girl teaching her dollies

What did you want to be when you were 8? A teacher too?



The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

Hearing from you

Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com