Our love of Target is so very real. The store has got everything a busy parent needs and kids love shopping there too. One teacher in Nashville, Tennessee has taken her Target obsession to a whole new level. She built a mini-Target in her classroom complete with a little Starbucks.
Theresa Yarber has created many different themed play areas in her classroom over the years, but the Target-themed play space has gotten the most attention. She set out to create a space that kids already enjoy and kids do indeed, love Target.
Yarber wanted to create a space that made the preschoolers excited to come to school every day.
Yarber knew she needed to think outside the box to keep her preschool students excited. So, she decided to decorate the play area of her classroom like a Target store.
“My goal as a teacher is to have the kids say they can’t wait to get to school because it’s so fun, and I knew this would be a great place to start,” she told Target. “I love Target and the kids love Target.”
The Target inspired play area comes complete with carts, product scanners, Target bags, and even employee t-shirts.
The kids can get some serious “shopping” done in the play area, all while sipping imaginary lattes from the mini-Starbucks.
“A little girl put her dog in the cart, walked through the dollar bins with her grande latte and I was like, ‘Are you doing some shopping?’ Yarber said, ‘No, I’m just browsing.’ And that’s when it really came alive,” she explained. “Kids, imagination, and a couple of everyday things. That’s all you need.”
Yarber thinks giving the kids the opportunity to act like their adult parents is a benefit.
Yarber understood that giving preschoolers a place to use their imagination was important. By grounding the experience in something familiar, the kids really ran with it.
“It gives them a glimpse into being grown-up,” Yarber shared. “You have to deal with other people, be friendly to the people serving you coffee, you have to share things.”
Yarber came up with the idea to turn the play area into a mini-Target months in advance. With the help of friends and inspiration from Pinterest, Yarber got to work on making the “store.”
“I absolutely love it because I can be so creative with it,” she said of getting to choose her own theme.
After her success in creating the Target inspired play area, other teachers asked her for advice.
The mini-Target was a huge success and not only did the kids love it, so did other teachers. When asked about her process for coming up with play area themes, Yarber said, “Let [your students] be your guide.”
“Target was a great opportunity because that was something everyone was familiar with, and then I just went from there,” Yarber continued. She suggests making sure that there are lots of little details to keep the kids engaged.
“But really, whatever you choose, just give kids the opportunity to run with it and their imaginations will take off!” she explained. “Bullseye is just a box and a balloon — that’s all it takes and they were thrilled with it. You don’t have to spend a ton of money or [have] a bunch of stuff. That’s the big thing.”
Although many of us make a weekly trip to a real Target, we must admit it makes us a bit jealous that these kids get to spend every day there. Yay for teachers thinking outside of the box and making something kids love!