Dress up play is very popular in this house, sometimes my son will disappear upstairs and I wait to see if it is a knight, a ninja, a doctor or Viking that comes back down. A dress up box is so easy to put together and you can often add fun props and costume parts for next to nothing. The ¥100/dollar store is a good place to start as are charity shops, car boot sales or even things from around the home.
As for full outfits, these days you can pick them up cheap too so it doesn’t matter if you little one wants to be a doctor, a princess or a fearless warrior, for very little money you can help them on their way.
So, why is dressing up good for your kids?
1. They practice their life skills, putting and taking off outfits. There might be zips, velcro or buttons on the outfits too – extra bonus points for those.
2. It stretches their imagination, the bed becomes a longboat, the rug is a flying carpet, a wand performs all kinds of magic…
3. They learn story telling skills, to start with they will probably re-enact stories from their books or things that they have seen on TV but soon the stories will become their own, asking them to describe things and explain parts in more detail is a great way to help them.
4. You get to see view the world from their perspective. You get an understanding of their grasp on the world around them.
5. It is fun! Whether it be slaying dragons or going to the ball, the kids love it AND if you join in too (playing to their rules) they will love it even more, impromptu dress up play always results in fits of giggles and laughter in our home and is a great way to improve the energy, especially after having one of ‘those‘ days. It also shows the child that adults can be fun too and they are not all about the rules all the time.
6. It is a good way to explore feelings and emotions and learn how to act in different situations. A doctor needs to empathetic and gently spoken, a warrior needs to show strength and courage, a princess should be polite and treat everyone with respect, you get the idea.
7. It’s cheap, like I said before, it doesn’t need to cost the earth. A cap and a cardboard box and you have yourself a train driver, bus driver, racing driver, a pilot, an ambulance driver, a taxi driver, turn the box over and maybe you are now a market seller, a blacksmith, a DJ or a jockey!
If you don’t already have one, find a box or chest to keep the dress up outfits in, you might want to have a system where some are hanging up too. Princesses and doctors shouldn’t be prancing around in wrinkled outfits now should they? Remember to add props too, have a good selection for them to choose from and also encourage them to make their own.
Do your kids like dressing up? If so, what is their favourite outfit?