Growing up I had a friend down the street who had not only a dress up box - but an entire dress up closet! Shelves and hangers filled with feather boas, plastic pearls, top hats and one coveted pair of red faux leather gloves. It was magical to say the least.
I have since lost touch with that friend, but often find myself reminiscing on the days I spent tangled up in that dreamy closet. Perhaps my memories have become slightly romanticised over time (I'm sure that cupboard isn't all that big in reality), but I can say with certainty the hours of unsupervised creative freedom in that room has positively impacted and shaped my life.
Children learn through play. When children act out their own life experiences, it helps them make sense of what is happening in their lives and the world around them. Below are 4 amazing benefits of playing dress up and a list of supplies you can collect if you wish to create a dress up space in your home too (pssst you'll probably already have a lot of them) ...
1. Foster imagination
Helping to grow a child’s imagination is a benefit to building character and teaching them to learn in new ways. A child imagining to be someone else can experiment with role-playing in situations they don’t encounter in real life. They get to live out their imaginary stories while practicing roles such as a hero or villain, and see how those roles impact others.
2. Develop social + communication skills
When children engage in dress-up play, they socialise by learning to take turns and cooperate. They develop an interest in other children through fantasy play and increase engagement and interdependence. Conflict resolution, manners, listening, and sharing all come into play as they cooperate through dress up.
3. Improve fine motor skills
Costumes require kids to put on and take off accessories and articles of clothing like shirts, pants, and jackets. Learning to fasten buttons, Velcro, zippers and snaps can be frustrating, but it can be a lot more motivating to learn them when they are a necessary requirement to transform into your favourite superhero!
4. Learn about themselves
Children playing dress up often represent their career aspirations or role models and ideals. This can be vital to their understanding of themselves and their dreams and goals. When children imagine themselves to be someone else, they learn about their likes, dislikes, preferences and how they like to interact with others.
Dress Up Box Ideas
- fairy wings + wands
- old business shirts + suit jackets
- old heels, dresses + skirts
- lace gloves
- glasses with the lenses popped out
- necklaces + clip-on earrings
- an old mobile phone
- old keys on a key ring
- rubber gloves
- a toy microphone
- play money
- a doctor’s kit
- old suitcase
- silly wigs
- animal ears or masks
- make up or face paints
Tania of LMB. x