At one point or another, you probably have dreamed about what it would be like to be someone else. For kids, playing dress-up gives them a chance to do just that. The minute that they step into a costume or change their clothing, they are transformed into whatever characters they can imagine. Whether they want to be a superhero saving the day or a king ruling over a magical land, they can do it all with the help of dress-up clothing. Not only is playing like this fun but it also increases their confidence and expands their vocabulary. Here are some tips to help make playing dress-up even more effective.
The Benefits Of Playing Dress-Up
In just about any preschool, you can find boxes of clothes that kids can use to play dress-up. Not only do teachers understand the importance of imagination but they also know that dressing up benefits kids in a lot of other ways. For a child, dressing up as a doctor and giving an “exam” to one of their dolls forces them to use their mind to recall their own visits to the doctor in the past. Similarly, even though pretending to drive a racecar seems like play, it is actually an opportunity for kids to learn. They practice activities like getting into a car, fastening their seatbelt and starting up the vehicle.
Most kids also talk a mile-a-minute when they are playing dress-up. For instance, if they are pretending they are a waiter in a restaurant, they are most likely listing off all of the items on the menu or talking about how the food is cooked. Kids pretending they are astronauts exploring a new planet have to use their creative powers to imagine where aliens might hide. Along with building their imagination, play like this also helps kids learn new words and master important language skills.
Dress-up is also great for helping kids build social skills. When they pretend together, kids have to cooperate, communicate, and take turns, all of which are valuable skills that will serve them well later in life. Imaginary games like these also help kids develop their creativity, which can lead to better problem-solving skills as they get older.
When a child is pretending to be a superhero on a mission to rescue their doll from a bad guy, they are forced to figure out how to solve the problem. This helps them learn to approach problems creatively, which can be beneficial as they grow into adults.
How To Get Kids To Play Dress-Up
If you want kids to dress up, you need to provide them with a lot of fun costumes and props. Once you have all of your supplies, you just need to start asking the right questions. Talk to your child about what they want to be when they get older. Ask questions that encourage them to think like someone else. For instance, you could ask how they would do something differently if they were Dora the Explorer. Have your child act out the scene. Putting on a costume yourself is a great way to encourage kids to get involved, as well.
Putting Together Dress-Up Clothing
If you have the resources, pick up some costumes from the store. Popular options for preschoolers usually include Disney Princesses or other famous characters from shows or movies that they watch. They can use costumes like these to bring scenes from their favorite movies to life. Don’t be afraid to add clothing that you already own to the dress-up box, as well. Shoes, dresses, neckties, scarves, and other clothing and accessories like an LED sword that blows bubbles are all great for encouraging kids to imagine themselves as someone else.