When I was a little girl, I loved dressing up. It was some all the kids on the block got into. Sometimes if it was just the girls we would play princesses or mermaids. With the boys superheros and fighting off the bad guys was the name of the game. So after having 2 boys it was not surprise to me that we amassed a collection of dress up costumes with everything from a chef to super heroes like Captain America. Did you know that dress up play actually helps your kids in many areas of development, and is a much needed version of play? Well it is!
Here are 5 reasons to encourage your child to dress up!
1. Escape Reality – Don’t we all just wish we could go away and be something else sometimes? I know I do, and sometimes I need to get out and forget for a few minutes all the responsibilities I have. Well kids are the same. They need time to pretend to be someone else, something else. It can help them discover who they might want to be growing up, or try out abilities that they didn’t think they could do on their own.
2. Think Creatively More Spontaneously – Some kids struggle coming up with creative writing, and creating their own stories. Dress up, and exploratory play, can help them create new story lines better by using the skills on a smaller scale. It helps them to start thinking at a higher level, and get use to coming up with new thoughts and ideas on the fly. As well, as being able to react better when someone else changes the story line, as other kids they are playing with are certain to do.
3. Expand Vocabulary – As kids play they will tell stories, and work collaboratively to create a bigger and better story. This also helps to expand their vocabulary by putting words together in a new way, and use words they might not use normally, especially if parents are are interacting with their character and playing along.
4. Stretches Their Imagination – Dress up can stretch their imaginations, I mean how can it not when they are dressing up like a super hero! Now they need to save the day! They can be a doctor, or a teacher, or a super hero. Next they might be a Super Hero Teacher, or a Super Hero that is also a Mom or Dad. You never can tell where their imagination will go if it keeps growing and expanding.
5. Express and Explore Feelings – Sometimes in life we have to tell our kids things they might not be quite ready for, or something will happen to them they aren’t quite able to deal with. Dress up play is a great way to let them express and explore those feelings. They might not be comfortable talking about death of a loved one on their own, but you can watch and see them playing and pretending and exploring those feelings. Standing on the sidelines, and watch to see if there is a way to join in, and help them expound on those feelings and work through them.
Looking for some fun dress up gear for your kids? Hasbro offers a great selection of Marvel super hero gear, here a a few of my favourites:
In the US:
What are your kids favourite characters to dress up as?