As we exit the Halloween season, there has been a bombardment of dress up influence on our kiddos. “What are you going to be for Halloween?” is a question every child must be asked dozens of times as Trick-or-treating approaches.
How fun is it to get to be someone or someTHING else for a day? It’s a blast and a half for everyone, no matter what their age! But how can dress up last beyond the month of October? What are the benefits of dressing up? Can playing pretend reach beyond obtaining candy at the neighbors’?
Imagination and Dramatic Play is one of the eight educational play categories we focus on at grOH!
Every time your kiddo puts on a costume or plays with a prop they’re telling a story! Creating characters, imagining a scene, testing dialogue, crafting a problem, fighting an antagonist, seeking resolution...all foundational aspects of many skills:
Language development and storytelling skills as the child describes what it is like to be a superhero, doctor, or animal
Empathy as a child realizes that other beings have differing experiences to their own
Social skills for interaction with their peers; teamwork, taking turns, and sharing
Plus, a bonus of practical skills for daily life! Dress up encourages the gross and fine motor skills used to physically put clothes on their bodies. Play offers a safe time and space for this development rather than in the rush of getting a jacket on as you’re all heading out the door.
One of the best parts of imaginative play, such as dress up, is that a child can participate solo or with a whole host of friends and family. When engaging with your child about this play, try using literary terms! This builds their vocabulary and elevates their language when they speak about it.
“Oh! Your character was kind when…”
“What was the setting- where did the story take place?”
“When that surprise happened in the story, it was a huge plot twist!”
Ready to build your Dress Up Wardrobe?
First, peruse your own closet and storage! And be creative! Anything you, friends or family don’t use anymore can be repurposed! Maybe grandma’s old tablecloth is just the ticket for the Princess Ball happening in your very own playroom!
Second, we are at a wonderful time currently with post-halloween sales! Stock up on discounted costume pieces to put into your toy rotation.
Third, if you’re still in the market for just the right thing, there are many places that sell wonderful dress up attire! Check out the links below for some of our faves!
PRO-TIP: Maintain PIECES, not whole looks. Accessories will be their friend and let their imagination run wild!
Does your family love dressing up? Let us know how it’s going at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @grohplayrooms! We cannot wait to hear about your dress up play!