Making Everyday Errands Special with Dress-up
When you’re a kid, a little imagination and play can make chores go by a lot faster.
Yes, you may have to do the dishes, but you can do them while pretending you’re a captive in a tower. Clean that kitchen or the sorcerer will turn you into a goat and feed you to his tigers!
Or maybe you have to straighten your room, but you can do so as Cinderella with a mischief of helpful rodent friends.
According to Sarah Baldwin, “Dress-up engages your child’s brain and memory. Dramatic play requires kids to remember what they’ve seen or heard. They remember how their mother behaves when performing household chores when they are imitating her. Or they recall the details of a fairy tale they’ve heard before acting it out.”
So you’re multitasking. You’re getting through chores, spending time with your children, encouraging their imaginations, and helping their little brains. Be an enthusiastic pretender with them, and they’ll enjoy playing on their own, too, when tackling their chores on their own.
But don’t leave your imaginations at home. Take dress-up on the road when your running errands with your child, and you’ll find all sorts of benefits.
They’ll Find Like-minded Children
Find the Anna to her Elsa when you’re at the grocery store. When children see a peer dressed up as their fave Disney princess or other recognizable characters, they get excited. They’ll say hi, talk to each other, and basically build their social skills.
Maybe they’ll only have that new friend for a few minutes, or maybe you’ll feel really good about the new child and their accompanying parent and set up a playdate. Either way, your child will feel more confident about their place in the world and their ability to form friendships.
You’ll Turn Errands Into Special Memories
You may sometimes wish your little chatterbox would be quiet for a minute, but you refrain from telling them so because you know you’ll miss these moments when they’re gone. These times when you were their whole world and they wanted to tell you everything. And I mean everything.
You also want your children to feel comfortable talking to you about anything at any age, so getting them into the habit now is a good thing.
Similarly, sometimes you’ll want to just run into the store, get your groceries, and not have it be a big production.
But check out this advice and experience from Keri Wilmot from Genius at Play. “Take the kids on errands, whether it’s a ride in the car, or a trip to the park or supermarket when they are in costume! Facebook has happily reminded me of a photo I once posted of my own son at the age of four, wearing his favorite blue Wild Kratts dress-up vest. While seated in a supermarket shopping cart, … we used our imagination to search for animals with creature powers and picked up groceries at the same time.
Especially for those errands the kids do not always enjoy, pairing up something fun and new can make the mundane a lot more exciting and enjoyable!”
You won’t regret making errand time a special time for you and your child. Your little one will find the whole world more magical, even the small everyday experiences in life we take for granted. Also, you’ll have added some serious bonding time to your parent/child account.
Make sure to get some self-care in, too. Occasionally leave your child with someone you trust so you can enjoy a moment of quiet at a coffee shop or meet up with a friend for adult conversation. That way, you’ll be ready for your next adventure with the kids and not be running on empty.
Remember, those errands with kids in tow don’t have to be dreary. They can be memory-making.