What Are the Benefits of Playing Dress Up, and How Can You Make it More Fun for Your Kids?
Many people have fond memories of playing dress up. Whether you wanted to be a princess, an astronaut or your favorite superhero, dressing up can make for some pretty amazing memories. It also allows children to use their imagination and creativity to explore new roles and experiences. While dressing up is fun, it also has other benefits when it comes to children’s development. Imaginative play, problem-solving skills, increased creativity, family bonding and much more are all important benefits that we will discuss. We’ll also talk about how parents can help encourage imaginative play and how to make it even more fun. So, let’s dive right in.
Imaginative Play is Beneficial for Children
When someone talks about imaginative play, what comes to mind? Learning 4 Kids defines it as “Imaginative play is essentially when children are role playing and are acting out various experiences they may have had or something that is of some interest to them.” This type of play is essential for child development as it helps children to learn and develop skills that are crucial for their growth. It allows children to explore different scenarios, bring dreams to life and have fun at the same time. Additionally, it enhances social skills and empathy as kids learn to interact and play with others, take turns and share their ideas. It can help children find new hobbies, develop skills like writing stories and so much more. While imaginative play is meant to be fun, it’s also a wonderful tool for growth and development.
Why Playing Dress Up Is a Great Form of Imaginative Play
There are many different ways that children can engage in imaginative play. One of the most popular that has been around for decades is playing dress up. According to The Genius of Play, “Dress-up play allows anyone to dream, hope, and use their imagination. It gives kids permission to pretend to be someone or something different and extraordinary that reflects their personality and current interests and promotes more independence by allowing kids to practice self-care skills.” It’s a relatively easy way for children to use their imaginations, and it can be done with or without toys. Most children will work around what items are available. For example, a chair could be a horse, a pool noodle a lightsaber and their favorite blanket could be a cape. Children don’t need much to be imaginative because their imaginations are so powerful. However, a few props can really help them set the scene.
How to Make Playing Dress Up More Fun
As mentioned, setting the scene is very important when it comes to imaginative play and making dress up more fun. A big part of that is the costumes. Add in a few dress up items such as princess dresses or superhero costumes. If you haven’t had the chance to purchase costumes yet, you can also utilize old dance recital costumes, retired Halloween costumes and even older outfits that mom and dad don’t use anymore. Also consider adding accessories like necklaces, crowns, foam swords, a play kitchen, etc. Having a wide-variety of items can be helpful and encourage children to continue to be creative. You also might be surprised by what your children come up with while they’re playing dress up! For example, you might think your son will want to wear his favorite superhero costume, but then you’ll find him playing kitchen dressed as a chef creating a new kind of cake for his little sister’s upcoming birthday. By offering a wide-variety of costumes and accessories, you can help broaden your kids’ dress-up play.
It’s also important to encourage children’s imaginative play. Get excited when your kids tell you about how they’re slaying a dragon or pretending to be a doctor. Play along with them and encourage them to tell you about their stories. They’ll be proud and excited that you’re interested. In addition, it will build their confidence and help them become better storytellers. If they need a little more help with their imaginative dress-up play, you can always help them add scenery, props, music, dancing and other forms of self expression. Being able to dress to impress, use fun props and try new things, like dancing or singing while using their imaginations, really helps kids bring the stories and scenarios they are imagining to life.
Additional Benefits of Playing Dress up with Your Kids
There’s something so magical about playing dress up with your kids. Letting them dream up scenarios, write their own stories and just enjoy spending time with family and friends. Dressing up has so many benefits. It can help build strong parent-child bonds through imaginative play and teamwork. Dressing up can also foster a love of learning and can help with problem-solving. Healthline.com says, “... imaginative play boosts problem-solving and self-regulation skills. Kids create situations and scenes and act out social events. They're able to test out new ideas and behaviors in a comfortable environment. Dress-up encourages creative thinking and communication skills.”
In addition to all of these great benefits, dressing up can also provide an opportunity for physical activity and exercise. In a time when a lot of kids just want to watch tablets or play video games, imaginative play of any kind can help tremendously to get kids up and moving. Many kids end up enjoying dressing up much more than screen time too!
Playing dress up is hugely beneficial to both girls and boys. It can help them build many skills including imagination, confidence, social and speaking. It’s also just plain fun! It’s even more fun for children when parents encourage them and are supportive of the stories and imaginary worlds they are creating. Looking for a fun dress up boutique with many options? Be sure to visit our website for many great costumes that can be worn in games of dress up or even out and about. If your family is new to playing dress up, check out our post about how you can also build a dress up closet fairly easily.