My kids have a play room. And in that playroom there are around 30 dressing up costumes, all accumulated over the years- from birthday gifts, to dressing up days at school. The kids love choosing new costumes, either online or in shops. Each costume has a story behind it too, and on an average day the dressing up box is opened, rummaged through and explored up to three or four times. Little hands eager to pull on new clothes, adopt a new voice and fall into an imaginary world. I love it. A good day in our house tends to start with the phrase,

“Let’s play dressing up!”

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When asked what their favourite costume is, neither The School Boy nor The Preschooler can tell me. Some days Superman and Snow White, others Iron Man and Ariel the mermaid. Most days The Schoolboy loves to be a dinosuar and The Preschooler will happily clop around in dressing up shoes and tutu. And we’ve spent many a day making costumes too! Although I have to say that personally speaking, buying them is a lot easier, online even more so! They make a great gift for the little ones as they are always pleased with a new dressing up outfit to parade around in. Scary, funny historic, we have them all. We love the funny costumes at Funidella in particular, and The School Boy currently has his eye on The Incredible Hulk too…

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what costume they decide to wear on any given day. Sometimes it will be three or four (and yes, sometimes at the same time. What of it?) and sometimes they’ll stay  in the same one all day. The point is what happens when they put on that costume.

They become someone else. And they invent a whole new world.

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As a child I was obsessed with a book called Flossie Teacake’s Fur Coat. It was a tale of a girl, who became a sophisticated teenager when she dressed up in a glamorous fur coat. I loved it. The idea that when she draped the coat over her body, her physical appearance changed to the point where she became someone else. The coat took her on adventures, to places where my childrens’ costumes now take them.

The land of make believe.

Anything is possible. Dreams come true. Super powers are realised.

Who wouldn’t want to indulge in that?

Let’s play dressing up! Otherwise translated as, let’s expand our world a little. Let’s play mums and dads. Let’s play hospitals. Let’s open our imaginations up to the possibility of anything being possible.

As a teacher the role play corner was always the most densely populated area of my classroom, and I loved watching the kids create their own little worlds. As a parent, watching the kids play dressing up is even better. For The Preschooler, being immersed in another world helps her to express herself in a way she can’t during other games. She uses different words, gains in confidence with her speech and is happy to adopt different voices and personas.

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Let’s play dressing up. The happiest, most inventive phrase in the world.

Do your little ones like to dress up?

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