Monday, January 23, 2012

Dress Up Play: More Ways To Play

Ways to extend dress up play

If you've ever watched children play dress up, you know that they have plenty of ideas on how to play. Which is wonderful! But if their interest starts to dwindle, or you'd like to add a little more variety, here's a few suggestions.

1. Play with them! Put on a mask and jump into their story. Ask questions and take their lead. They'll have a ton of fun with you. You can also switch it up and lead the story for awhile. This will help reinforce taking turns, even in pretend play. 

2. Play a guessing game. Have your child dress up in various ways. Each time they come to you with a completed outfit, take a guess at what or who they are. My son delights in my silly wrong guesses. This is a great game for when you are busy, cooking dinner, etc, but your child is still needing some attention. This works best with a mix and match wardrobe.

3. Give them a subject. Name a person to dress up as. Set a timer (longer for younger children, shorter for older) and have them race to put together a costume that transforms them into their subject. This can be anything from a fireman.. to daddy on a lazy Saturday morning. 

4. Give them a mission. State the objective. Get creative with it. One example would be to hide some costume jewelry and inform them that the robbers hid their loot, but will be coming back to it soon. Their mission is to find the jewels before the robbers come back for them. Set a timer or complete a task of your own. They have to complete their task before time is up. 

5. Take dress up play outside! When I think of dress up play, I typically imagine playing indoors. But this doesn't have to be the case! Those costumes will be fun in new ways by just changing the setting. Take it outdoors and see how their play evolves.

These five ideas are great for breathing new life into dress up play. They are easy suggestions that will bring lots of new fun when it comes to costumes.

Do you have any games to add to this list? Please let me know in the comments.

*If you've missed any of the series, you can find the previous posts here:

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  1. I love that you've helped parents see the importance of dress up play for boys! I think sometimes we forget that boys need to pretend too! Thanks for another great post.

  2. I love this series. Because my oldest wasn't into dress up play at all until recently (he's 6) I feel a little lost about it, but I want to help them enjoy this kind of play while they're sill young enough to enjoy it! Really good ideas, thank you.

  3. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading, Kim. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I'm glad you liked the series. I really didn't expect for this to be a boy/girl thing, but I'm glad that there's a possibility that I've helped people see that it's okay for their little boys to dress up and pretend too.

    And thank you, Alissa. I'm glad you are helping them to enjoy dress up play. It really is important, and they'll grow out of it soon enough, won't they? Oh time flies.

  4. Truly enjoyed this post! Thanks for a great desription of dramatic play! Kristi


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