Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dress Up Play: The Wardrobe

how to build a wardrobe for dress up play

Yesterday I wrote a little about the benefits of dress up play and why you should encourage it. Today I thought I'd share a few ideas on what to include in your child's creative wardrobe.

R received several costumes for Christmas, but store bought, pre-made costumes aren't needed. You can easily stock your dress up stash with items already found in your home. Or you can go shopping for some deals! There are heavily discounted costumes up for grabs after every Halloween. And thrift stores and yard sales are great places to shop for inexpensive pieces.

Here's a few ideas to get you started.

  • Mom or dad's old clothes. Is there something hiding in the back of your closet that you no longer wear? Bring it out and give it to your kids. They will surely cherish your discard and enjoy pretending to be you!
  • Old towel or pillowcase. One moment they can be a cape, the next they can be a fancy wrap.
  • Hats. Straw hat, baseball cap, winter hat, etc. Find these at thrift stores and dollar stores, or the back of your closet.
  • Mixing bowl. It's an easy and quick helmet of any kind.
  • Costume jewelery. It can dress up a princess or give a robber something to steal.
  • Sunglasses. How about the ones you misplaced and then found again after you had already bought their replacement. Does that ever happen to anyone else?
  • Reading glasses. Minus the lenses! You can find these for cheap at dollar stores.
  • Shoes. Your child will delight in walking around in your oversize shoes.
  • Purses and wallets. I bet you have one you can spare.
  • Credit cards. Give them the thin fake ones that come in those junk mail offers. 
  • Cardboard tubes. A toilet paper tube can turn into a spy glass. A paper towel tube is a fun megaphone. A wrapping paper tube is an amazing sword. Watch and see what your kids can come up with!
  • Bandannas and scarves.Cute accessories or face mask for that pesky robber.
  • Old watch. Perfect spy gear.
  • Old cellphone or calculator. They'll be taking important calls. 
  • Homemade crafts. Let your kids get creative and make their own badges and face masks. What else can they make themselves?

What are some of your kid's favorite dress up items?

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  1. Man! Never thought to just give them old clothes I don't wear anymore, I'm going through my closet ASAP!
    And the fake credit cards that come in the junk mail, also a brilliant idea! ;)

  2. This is an awesome list! I need to clean out/rework our dress-up bin, so I appreciate your suggestions!

    And your son has an amazing smile!!!

  3. we socored all the boy costumes for like 90% off halloween. We curently love super heros, doctors, vampires and for some reason the dinos never ever get old (oh and of course the princesses :) )

  4. Haha. I'm glad you liked those ideas, Aleacia! I bet it will be adorable when they start putting on your old clothes.

    Thank you MaryAnne. It's hard to get him smiling anymore. He makes funny faces so often. Which I would use.. if they weren't a big blur from all the crazy movements he does along with them. Lol.

    I LOVE when I can find costumes after halloween, Katie, but I dont think I've ever been lucky enough to get them 90 percent off. That's impressive!

  5. Great list. It is amazing what we can adapt that we already have. I love the photo, your son looks like he is having so much fun.

  6. My youngest is a costume fanatic. I need to organize them in some way!

  7. Thank you, Ali! I'm glad you liked it. I find that my son often plays more with the stuff we have just adapted. He can play with a broom for a good hours. It's amazing. Haha.

    I'm glad to know R is in good company, Phyllis. I love dress up! I bet yours gives you plenty of entertainment as well. But yes, the organizing can be time consuming.

  8. Great series, Joyce! I give my kids all our old stuff, like my oversized t-shirts, scarves, cell phones (with no battery in them), sunglasses, etc. And of course, all of the old Halloween costumes. We just put everything together in one place finally and it has definitely increased the dress up play time.

  9. Thank you, Chrissy! Raiding your own closet is definitely a great way to supply their dress up area. I'm glad your space is seeing an increase of play time!

  10. Who's In The Top 9? YOU GURRRRLLLLLL!!!!! Congrats! Great post! Great Series.....


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