My kids love playing dress-up and right now is the best time to shop for Halloween costumes to add to your collection of outfits! As a kid, I remember spending hours in my mom's classroom looking through her Oriental Trading catalog dreaming up ideas. So when Oriental Trading Company invited me to partner with them on a Halloween post, I was beyond delighted!
Here are my top five reasons for playing dress-up with your kids.
(1) It supports interactive communication through play. Having the ability to listen, react, and contribute to conversations is such an important life skill. When children act out scenes with their costumes, they practice doing just that.
(2) It increases awareness and vocabulary. As children explore costumes, they will naturally inquire about what each element is used for, what it means, and how it came to be. Use this opportunity to teach your children about different vocations either based on what you know or by looking into things further online.
(3) It utilizes recall and builds storytelling. As your child dives into a character, they will use an abundance of background to fill in what they know about a costume. When Parker put on the police hat, his face got very serious as he wrote me a ticket for photographing without a permit. When Matilda put on the construction hat, she held up her hand just like the construction crew on the road does when they want you to slow down and pass carefully. Having the ability to access prior knowledge is essential to learning.
(4) It encourages cooperative play, sharing, and taking turns. When kids get together, there will undoubtedly be an argument about who gets to play with what and when. Dress-up play opens up a conversation and allows children to discover how to communicate, share, and play together.
(5) It provides a sense of freedom. Kids are constantly being told what to do and how to do it. But, when they are in character, they have the freedom to be whoever they want. This promotes independence, confidence, and self discovery!