Our two kids, like most children, have very active imaginations. They love to pretend play. And to bring it up further, they also do dress-up play.
As a mom, I am not the kind of parent that would force my children to do something that I want. I would rather have them enjoy their childhood, providing them with toys, avenues for learning and growth, and of course, a lot of play.
Our kids love to pretend play. They can be whatever they wanna be whenever they are playing with each other. And sometimes, they wear different costumes to complete their pretend play. I support them in that. They have different hats, costumes, and even wigs to go with their outfits. I like to encourage their creativity.
But some parents might think that this is just an extra item for the budget that any family can do without. I also agree with that because buying costumes or having them made can be quite costly. And if you are saving for a family goal, this is definitely something that you can do without. In my case, I sometimes create new costumes from old stuff, improvise, or buy dirt-cheap items during bargains.
That is because in our family, we try to provide different learning opportunities for our children. We are homeschooling in Bacolod so we are trying to create an atmosphere of creative learning for our children. One of those ways is through dress-up play, whether at home or outside. So we try to make a budget for costumes for the kids.
Benefits of Dress Up Play for Kids
Fosters the kids’ imagination
Children’s minds are like sponges and they have such a vivid and vast imagination. They look at things differently. Their minds do not yet know the limits of what they can do so their over active minds can go anywhere. They can make connections between things that adults could not even imagine. And I have experienced that first hand with my kids.
If they play dress-up, they bring up their imagination a bit further because they are not just playing — they are inside their play scenario. They get to live in their imaginative stories even for just a short while. They are also given the chance to explore their characters or situations more thoroughly.
Lets kids explore themselves
Children are still learning about who they are. Dress-up play enables them to pretend to be other people and experiment with new ideas and behaviors. During these times, they can make decisions and set their preferences. They can also explore the elements of a new identify and go back to themselves whenever they are ready. Or they can make modifications on what they want to do or become.
Pretend playing with costumes gives children a strong lesson in empathy. Through this, they are able to live the life of someone else and imagine what it is like to be this person. In return, they are able to harness the ability to understand other people’s feelings. It will help them deal with and work with people in school and at their jobs.
Provides an enjoyable experience
Life is complex and can sometimes be difficult. But as adults. we try to lead formal lives. We also let our children try to live that out. But even if should have discipline around the home, it should also be balanced with play. We shouldn’t be all too serious all the time, especially when it comes to kids.
When you let kids wear costumes, you let them have fun. You also give them a rest from their regular routine. It also becomes more fun when they see their friends playing dress up, too. So it is a great idea to organize dress-up play dates with their friends.
Establishes gender identification
As children play with costumes, they get to experiment with different gender identities. They also try to emulate the behaviors of these characters. The boys are usually drawn toward roles like being fathers, builders, super heroes, or firemen. Meanwhile, the girls are usually inclined to play mothers, models, artists, teachers, cooks, or dancers.
Don’t be too alarmed about this because it is quite normal for children to experiment with different gender roles. It is part of learn about themselves. Our second daughter likes cars and even pretends to be a pirate.
Dress-up play encourages children to experiment with a new language. They imagine the things that their characters would say. I enjoy my children doing this because their voices as well as their accents also change. It’s wonderful listening to them create different situations as they maintain their characters.