As a parent, it is a joy to watch a blossoming childhood, full of magic, creativity and laughter. A vital part of this enchanting universe is imaginative play — the art of role-playing and acting out various experiences. And for that you need some dress up box essentials!
While role-play may appear to be a simple activity, it’s actually a fantastic way for kids to express something that may have happened to them (a trip to the shops, perhaps) or to explore something of interest (maybe they would love to sail the seven seas?). Furthermore, it also allows kids to experiment with how to behave while also practising their social skills.
Luckily, this activity is super cheap and easy to put together. All children need is imagination, a mirror and some innovative props. We’ve put together a quick list of dress up box essentials, so your little one has everything they need to go on their next adventure.
The base of any great role-play dress-up is the outfit itself, so you’re going to need some fabric in different colours, shapes and sizes. This fabric doesn’t have to be specific (you’ll be catering for dozens of characters!), so keep it versatile enough for children to get creative with.
For example, an old white table cloth can become sails on a boat, a chef outfit, or even a wedding dress. A lightweight picnic blanket you no longer use would make a great tent or magic carpet. Think about any scarves or shawls you could do without — much better to use as a wizard’s cloak.
Next on the list of dress up box essentials are accessories! No outfit is complete without the details (and a smile!), which means you’re going to have to add some variety because who knows what’ll they’ll need? Think sunglasses, hats, gloves, bags, purses — none of it has to match, simply throw it in and let them work it out.
What child doesn’t love shiny jewellery? Sparkling gems bring out the Royal role-play in anyone, no matter what the age, so if your child wants to dress up as a prince or princess, then a pearl necklace and colourful rings should definitely be on your list of dress up box essentials.
Of course, cheap and cheerful is absolutely okay, but some food for thought — children’s jewellery can be treasured forever, so if you know they’ll completely adore a beautiful charm bracelet or gem-encrusted hair clip, then why not step it up a notch and treat them? It’ll be kept safe with their other dress-up items, and they’ll know it can be pulled out for special occasions.
Now they look the part, the kids need to act the part too. If you’re a wizard, how will you cast a spell without a wand? As a chef, you need a wooden spoon to make your cake, and as a princess, you need a crown (a cardboard one will do) — you get the idea. Often, props will be added gradually, once you know what your child enjoys acting out, and you may even find imaginary play with props breaks out once they’re in the full dress-up spirit.
5. A Treasure Chest
Last but not least, all of these fabulous accessories need to be kept together somewhere safe, so it’s a good idea to use a strong box you can keep adding more items to overtime. We suggest looking in charity shops, your wardrobe, or even their grandparents — you never know what treasures you’ll find!
Dress-up is an activity that can be played time and time again, whatever the weather — so have a good go at making a dress-up box for the kids with this list of dress up box essentials and watch on as they make sense of the world through play.
*This is a collaborative post