Ever thought what it would be like if you could be someone else, even for just a little while? When kids put on costumes, they get to be whoever they want, from superheroes to princesses and even monsters. And, even though it may seem like a simple child’s game to you, it’s actually a valuable learning experience.
Why Playing Dress-up is Smart
When your child puts on doctors scrubs, he’s actually imagining what it would be like for him to be a doctor and heal people (even if, for now, said people are his plush animals). Similarly, putting on a tool belt is your child mimicking you going to work. This is how children show you what they have learned about the outside world and how they expand their horizons.
Even more, dressing up in children’s costumes expands your kiddo’s imagination. When they are a superhero, they need to create a “supporting” story to go along with that superhero costume. They will reenact things seen on TV or read in books, but add their own spin to them and expand the story. If playing with friends, this will also boost their social skills.
As the kids’ costume goes on, your child’s mind begins to race. This is an essential milestone in the development of their cognitive functions. When your kiddo pushes the Batmobile in your driveway or tries to climb the stairs Spiderman-style, he also develops certain motor skills. He begins using muscle groups that otherwise would not develop and he may even discover his passion or ability for a certain sport — all thanks to a kids’ costume.
How to Encourage your Kids’ Dress-up Games
First off, play along. You may not have a princess costume or a superhero costume at hand, but you can still be part of their story, helping reach their full potential. Don’t try to come up with a plot or story line of your own, just contribute to his – the goal is not for you to take over, although we totally understand how tempting it may be.
Secondly, make sure you get all the children’s costumes your kiddo loves! Don’t just limit yourself to the classical doctors, firemen, princesses and superheroes costumes; try to think outside the box and get some less known characters to see how your child can integrate them into his own stories. A great idea would be to buy some accessories: a magician’s wand, a policeman hat or some princess shoes – just small bits that can sparkle your kid’s imagination.