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Dress-up & Pretend Play

Since we are on the heels of Halloween I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about dress-up. Most children enjoy and can benefit from pretending to be someone else for a while. We aren’t done with the Halloween costumes yet!

The brain is strengthened during play with dress-up clothes; it actually has tons of cognitive benefits. When dressing up as someone else, children are learning to take the perspective of other people. Preschoolers and younger children in particular are still learning that other people think differently than they do and dress-up is a perfect way to practice.

Dress-up and pretend play is also a way children learn to deal with our world. Doctor coats and bags help children get over their fear of the doctor’s office; firefighter jackets and helmets teach children to trust firefighters. Not only that, but creativity blossoms when children are given the opportunity to dress as someone else. A safari hat can take a child on a extravagant excursion in the jungle, or simple rain boots can turn an entire classroom into a giant mud puddle.

Quite often when people think of dress-up, they think of the expensive costumes and sets. However, that is not necessary! Dig in your closet and find clothes that you don’t wear anymore; your children will love them, and you’re recycling all at the same time. And don’t forget those Halloween costumes! 

Author: Emily Bloomquist, Early Childhood Education Student