Fun and (nearly) free: Dress-up party

You worked hard on making or finding just the right Halloween costume for your child last year and now it’s too small. Your house is overflowing with Superhero costumes or you have a trunk full of tiaras and princess gowns.

Round up costumes and props.

Why not get a group of parents and children together for a dress-up party? Get out all those old costumes. Shop at a thrift store for fancy women’s dresses that can be long gowns for children. Gather props like hats, purses, neckties, shoes, briefcases, aprons, or eye patches… and let little children play and imagine together.

Add a mirror.

When we hosted a dress-up party, I removed a large mirror from a bedroom dresser and set it on the floor in the living room so children could see themselves. Access to a mirror is necessary, even if it’s just a cheap door mirror propped against a wall.

Make it a party!

Serve a simple snack that isn’t easily spilled and won’t stain the costumes. Keep the event low-key and don’t pressure any child to dress up if he doesn’t want to. Be sure to have your camera ready!

Swap costumes.

At the end of the party, you can keep the dress-up clothes you brought or let other families take home what you don’t want to save. Maybe you can do a Halloween costume swap and find a nearly new costume for your child without spending a bundle.

Importance of imaginative play in children.

Dress up play helps develop the imagination of children. Whether they pretend to be astronauts, doctors, princesses, or superheroes, when children explore new identities and experiment with new behaviors they are able to step into those roles with active imaginations. There is no limit to who they can be or what they can do.

Imaginative play also helps develop a child’s vocabulary, problem-solving skills, and empathy. There is a link to imaginative play in early childhood and creative thinking in adulthood. So play! Pretend! And help your children grow into creative adults!

The most beautiful world is always entered through imagination.

Helen Keller

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