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Dress Up Play

Dressing up in costumes is an important type of play that every child needs to experience. Children seek it out naturally. Today your kids will play as pirates, tomorrow they are superheroes, the next day lords and ladies at a tea party.

The costumes they use reinforce the scenarios so that these rituals have profound positive effects on their development. Here are the benefits of playing with costumes.

Dress up play fosters the imagination —Children have vast, open imaginations. They aren’t constrained by what they know about the world; their minds can go anywhere. They’ll make connections you and I never would because they just don’t know any better.

Dress up play lets them explore themselves—By pretending to be other people, children experiment with new ideas and behaviors. They can decide what they like and what they don’t. They can explore the elements of a new identify and take back to themselves whatever they like.

Dress up play strengthens relationships—Playing with costumes is a strong lesson in empathy. By “living” the life of someone else, your child has to put themselves in that person’s shoes. How do they feel? What are their motivations? How would they behave in certain situations?

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