WHY KIDS DRESSING UP HELPS THEIR LEARNING!
Dress ups is a simple way to bring out the endless imagination in children. It allows children to not only develop life skills, it also allows children a chance to dream, and live out those dreams through play.
Children learn some things about themselves, but more importantly, adults learn lots about the children by watching and listening closely as they engage in role play. Adults get an opportunity to peer into the window of their child's thinking and emotions.
Play is not a departure from learning – learning is at the heart of play. In dressing up they represents themselves as someone else. 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?
Dressing up gives children the opportunity to be creative. The props don't have to be overly detailed. A scarf can serve as a cape or an upside-down bowl can serve as a firefighter's helmet. The important criteria are that the child has the authority to determine what they will use and how it fits into their play.
Dress-up play encourages teamwork -children to learn to negotiate. “All
of us can be firefighters, if we have enough hats.” They take turns,cooperate, agree on topics and play by the rules.
One important part of dress-up play is that kids learn about skills for different careers and jobs. As adults, we sometimes mistakenly assume children know these things. Children develop fine motor skills by putting on dress-up clothes, whether buttoning a shirt, zipping up pants, or tying on a pirate’s bandana
They use their large motor skills when engaged in role-play, whether they are jumping like a superhero, running like a basketball player, or twirling like a ballerina.
Dress ups and dramatic play provides opportunities for growth in the areas of social and emotional development. Children can play out situations that are troubling them. Sometimes this can help them work out the world around them in a safe space. If participating in pretend play with other children there may be negotiations involved and turn taking. These are great skills to learn for life.
Dress up play improves communication and forces children to experiment with new language. They have to anticipate what, for example, a ballerina would say, or how a space explorer would speak. This gives them chance to practice with words and phrases they wouldn’t normally use.
Create a dress-up box for your child that includes everything from a doctor’s jacket to a police officer’s badge, and his imagination will kick into high gear.