Whether it is Mom’s shoes lying by the front door, Daddy’s tie from the banister or a fuzzy blanket that reminds them of their favourite animal, kids will engage in some sort dressing up role play. It can be as simple as wearing Mommy’s shoes around the house to something as elaborate as wearing last years Halloween costume every day until Mommy has to pry the dirty, germ infested Monkey suit off their child. There isn’t a day that goes by that one of children is dressed up as a super hero, animal or princess, looking, acting and expecting others to treat them as such. Although it can become cumbersome at times (is it really ok for 10 year old to go to school dressed as Batman?), but in actual fact dress-up play is actually teaching your kids valuable skills for the future.
Why Dressing up is beneficial:
- Roll Reversal – Children view the world in one dimension: their dimension. Most times, they see problems and situations form their point of view only. Dress up play allows them to literally step into the shoes of someone else and see the world from their side. One of the most common roll reversal dress up plays that children engage in is with their parents. I have overheard many conversations where my child will reenact an argument that we have had only realize that when they become the ‘parent’ the view becomes different.
- Imagination – Dressing up, provides children an opportunity to use their imaginations to create pretend and make-believe scenarios. A yellow hooded towel, may appear as such to a parental figure, but to a child, it may be their duck costume. This allows them create new worlds, scenarios and items that don’t currently exist in their world. It is through this important skill that new inventions and products are created.
- Empathy – Empathy is one of the hardest things to teach children. Studies have shown that kids who engaged in it were more skilled in judging how other people might feel than those who didn’t. This helps them to learn to balance their desire for power and control with their need for relationships.
- Creativity – Dressing up provides children with the ability to express what they think, feel or admire in terms of outward characteristics. It provides them with a freedom to learn from their mistakes and problem solve for the future. This allows them to be more flexible, adapt to technological advances and deal with change.
Great Pretenders started in 1989 and is one of oldest dress up companies in North America who have won over 25 awards including Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s S.N.A.P. award with customers that include ranks of actor Robert Downey Jr. in the gift shop of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Great Pretenders knows that ‘“dress-up” is so much more than just putting on a costume’ and they strive every day to come up with creative, pretend-play toys that will spark your child’s imagination. They are well made dress-up costumes that range from super heroes to princesses and everything in between. Our favourite is the reversible capes! You have not one, but three costume ideas and creativity sparks in one product! The Great Pretenders are known as the innovative leader in the pretend-play market for children, but are proud to be the only company that still manufactures costumes in North America (in Sarnia) !
If you are looking for new ways to spark creative play in your children, I highly suggest checking out the Great Pretenders!