Observe what the child does with dress up clothing and props to match. Hats, purses, shoes, princess gowns and tiaras are all fun. Police and firefighter’s hats and coats, pretend hoses, cars and trucks, etc. all stimulate the child’s imagination. Props are important to have with the clothing.
Show the child the costumes and ask if he wants to try one on. Once the child is dressed, the adult can assume a play partner role. “Firefighter, firefighter! My house is on fire! Save me! Bring a hose!” Some children may be unfamiliar with dress-up and avoid dress-up. For these children engage in role play first, then offer the apparel to support the role.
The child will dress up and then want to perform actions associated with the costume.
Encourage early childhood educators and parents to put old shoes, purses, backpacks, men’s hats, etc. into the child’s play area. Provide hooks or a rack so they are visible and easily accessed. Help parents understand that costumes help the child assume a role and stimulate their thinking about actions that go with the role. Remind parents that reading books about these characters also inspires the child to act out parts of the story.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.