Most kids love playing dress-up. They don the outfits of their favorite characters and reenact scenes that mimic imaginary worlds or real life events. However, Jude has a hard time engaging in role-playing. He has a very strong sense of self and doesn’t pretend to be anyone other than himself. This may be related to his sensory and social developmental struggles. You wouldn’t think that playing dress-up was important for kids but there are many social and life skills that children develop through role playing.
1. Empathy – Children that role play pretend to be someone other than themselves and are thus being to understand empathy and what life might be like for someone else. They begin to see the world through others eyes.
2. Life Skills – Sometimes role play takes children into real life situations like becoming a school teacher, cook, doctor… This type of play helps children develop their fine and gross motor skills. It also allows them to practice everyday life tasks.
3. Physical Activity – Superhero play especially encourages children to run around, climb and explore their physical abilities.
4. Imagination – Dress-up play opens the door for children to discover the depths of their creative minds. They learn that through imagination almost anything is possible. They begin to think creatively by using everyday objects as special tools like a stick for a sword or bowl as a hat.
Who knew dress-up play could be so important to child development?
This is why we encourage Jude to participate in dress-up play. He obviously has his favorite characters (most of which are superheros). We just recently received this awesome Captain America costume from Costume Super Center. He thought it was fantastic and immediately wanted to put it on. This Patriotic Hero costume is great for dress-up play because it’s very well made. The size small fits great on my 5 year old son and is easy for him to take on and off by himself. (Also, Joe is super excited about the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie.)
We have become intentional about making time for role-playing and encourage Jude to use his imagination to pretend that he is Captain America. He still insists that we know he is Jude just pretending to be Iron Man but slowly he is starting to embrace the idea of role-playing. We are hoping this type of play with help him further develop some of the social skills he has a little trouble with.
What type of costumes do your kids like to wear for dress-up play?
Costume Super Center provided me with a free costume to review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by the company.