Dress-Up and Play: Benefits for Child Development
Updated: Sep 7
“Dress-up is not a mere child play. Experts believe it promotes creative thinking and develops communication skills in kids.”
All of us have grown up playing dress-up at some point of time in our childhood. What was your favourite pretend play? Was it a doctor? A vet? A scientist? A pilot? A parent? Playing dress-up as a kid is kind of a ritual that every generation passes through. It’s a common pastime among kids as it keeps them engaged in their own fantasy world. But do you know this simple play-up is actually laying the foundation to developing functional character attributes and relationship skills in your young ones? Keep reading on to learn more about the advantages of dress-up play and how it impacts child’s development during their formative years.
The world’s leading education design expert and the founder of Aronian Education Design, Karen Aronian believes that dress-up is an ideal way for young kids to foster their development skills. And she is not the only expert who thinks the dress-up play comes with numerous benefits. It not only opens them up to interact with the world but also keeps stress under check along with building positive relationships.
Dressing up is a type of imaginative play. Imaginative play, in general, is known to boost analytical, problem-solving skills and self-regulating prowess. Kids imagine events and situations and enact scenes that enable them to test out new ideas and deal with different behaviours in a comfortable environment.
While on the outside, the dress-up play seems just wearing a costume, in reality, it’s so much more than just that. When kids wear a costume, they role-play to get into the character imitating its tricks and traits. In this process, they also create their own unique mannerism and themes, which eventually pave the way for constructive imagination, experiment with different emotions while polishing language skills to communicate. Dress-up play, especially with other kids instil the understanding of teamwork, sharing and cooperating with peers. It also hones their conversational skills as when you ask them questions about their character and scenes, they explain it with their heart.
Listed down below are the top 10 developmental benefits of dress-up play for children:
1. Brain Development
Dress-up play often engages your child’s brain and memory. To play a particular character, they need to remember how it acted, what it said or how it responded to others. They put on their mother’s sandals and imitate their walk, meaning they pay keen attention to how their moms wear heels or how do they walk.
2. Decision-Making Skills
What character would they love to play? Who’d play the role of teachers and who’ll dress up as students? Dress-up play involves activities where kids have to make a call and take unequivocal decisions. This helps them in attributing character-specific roles to their friends and pick one for themselves thus, strengthening their problem-solving skills.
3. Instils Empathy
When a kid dresses up as a doctor, they look up to nursing their patients with great care. When they pretend to be a homemaker, they make tea for everyone around them. When they play the part of an astronaut, they believe in flying into space for better inventions. This dramatic play imbues the feeling of empathy within kids and they start to understand the importance of being compassionate to others.
4. Builds Their Vocab
Most kids love to imitate their character’s voices and dialogues. It opens up their chances of using words and phrases that they might have heard in their favourite movie, stories or cartoons, but would not use otherwise. They start using newer words in conversation thus, expanding their vocabulary.
5. Motor Skill Development
When kids get ready for a dress-up play, they often button a shirt, tie a knot for their superhero cape or zip pants up. This helps in promoting their motor skills. Further, when they jump like a superhero, run like an athlete or act funny like a joker, they further engage their motor skills.
6. Identifying Genders
For a kid, a hero is a hero, irrespective of their gender. When they choose costumes and characters they want to play, they identify and acknowledge the behaviours of those characters. So, if your boy loves dressing up as his favourite fairy, he is exploring and learning more about the other gender. Similarly, when your daughter dresses up as a firefighter, she is opening up to the idea of understanding the existence of another gender.
7. Social Development
While playing dress-up with their friends, kids often engage in cooperating with each other and taking turns to play their favourite characters. They make their own rules and agree on following those as the play is in process. This teaches them to accommodate and to be social while learning the give-and-take concept.
8. Promotes Imagination
Kids have an endless imagination. They are oblivious to the harsh realities of the world. They build their own terrains and landscapes when they dress up as their favourite superheroes. It opens up their creative minds and they grow up to be ingenious individuals.
Their imagination knows no bounds and with Little You software you can help them give shape to their imagination. It aspires them to utilize 3 D technology in the most formative ways and keeps them engaged in meaningful exploration of their ingenuity.