Pram Jam with Beth – Playing dress up

This week’s FWP (first world problem!): our dress ups box is overflowing!

I struggle to part with worn out favourites, I justify duplicates with playovers and cousins visiting, I grab bargains from the op-shops, yet grumble about the mess when things don’t fit at pack away time… something isn’t connecting here 😉

So why do I like to encourage dress up play? Well, it’s one of those quintessential childhood experiences, I myself have memories of being a Doctor, stomping around in high heels, playing cowboys, and even zapping library books (yes, really! We spent a lot of time at our local library when I was little!).

When dress ups becomes part of everyday living, there can be some sticky washing situations!

Picture credit: used under creative commons license.

Playing dress ups helps kids to find their place in society, imagine a future for themselves and build a context around their daily interactions. Dress ups encourages empathy, taking turns and creativity.

The other great thing about dress ups, is that the game goes on indefinitely! How many times have we seen kids come to Pram Jam or Storytime dressed in their favourite costumes, which have become an essential extension of their everyday personality!? I love it, the kids just have so much fun and the other children love to see the costumes as well. And at home, the role play just continues, drawing us in and giving different situations for our daily routine to adapt to.

Dress ups is such a quintessential part of childhood that the selection of books and dvds on the topic is.. well, it’s just enormous!

I’ll list a nice range here, from board books, to junior kindy and some great DVDs.

Dressing up books at Cockburn Libraries

Dress up / artwork by Cecile Dyer ; written by Kyla Ryman.

Toddlers will love discovering what these goofy cats want to wear in this adorable board book! The playful cats try on all sorts of things, from something as common as a striped shirt to something as silly as a bandit mask.

Cover image for : Dress up / artwork by Cecile Dyer ; written by Kyla Ryman.
Cover Image for Flip flap Spot / Eric Hill.

Flip flap Spot / Eric Hill.

Who does Spot want to be today? A cowboy? A spaceman? A pirate? A tiger? Or maybe a mismatch of them all . . . Join Spot as he dresses up in lots of different fancy-dress outfits, from a goal-scoring wizard to a magical cowboy! This flip-flap book allows for a crazy array of silly and mismatched outfits, and is perfect for little hands to play with.This fantastically fun little book flips and flaps to create 100 different Spot outfits! It is super cool, I remember having lots of fun with this type of book as a child.

What’s up, fox? : dressing up / Cocoretto. 

Can you guess what each animal is up to, using the clues in the pictures? Lift the flap to see if you’re right!

Cover Image for What's up, fox? : dressing up / Cocoretto.
Cover Image for Why can't I be a dinosaur? / Kylie Westaway ; illustrated by Tom Jellett.

Why can’t I be a dinosaur? / Kylie Westaway ; illustrated by Tom Jellett.

Today is Aunt Daisy’s wedding and Nellie knows exactly what she wants to wear — and it’s not her flower-girl dress. An hilarious read-aloud story by the creative team behind the CBCA Notable Book, Whale in the Bath. This one is a perfect story about what can happen when dress ups permeate the day to day structure of our lives!

The dressup box / Patrick Guest ; Nathaniel Eckstrom.

The Frolleys have to move from their beloved house at 32 Sunshine Avenue to a place with dripping taps, stinky carpets and ants. But they have brought something with them that can turn any house into a home. The DressUp Box is a story about childhood, belonging and the power of imagination.

Cover Image for The dress-up box / Patrick Guest ; Nathaniel Eckstro.
Cover Image for Play School Dress Ups DVD

Play school. Dress ups DVD.

Every day we create something with many a child’s favourite toy – boxes and explore the endless possibilities and variety which the imagination can bring to it. We pretend to be dancers and doctors, pirate princesses and clown princes. The toys go into outer space, try out some new hairdos at a wig shop, and sail across the seas. Through the windows children dress up, visit a sculpture garden, climb a lighthouse, get a check up at the doctors and splash in puddles. A whole week’s worth of  Play School entertainment for your littlest ones, an eternal favourite at our house!

A dressing up song

Do you put your hat on your foot?

Do you put your hat on your foot, on your foot?

Your hat on your foot?  Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh

Do you put your hat on your elbow,

Your hat on your elbow?  Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh

Do you put your hat on your knee ,

Your hat on your knee? Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh

You put your hat on – you put your hat on – you put your hat on your head, head, head!

You put your hat on .. you put your hat .. you put your hat on your head head heady head!

Dress ups is something that some kids naturally gravitate to, and others don’t. It’s worth encouraging your little ones to dress up and play silly by getting involved yourself! Look at it this way, you couldn’t look as ridiculous as John from Playschool! Have fun playing with your little ones, let me know what your favourite dressing up games are in the comments below 🙂