Every child loves to play dress up games. It is one kid’s game that actively engages children in a world of fantasy where creativity and imagination generates hours of fun. Putting together a box of clothing to be used to create the costumes can be as exciting as the game itself. Letting the kids help in the gathering of garments encourages and teaches them not only how to plan ahead for playing the game but can also be used as a fun fashion history lesson.
What will you need in your treasure box?
Old tie-dyed t-shirts, capes, skirts, and dresses with lots of colors and designs. Belts, ties, dangly scarves, gloves, and funny knee-hi socks will do. Eye patches, wigs, fake beards and mustaches, and maybe an old suit or two. Shoes much too big that are fun to wear, high heels, boots, furry slippers and maybe ballet shoes too.
Hats would be great! Big hats with colorful flowers and ribbons, paper crowns covered with crayoned jewels and rhinestones of candy. Pirates’ hats fashioned from folded construction paper with maybe a gold doubloon or two would be fun!
Fans, umbrellas, old eyeglasses (prescription lenses removed), feathered boas, fur coats, and nylons would work. Necklaces, pins, bracelets and earrings would add to the flair. Halloween costumes, uniforms, and old purses are just great.
Add some easy to remove makeup and nail polish too. Making sure it is “kid friendly” if you know what I mean!
Where can you find such wondrous things?
First search your closets for clothes you don’t wear anymore. Ask grandparents, family and friends to donate as well. Second hand stores, Goodwill and the Salvation Army always have great finds. Garage sales and flea markets are great places to search along with stores with deep discounts of course.
Fabric remnants can make wonderful capes and shawls. Dollar stores have much to offer as well.
While collecting the items make it a game by asking the following questions:
Who would wear this?
How would it be worn?
What year do you think this was fashionable?
What is this called?
Where would you wear this?
How would you wear this?
What is this material made of?
What could we use this for in our dress up game?
Keep adding to your box as you find wondrous things. Slip them in when the children aren’t aware, making the next dress up day a new adventure with something new to wear.
A must to remember!
Always remember to have a camera at hand so you can go back in time to find out how beautiful your fairy princess was at age seven and your frog prince at age nine. And when they grow up their magical wardrobe can be passed on or donated to the next generation of fashion play gamers.
Rita Wise, Creative Director for Stained Glass Cobbles and Optimum Art Glass, is a freelance writer and creative intuitive working primarily in the arts and crafts market. She specializes in creating new applications for existing products combining usefulness with artistic attitude.
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