How Playing Dress-Up Can Actually Help Your Child Learn

Oct 22, 2018

For any family with small children, the arrival of October likely means your family is gearing up for Halloween festivities.  While dressing up in costumes can be just plain fun, you might be surprised to learn that this is actually a great learning opportunity.

That’s right – having a trunk of 80’s prom dresses, props, and period costume pieces at home can not only provide hours of stimulation for your children, but dress-up has a place in the classroom, too.  With around 4.8 million young children in the U.S. attending an organized preschool or daycare center, the value of this developmental opportunity cannot be understated.

So when your child gets ready to go trick-or-treating or plays dress-up as part of their preschool or daycare activities, they’re actually stimulating their young minds in essential ways.

How Dress-Up Play Helps Toddlers and Preschool Children Develop

Educational preschool and daycare activities certainly have their benefits. But don’t forget that having fun and using one’s imagination is immensely important, too. When your child engages in dramatic play at their daycare center or a quality preschool program, they’re able to recall details from real life scenarios or from stories they’ve heard and perform them for themselves. This can help strengthen their memory, creativity, and their brains as a whole. Because they’re not restricted, they can let their imaginations run free and explore the world around them.

Playing dress-up can allow children to improve their vocabulary, too. They’ll get a chance to use words they’ve heard in stories or television shows and see how the character they play might express them. These preschool and daycare activities can actually improve communication as a whole. They can express their emotions and experiment with language in ways they might not normally get to.

They’ll also get a chance to explore and strengthen relationships, solve problems, and identify with others around them. When they engage in dress-up play, they’ll find themselves in unfamiliar territory (in a safe space, of course!). They can cooperate with other participants to decide which roles they’ll play and what situations they’ll encounter. Playing with different costumes can also teach empathy from an early age. Learning how to walk in someone else’s shoes — both literally and figuratively — can lead to a greater understanding of how others think and feel. This can make them a better student, a better friend, and a better human being as they grow.

Overall, playing dress-up involves so much more than having fun with friends. It grants young children the chance to learn about themselves, about each other, and about the world around them. Whether they engage in some type of costume play at home during a playdate or participate in dramatic play at daycare or preschool, you can feel secure in the knowledge that this is immensely valuable to their emotional and mental development.

How to Prioritize These Preschool and Daycare Activities

If you want to emphasize dramatic play and dress-up as part of their early education, it’s important to look for a facility that features a curriculum focused on interdisciplinary learning. Every facility has a different philosophy, so you’ll want to conduct thorough research into classes that can provide this particular creative outlet. Our preschool program, for example, highlights dramatic play opportunities for our young students as part of our curriculum. To learn more, please contact us today.

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