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Play / 30 Nov 2015 / by James

Fancy that: the benefits of dress-up play


Whether they choose to be a cowboy, a robot, a princess or a ladybird, dress-up play allows little ones to become anything they want to be for just a little while (and you too of course, if you join in)! We all know that the main advantage of dress-up play is fun, but it also has many other benefits which can help to aid your child’s development.

There is much for little ones to gain from working together with their friends to craft a story and bring it to life. Dressing up helps them to learn to play happily with others, building their confidence and encouraging them to find their voice as part of a group.   

Role play also feeds little imaginations, and inspires children to explore all sorts of ideas around culture, society and history. Importantly, it also teaches them to share, whether that’s costumes, props, or simply the limelight!

Why not get crafty and have fun creating costumes and props yourselves? It’s the perfect rainy day activity, and best of all, you don’t even need a big budget to create a dressing-up box of dreams – the only limit is your imagination…

Go to work!

Dressing up is a great way for children to explore what they want to be when they grow up, whether it’s dressing up for doctors and nurses, or performing as a pop star on a make-believe stage. You can make guitars for budding musicians out of old cereal boxes and string, and use ready-made supplies such as bandages and plasters to help little doctors to heal their poorly patients.

Princes and princesses

The perfect game to appeal to both little princesses and would-be swashbuckling heroes. Pull open an old cereal box, cut a strip of card with a zig-zag pattern down one side, wrap it in a circle and stick the ends together to create a crown. Craft a sword and shield fit for a king out of cardboard boxes – you could even have some fun creating a ‘family crest’!

Sci-fi adventure

Another great option to appeal to both boys and girls, a sci-fi adventure can take them to the moon and back! Find some old cardboard boxes, some tinfoil and some pens, and get to work creating your robot costumes and rocket ships. And a good old-fashioned metal colander still makes a great hat for an adventure into outer space.


Ancient Egypt

Indulge in a spot of role reversal and make your little one a mummy for the day. Use bandages, strips from an old sheet or bathroom tissue and have fun getting all wrapped up! Create colourful Egyptian masks with card or papier mache and add paint, gems and feathers.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Ahoy me hearties! Create your own treasure maps for a fun treasure hunt around the house. To the victor, the spoils – stash bags of chocolate coins or sweets in hidden corners for little pirates to discover. And white bed sheets aren’t just for sleeping on, you know: they also double up as sails for the Black Pearl…