There is a quick and easy way to entertain your preschooler for at least half an hour or so. Let him or her play dress up! Preschoolers tend to love this activity because it lets them “become” someone else for a while. Dress up is a great opportunity for using one’s imagination. Here are some frugal ideas for dress up play.
Previously worn Halloween costumes are great for playing dress up in. Your child can become a princess, a superhero, or both in the same day. Reuse the Halloween costumes that your older children wore by adding them to the dress up box. Dance costumes, from ballet, tap, or jazz, also make great dress up items. Younger siblings will be able to fit into those costumes. Ask if your friends or relatives have any old costumes that they would like to donate to your child.
Many preschoolers find hats to be completely irresistible! Part of the reason is that they have developed the motor skills that are required to put on and take off hats. The other reason is a hat is a quick and easy way to “become” someone new.
What kinds of hats do you have at home? Some great choices are baseball caps, paper crowns from Burger King, headbands with animal ears on them from Halloween, plastic tiaras, Birthday hats, Mickey Mouse ears, or bicycle helmets.
Winter gloves and boots that are way too big to fit your child may seem boring to you. Not so to your preschooler! He or she sees them as the perfect outfit to wear while pretending to build a snowman. Toss in a scarf, and your child can pretend to be a snowman. Kids that are really hooked on Disney’s “Frozen” might act out their favorite parts of the movie while wearing winter gear.
Aprons allow your child to pretend to be a chef, or a scientist, or whichever parent does the majority of the baking. Adult sized white, button down, shirts become doctor’s coats, nurses outfits, and the white coat that clerks behind makeup counters sometimes wear. Sunglasses turn your child into a rock star, famous actor or actress, or a member of a police or military unit.
A parent’s old dresses become princess gowns, outfits fit for a queen, or the latest fashion for your child the model to walk down the runway in. Bath towels, tucked into the back of shirts, become superhero capes. High heeled shoes are a very popular dress up item for both girls and boys! Graduation gowns turn your child into a professor or new graduate.
Image by R. Nial Bradshaw on Flickr.