Let’s face it, Playing dress up begins at age two and never ends. You may get wrinkles and have to pay bills but if someone hands you a cape? You sing the superman theme tune and have an urge to put your pants over your trousers.
Why should children dress up?
From Queen, to cat, to Ninja turtle, anyone, even us grown-ups will know how fun an activity dressing up is. You can, for a little while, be anyone you want and still be you.
Dressing up is about learning, using our imaginations, role playing. Your superhero child? They are a creative thinker, and they are laughing whilst they wrestle with a ‘baddie’ that is also a sofa cushion.
They can work through their feelings and explore the feelings of others, develop empathy.
Buttoning, zipping, dressing are all good for developing motor skills in littles!
At two and a half, my son was replaced by a dinosaur that walked around with a dolly with lipstick on.
Encourage it at home. We have a hamper full of colourful store brought costumes and great charity shop finds. Old dresses of mine, towels for capes, wooden spoons, old glasses, odd gloves, a pair of old swimming goggles and my favourite hats.
Put feather boas and skirts in boys dressing up boxes mummies and daddy’s, because who needs rigid gender roles?
My little man has cast off his heels and is now set in the superhero phase. It does sometime get overly rough and tumble, if batman and superman have a disagreement. To ensure your caped crusaders use their powers for good, not evil, set boundaries. Remind them that hero’s do not ninja chop their friends.
Some outfits are frayed and filthy.
I currently wear a number of the dresses I used to have in my dressing up box as a child, the jewellery too. Yes it’s much tighter now and demonstrated how I didn’t achieve much height in adulthood.
Creative play ideas: Shop keeper (use tins and a basket, small change for with older children). Be a doctor (give them plasters, teddies to care for, empty bottles for medicine!) Dress up as astronauts or aliens and go to outer space (get out the tin foil, turn off the lights, and make a spaceship from a box). Have a play dough picnic!
Dressing up is of course not just for Halloween, but it is one of our family’s favourite times to grab a new identity if only for a single, spooky night.
I love witches and magic and dress-up and make-believe. Helena Bonham Carter
Tickled Pink, a London based, online specialist of quality fancy dress costumes, have an amazing range of Halloween outfits for both adults and kids with superfast delivery. They set us a Halloween challenge of putting a personal spin on one of their amazing costumes.
Little man picked the Joker costume. Mummy did attempt to encourage something skeletal or vampire like but he is a little obsessed. Which is funny as he has never watched any films with the Joker in, perhaps boys have superhero facts built into their genetic code. Or the kid next door told him.
Leo was ecstatic to see the little waistcoat and purple coat. He ate his breakfast in it. Being the particular little bean he is he did get cross at me when I asked him to use his dressing up clothes to make a ‘super Joker.’ Ten minutes were spent with the Joker holding a pirate machete and holding a Pikachu but he would not let me photograph this.
Instead he agreed that he would get creative by doing his own lipstick rather than wearing the mask. The boy does love his berry red tones…
Are you ready?
Picking outfits can be a delight for parents, or a nightmare. Trying to panic sew a costume the night before….I stick to shop bought, and online as you don’t have the horror of everything being sold out and then having to inform your offspring they will be going as a bin bag trick or treating.
My favourite simple ideas in the past I have done include, a yellow Crayola crayon, anger from inside out-put him in a shirt and painted his face red! Blow up red balloons and go as a bunch of grapes.
What have you got planned for your littles this Halloween?
Don’t jump out on your elderly neighbours dressed as an axe murder. Don’t dress up as a clown and jump out at anyone. Everyone hates clowns. Don’t wipe your face paint on your mums beige jumper. Do have fun, take photos.
Disclaimer: We were kindly gifted an outfit, our opinions are honest and our own.