Why Dressing Up is Good for Kids
Why Kids Love Dressing Up
Dressing up allows your child to become someone wonderful. Sure, you can tell her she’s great, but acting it out “allows a child to be someone very special,” says Dr. Caudle. “Good things happen to princesses. They are beautiful and end up living happily ever after. Who wouldn’t want to be a princess for a while?”
Also, children have difficulty at times separating reality from fantasy. A child might be able to tell you there are no such things as monsters, but he’s still afraid that there’s one lurking under the bed. “Through play they can put the monsters where they belong,” says Dr. Caudle. In other words, children can overcome their fears through acting them out.
It’s Not Just for Girls
Dr. Caudle notes that it is just as common for boys to dash into the dress-up bin as girls. In fact, research suggests that girls are more prone to have imaginary friends while boys are more likely to dress up as someone else, as noted in a 2005 study Imaginary Companions and Impersonated Characters: Sex Differences in Children’s Fantasy Play, by Dr. Marjorie Taylor, PhD, and Dr. Stephanie M. Carlson, PhD and published in the Merrill-Palmer Quarterly.
Coming Out of Costume
Melissa Loosli’s son had a fascination with firefighters that really took off when his aunt sent him a realistic-looking firefighter suit for his third birthday. “He loved that outfit. He would wear it everyday,” says Loosli, a Michigan mom of three, whose son went through several fire hats and at one point added goggles to the ensemble.
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