Whole industries feed on parent’s desires to provide the latest and greatest playthings for their children. Most of them are utterly unnecessary. Every baby I know is perfectly content with a set of measuring spoons and Mama by their side. As they get bigger, less is still better.
Dress-up clothes, however, are a worthwhile investment. A simple assortment of clothes provides hours of fun play as a knight or princess, soldier or nurse. Creativity leads the way and transforms teddy bears into sick patients or the stuffed alligator to a fearsome foe.
Not only are they fun, but they provide a perfect teaching opportunity. What kindergartener wouldn’t love to dress up like Robin Hood while studying England’s history or get to play Martha Washington? A nurse outfit creates a perfect opportunity to teach the names of the major bones and muscles and how they interact, all in the name of play.
Dress-up clothes don’t need to be an expensive investment. Rosalind’s nurse outfit cost a grand total of 25 cents (including the thread!) Garage sales, thrift stores and Grandma’s attic are good places to look for fun, inexpensive garb. Washington’s buttons certainly don’t have to be 1776 replicas! Sherlock Holmes, an old time doctor and knight all use the same black cape. A white apron works for a nurse, chef or Betty Ross. The point is creative fun, not perfect authenticity. A little time and effort are all it takes to provide hours of instructive, creative enjoyment.
And who knows, you may even get roped into playing too.