It starts when your toddler first puts on a pair of your shoes and stumbles around, giggling and excited to be dressing like mom or dad. Then it progresses to outfits and accessories, and before you know it they’ve got quite a dress-up collection. Dressing up is a great imaginative activity that you can encourage with a well-stocked dress-up box or wardrobe. We started with just a special dresser drawer and now it has overflowed into a large toy box. You can also find some really cool full dress-up wardrobe sets on Amazon.
What makes a great dress-up box?
1) Costumes – Of course every great costume box needs costumes! Start with a few costumes and then encourage your child to accessorize or mix and match to create their own outfit. Costumes can be anything from fantasy characters to uniforms for real jobs. Children’s consignment shops are great places to find nearly new costumes at really cheap prices. I’ve picked up several there, still in their original packaging, for under $10.
2) Clothing – You can also mix in fun items of clothing that will spark their imagination to make up their own outfits. Goodwill is a good place to find dress-up pieces. Look for items that aren’t every day wear. Stuff with a little extra sparkle or maybe something that looks like it could be a character.
3) Accessories – Once they put together and outfit, they will want to accessorize with something fun. Tiaras, gloves, hats, feather boas, wigs, even wings! You can find great deals on accessories online at a place like DressUpWholesale.com, where almost everything is under $2! You can really stock a dress-up box with tons of great stuff without spending much.
4) Props – Every character needs a prop, whether it’s a pirate sword or a magic wand. Head to your local dollar store where you can find kid-friendly props to complete everything from a doctor outfit to a ninja costume.
5) Shoes or Socks – As soon as my son put on his first Spider-Man costume, he turned to me and said “I need Spider-Man shoes.” He’s only three but he wanted to complete his look down to his toes. Goodwill is a good place to find cheap dress-up shoes, but you can also throw in some old ones from your own closet. And fun socks can complete a look as well! Of course, sometimes they just want to throw on an outfit and run.
It doesn’t matter if you have a boy or a girl, dressing up is universal for children. And when they are little, they don’t care if it is “boy stuff” or “girl stuff” they are just going to go for whatever catches their eye. One day my son will insist on being Spider-Man and the next he’s running around in a sparkly tutu. Either way, I’m just happy to see him having fun and using his imagination.
*Thanks to DressUpWholesale.com for sending us a bunch of fun items to play with from their store. Check them out if you need to stock your own Dress-up Box! They carry a great range of dress-up gear like feather boas, tutus, wings and hair accessories.
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