Above is a scene from last week's Creative Learning class. Didn't you just love love love playing dress up as a child? I know I did. Did anyone else have a pair of plastic Cinderella shoes or is that a '60's thing that you are all far too young to have experienced? The best dress up stuff was from my grandma's closet. Those were the good old days...
Turns out that playing dress up is pretty important in the life of a child. A child learns about himself and others in this type of play. When playing dress up with others, kids learn teamwork and negotiation. They take turns and agree on topics and rules.
They learn empathy, putting themselves in another person's shoes. It expands vocabulary. It stimulates their cognitive skills. To engage in dramatic play, a child must recall what mom looks like when she cooks supper, or think about how a lion roars or how a horse would gallop. This moves them toward abstract thinking as they create their own scenarios.
Kids have to work on decision making. Who's going to be the nurse and who is the patient? What is the role of the dragon in our world?
Best of all, this kind of dramatic play stimulates creativity in children. As they go from role playing the familiar to the less ordinary, kids start to think outside of the box. A large scarf becomes a set of wings, and ordinary becomes extraordinary. Allowing children to have the time to play in this way contributes to their ability to be think creatively, be innovative and inventive. And that is awesome.