Dress-up games for kids engage the imagination of kids of all ages. Pretend play is an important part of child development, and dressing up as another person or a favorite story character is a fun way for kids to act out their own unique stories. Dressing up in grandma's hat, choosing outfits for a cyber doll online, or cutting out paper dolls are all good ways to entertain kids.
About Dress-Up Games for Kids
Today's dress-up games are not limited to rummaging through Grandma's keepsake boxes in the attic or dressing up dolls or stuffed animals. It is a whole world of computer games and role playing that kids from preschool through the teen years all enjoy. Both traditional dress-up games and computer versions offer valuable creative outlets for kids to pretend.
Types of Dress-Up Games
Kids can choose to express their creativity in many ways with dress-up games. Types of games include:
- Traditional: Traditional dress-up involves dressing up in clothing and costumes to pretend to be another person, animal or character. For example, a little girl may put on a princess dress, wear a tiara and Mom's pearls to have a tea party with her dolls and stuffed animals.
- Role playing games: For role playing, kids wear a costume to become a character for a specific game. There are role playing games for young children and teens, as well as adult versions. Examples of role playing games that may include some form of costume are Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons and Dragons.
- Dressing toys: Dressing toys helps kids visualize the stories they make up with their favorite playthings. Putting outfits on dolls and stuffed animals is fun, not to mention that it strengthens the bond the child has with the toy.
- Playing paper dolls: Outfitting paper dolls in different clothes is fun pretend play where characters appear to walk straight out of books.
- Online kids dress-up games: These are very popular on the Internet. Most of these games are for preschool and elementary school age children and feature popular cartoon characters and cute animals. There are also some fashion designer type dress-up games for older children and teens.
Benefits of Dress-Up Games
Children can learn valuable school and life skills playing these games. The process of selecting various outfits and accessories and placing them on toys, cyber characters or paper dolls can teach them to identify colors and shapes, as well as develop their motor skills. Putting on a costume can also help a child learn to dress herself and deal with buttons, zippers and tying shoe laces. Outfitting a toy for a tea party can also help a child become more aware of how different social situations call for dressier clothes, and provide a chance to practice how to set a table and learn about manners and etiquette.
Kids' Dress-Up Games Ideas
These games can also be great family activities. Here are some ideas for parents and kids to enjoy together:
- Pirate Treasure Hunt: Mom, Dad and the kids (or whoever lives in the house) can all dress up like pirates for a special scavenger hunt. Create clues that all have a pirate theme and hide small treasures so that everyone gets some type of treat. The treasure hunt can be pulled together quickly without much planning using candy or Dollar Store items for the prizes, and creating clues that relate to the family members. Dressing as pirates helps make the theme come alive and is more fun for the kids.
- Play-Doh Dress-Up Art: Sit down with your child and create little characters out of Play-Doh. Use different colors of the molding compound to personalize the characters with clothing and accessories like bow ties and necklaces. The versatile clay allows many creative possibilities for funny characters and outfits.
- Costume Contest: Have the entire family dress up in costumes and hold a costume contest. Create one or two winning categories and give a prize to the winners. Tailor the amount of winners and prizes depending on the size of the family and contest participants.
- Potato Friend: Remember Mr. Potato Head? Make a version from scratch to personalize. Take a clean potato and create eyes, a nose, a mouth and limbs with objects commonly found around the house. For example, use two loose buttons for the eyes, a tack for the nose, yarn shaped into a smile for the mouth and four twigs for the limbs. Make clothes with cloth or even construction paper. Create accessories like pipe cleaner glasses or a construction paper hat. Kids will have fun helping figure out what to use for the outfits and putting them together.
Resources for Online Kids' Dress-Up Games
The Internet has numerous dress-up games for kids. Here are some recommended sites:
- PBS Kids: PBS Kids has a section of dress-up games featuring favorite TV show characters from Sesame Street, Martha Speaks, Caillou, Arthur and the Berenstain Bears.
- Dress Up Girl: The site is for older girls and teens who like dress-up games. Activities include Barbie Dress Up, Wedding Dress Up, Doll Maker and Couple Dress Up.
- Dress Up Games: The website features dress-up games for older girls and young women who like fashion and fashion design.
Dress-up games for kids can be fun family activities and also provide many benefits for children. This classic activity has evolved over the years from rummaging through Mom's closet to playing computer games. However, it still remains a classic game that will be around for years to come.