Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We Play - Dressing Up

When I imagined my life with children, the things we'd do, the games we'd play, one of the images that burned mostly strongly in my mind was a picture of a big, chaotic box full of silks and feathers and old bridesmaids' dresses, angel wings and fairy dresses, parasols and fireman hats and bonnets and masks, overalls and bunny-rabbit suits and raincoats and long, winding scarves. Dressing up is such an integral part of my own memories of carefree childhood play, and it was a high priority for me to make sure that my children would have access to their own glorious mess of a dress-up box.

Well, true to my instincts, my three girls have always loved dressing up. This week in particular, there has been a lot of fun with dress-ups in my house; feather boas, ladybug suits and Dorothy the Dinosaur tails being employed to good effect. The toddler has been wearing her fairy dress over all outfits, every day. My two elder children even decided to come grocery shopping on the weekend in full dress-up regalia, one wearing a Dalmatian dog costume, the other dressed as a pink rabbit. They were entirely unselfconscious about the amused looks and smiles they attracted ;-) Sadly, there are no photos of this event, as neither big girl wanted the moment recorded for posterity. Ah well.

I took my second daughter, E, out to the movies the weekend before Easter for her one-on-one Mummy-and-daughter treat. She chose a viewing of Rio, preceded by video games at the Intencity game parlour next to the cinema. We had a wonderful time - 4 hours just together, which she revelled in and so did I. Being of a creative turn of mind (and still in the dressing-up groove), E came home and set to work to make a mask inspired by the movie. She ended up making something that I think was a recognisable representation of Jewel - and then wore it the rest of the day with great pride ;-)

I love dressing-up play for the kids because it is creative, self-driven, open-ended, and often feeds into complex narrative-style games. It releases the inner child in me, too, as I prance around the house draped in whatever the girls select for me!

This post is part of the weekly We Play meme at the wonderful Childhood 101. Check out the main page over there for lots of fantastic play ideas.

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