Thursday: The Importance of the Arts—Imagination and Dress Up

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My mother decided to humiliate me this past weekend. She pulled out old home videos of the annual Christmas concert and show my siblings and I would put on.

There was a song of me singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and I was dressed up as Santa and I ripped off the beard to unveil a new beard, a Daddy beard! Ok, it was embarrassing but you know, I looked like I was having such a blast!

My mother had boxes full of dress up things for us but not once spent any money on them. They were always homemade costumes, dresses gone bad, hats and jewelry from our grandmothers and great aunts. Things we found at DI and yard sales, we had tons of fun.

We would use them to put on shows, musical shows, theatrical shows, and just to feel different, to pretend we were someone else for awhile.

Sadly enough, my daughters have about 3 store bought dress ups, so I need to get on this one!

There are many beneifts to pretend, dress up and encouraging children to use their imaginations:

-Children who make up plots and characters through role-play not only smile more, but are engaged in activities that build a stronger sense of self-confidence.

-Child development experts agree that dress-up play not only stimulates imagination, it can also be tracked to improved vocabulary and social skills.

-Role-play helps teach children about cooperation and taking turns, and as a result it encourages confidence and socialization.

-Research also tells us that children who are encouraged in imaginative play prove to be more creative, have a richer vocabulary, are less impulsive and aggressive and often become leaders with their playmates.

-Role-play is exactly the type of imaginative play that child development experts recognize as preparation for learning and preparation for the rest of their lives.

-Role-play is at the core of childhood, where there is no limit to where we can go or who we can become. Putting together a dress-up box for your child is a worthwhile activity. Fill it with clothes for both genders and jazz it up a bit with a few more glamorous items: a feather boa, some costume jewelry or a crown.

-You can encourage your children to play, make suggestions or even join in, but it won’t be long before they leave you in their pixie dust as their imaginations run wild, taking them on a magical journey of learning and fun.

(some of these tips are from

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