Why Playing Dress Up is the Best Developmental Tool for Your Child

Watch your child slip on a costume and cue the looks of sheer glee. From princesses to pirates, doctors to firefighters, dressing up piques their curiosity and deepens their imagination. But it also encourages kids to build their vocabulary, problem solve, improve social skills and deepen empathy. Here’s why adding a dress-up trunk to your playroom does so much more than transport your child to far-off places!

Vocabulary Expansion

A big benefit of dress-up play is it builds vocabulary and helps tots perfect the art of conversation. When your child chooses what their character would say, it gives them a chance to experiment with words and phrases that they might have heard in stories but had yet to use in their day to day life. So, with a princess-themed trunk like this one, you might start hearing lots of enchanted words enter daily conversations.

Problem-Solving Fun

When kids dress up for a job they want—say a doctor or scientist as in this set—there’s more than just pretending going on. There’s problem solving and empathy too. Children make decisions while engaging in dress-up play, from who will be the patient to how will the patient be treated? It also brings on a greater understanding of how people with those jobs help out and make others’ lives better, such as a firefighter putting out a fire.

By giving your child a wide range of dress-up clothes to take on and off, you’re helping them develop the fine motor skills that come with buttoning a shirt, zipping up pants or pulling on a dress. And when they start twirling like a ballerina or jumping around like a superhero, their large motor skills are reinforced too.