Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Fun: Dress-Up Shenanigans

kids batman dress up
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Costume Express.

During summer vacation I am always looking for great ways to get my
kids out from behind the screens (ie TV, tablet, computer, video games) and using
their minds and creating great memories with each other.
The kids both love to read and color, but they can only do that for so many
hours of the day before they are looking for something else to do.
One great thing I've found helps them use their imagination is playing dress up!

kids batman costume

We love costumes and when the kids have a new costume, they are more apt
to play dress up with those costumes instead of trying to hang out in front of the TV all day.
I feel like since technology is so readily available these days - seriously, I carry a computer
around with me all day in my phone - that is is so easy to just let the kids
play with those things because they are clean - ie no messes are produced by vegging 
in front of a TV. However, it is in making messes either through playing dress up or 
exploring different art mediums or baking with mom, that kids make real life
experiences, stretch their imaginations and live life!

little girls mulan costume

So we headed to Costume Express to pick out some new dress up costumes
for the kids to use in their dramatic play. JT had been after me to make him a 
Batman costume ever since Isabella inherited a Batgirl costume a few weeks ago.
And Isabella is totally obsessed with Mulan and her beautiful dress she wears to meet
the Matchmaker, so she picked out a pretty pink kimono style dress.
We totally lucked out because Costume Express has free shipping on orders over $75
and a 15% off your order coupon with email sign up.

kids batman costume

The kids were thrilled when their fantastic new dress up costumes arrived.
They immediately put them on and did a fashion show for me
and showed me all the cool things the costumes included.
They talked my ear for a full 20 minutes about how awesome they were,
and ran back and forth to the bathroom mirror to check out their awesomeness.

little girls mulan costume

After the excitement dust settled, the kids headed to their bedroom
to fully submerge themselves into their dramatic play world.
I feel like undirected play is becoming a thing of the past 
in this new world of helicopter moms that want to handle and solve 
all the issues that arise when kids play together.
So I love when my kids want to play in their bedroom and work out
how to merge Batman and princess Mulan into a viable experience for both, 
I am all for it and try to stay out of the way as much as possible.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you leave your 10 month old 
unattended to play alone in another room or else you're a helicopter mom.
I'm saying that when children are at the age when it is developmentally appropriate
for them to experiment with dramatic play with their peers that you should let them
Remember, I said "undirected" not "unsupervised" :)

costume express

I know that if my kids have over-exposure to a toy or a costume that it's appeal becomes extinct.
So, one way I combat that is with the rotating dress up costume wardrobe.
Isabella's grandparents made this amazing dress up wardrobe for her birthday this year.
I keep things fresh and new by rotating the costumes that appear on the wardrobe.
I have a plain old plastic bin that I keep the costumes that aren't in rotation in
and then every 2-3 weeks I change out the costumes that hang on the wardrobe.
Then it seems like there are "new" dress up costume options fairly regularly.
They use the same concept at Pretend City and I adapted it to work at home.

dress up wardrobe

I know my kids are happier when they haven't spent the entire day in front of 
the screens in our house, and I love how dress up encourages them
to unplug to play and make memories with one another.
So, if you're feeling like your kids are disenchanted with their toys or costumes,
then try out the rotation system so that it's always fresh and exciting at your house.
You'll be surprised how much more often you find them stealing away
to explore and play cooperatively with each other.
And then you'll get looks like this when they catch you spying on them :)

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trina said...

What a cute dress up closet! I agree that sometimes kids just need space to explore and be imaginative. I love that you encouraged them to play dress up and just have fun!

Bernadett said...


Sarah said...

Those little princess aprons look darling! Would you mind sharing where you bought those? Thanks!

Summer @ Banana Hammocks & Tutus said...

That wardrobe is absolutely FANTASTIC! I'm jealous! Can they make me one!? I love the costumes that your kiddos picked out! The Japanese costume is beautiful and your son makes a super handsome batman! Does he do the raspy voice too? He looks like he'd be good at that!


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