It’s no mystery that kids love to dress up in all kinds of costumes. Playing dress up is a fun and educational activity for children, one that encourages them to open up their minds, role play, and dream. Children learn best by imitating, and by dressing up and emulating adults they also learn more about the world around them.
Playing dress up games and throwing dress up parties can open up endless possibilities for your child to use their imagination. Here are 25 incredible online resources we’ve found to help you as a parent make the most of dress up play with your children. And for more great dress up ideas, be sure to check out our kid’s costumes and costume accessories.
Creating and Stocking Your Own Dress Up Box
- Little Girls Dress Up Trunks — Get started in making your child’s own personal dress up trunk. This article gives you tips on where to get the perfect trunk and which items to look for to fill it with.
- Dress Up Ideas — Universal Preschool has fantastic ideas on where to find items for your child’s very own dress up collection.
- Play Costume Ideas — An informative article about using a variety of items found around the house for your child to use for dress up play.
- Animal Play Cape — This article gives easy to follow instructions on how to make your child their very own animal play cape for only $1. This cape would be a wonderful addition to your child’s dress up box!
- Dress Up Box — A resource from Martha Stewart on how to create a well stocked dress up box for your child. We love the suggestion of occasionally swapping out some items with a friend to keep your child’s collection fresh.
- Filling Your Dress Up Trunk with Everyday Treasures — Great advice on finding and using everyday items for role-playing and dress up. As the article says, it doesn’t take more than a cape or a mask or an old prom dress to shift a child’s imagination into overdrive.
Making Your Own Costumes for Halloween and Beyond
- Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas — This FrugalDad.com article has wonderful and economic ideas for dressing up your little ones for Halloween or anytime using items found around the house. A must read in this uncertain economy!
- Silly Disguises and Costume Surprises — An article from the Nick Jr. website that features easy costumes and crafts to dress up your little one like their favorite Nick Jr. characters. Includes such characters as Diego, Dora, and Blue!
- Olivia’s Do-it-yourself Designer Dress — This article gives instructions on how to help your child turn in old t-shirt into their very own designer dress from Olivia, a popular Nick Jr. character.
- Do-It-Yourself Halloween Costumes for Kids — A wonderful resource with fantastic ideas for Halloween costumes you can make yourself. Not only can you save money, but it’s a fun project that kids love.
Party Time! Dress Up Party Ideas and Inspiration
- Fashion Fun Birthday Party — This website has ideas on throwing the perfect fashion fun birthday party. This includes ideas for invitations, decorations, games, crafts, and favors. We love the simple recipe for making your own body glitter!
- Party Themes — A fantastic article from kidspartyfun.com that lists a bunch of themes to help you get started in planning the perfect party for your child. A great resource to inspire you to plan a party your child will never forget.
- Dress Up Party — Easy ideas to help you throw a fun dress up party for your child. We love the suggestions on fun foods to serve that will make your little one feel oh-so-grown-up.
- Dress Up Birthday Party — This website features a list of party plans and ideas contributed by real life people who have thrown or are throwing a dress up party. Get some fantastic ideas here!
- Hollywood Birthday Party — Make your daughter feel like a star and throw her a Hollywood dress up party. This article will give you fabulous ideas for invitations, costumes, decorations, games and activities, food and drinks, cake, and goody bags.
- Themed Parties — All the information you need to throw an unforgettable themed dress up party. Themes include a tea party, dinosaur party, wizard party, and slumber party. Also gives tips and pointers to make your party a success.
- Princess Party — Little girls love acting like princesses. This is a helpful article on ways to throw a princess themed party for your preschool aged daughter. This kind of party is sure to be a hit with your little princess!
- “Dress Up As Your Hero” Party — This kind of party is fun for girls and boys alike. Throw your child a “dress up as your hero” party and encourage them to express their individuality. Read all about throwing this type of dress up party here.
- Birthday Party Ideas — This huge list from amazingmoms.com features over 150 birthday party ideas and themes. With a list this big you are sure to find ideas for the perfect party for your child.
Dress Up Games Your Child Will Love
- Martha Speaks Dress Up Game — An entertaining dress up game from PBS KIDS! to teach your 4-7 year old about reading, language, and creative expression.
- Dress Up Games for Kids — This website lists fun ideas for dress up games for kids and explains why they are educational.
- Musical Dress Up Game — Step by step instructions on how to play musical dress up with a group of children. Also includes tips and warnings to make your game a success.
The Benefits of Playing Dress Up
- Dress-Up Play for Preschoolers — This informative article explains why dress
up play is beneficial to your child’s development. Also lists fun items to keep in your dress up box.
- Boys and Boas — Here’s an informative article about preschool-aged boys who play dress up with girls clothing, told from the point of view of one parent who’s child went through this phase.
- Why Dressing Up is Good for Kids — This article discusses the benefits of playing dress up. We love the section on what to do if your child refuses to wear anything but his or her dress up clothes.