Monday, June 22, 2015

Fostering Creative Play Through Dressing Up (A Giveaway!)

It's not every day that you get to sit down and have breakfast with a fireman and a member of the elite police protection S.W.A.T team... Unless, of course, you happen to live at our house in which case it is a totally normal, expected and oft-looked forward to dining experience.

Sitting across from them I am regaled with tales of brave rescues, top secret missions and the time they "did teamwork" to rescue the neighbor's cat from a tree. Their eyes grow wide as they feed off of each others' stories, while I wait with baited breath to hear how it all turns out in the end, ever hopeful for the happy ending. 

My kitchen has been a castle, the playroom a wide open abyss. I've been warned not to step into the fiery mote that snakes around the couch in the living room and don't tell anyone, but I'm pretty sure there's a Brontosaurus living in the downstairs powder room... 

It's one of my most favorite parts of being their mother- witnessing their imaginations grow and stretch as they do. They could play like this for hours (and often do!) as evidenced by the constant state of disarray that our dress-up corner lies in. 

And don't for one second try calling either of them by their real names or else you'll be met with the side-iest side eye of them all. In fact, I am continually amazed by their ability to maintain character, often changing their voices to suit the persona they've taken on. Break character? Not these brothers!

From astronauts to zookeepers, mommies to cowboys, clowns and construction workers, my boys have embraced many a role. On the surface you might think they're just having good old fashioned fun but the truth is, playing dress-up teaches them valuable lessons about the world and life around them.

There are countless studies linking role play in children to empathy, stating that those children who engage in role play were often more skilled in judging how others might feel than those who did not. 

Not only is it cute to watch but playing dress-up also fosters cognitive skills, decision making and is an exercise in both fine and gross motor skills. Not to mention that it's a nice break from the screen time that sneaks into our long summer days.

Plus, it forces me to think outside of the Serious Grown Up box that comes with old(er) age and having kids. Playing dress-up with my boys allows me to connect with them on an altogether different level. Some days we act out our favorite memories while other days we dream up new adventures. In a way, I'd like to think it helps keep me young while I also get to see different facets of each of my boys' personalities. 

Costume Express is a great destination for all of our dress-up needs. Not only can we shop there for all of my kids' favorite characters and heroes, but I love hopping on their ideas page for year-round tips on creating and fostering imaginative play.

Now, for the best part! One lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card to shop Costume Express. You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. We're excited to host this giveaway with 8 other awesome blogs! Be sure to visit their sites to see the fun ways their children dress up.  By visiting all of the blogs, you'll have a chance to see over 25 of the costumes currently available from Costume Express.

Good luck to all those who enter and don't forget to PLAY EVERY DAY!

This post is brought to you by Costume Express. 
I received product for free in exchange for this post.
All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

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  1. The Disney Cinderella Movie Deluxe Costume for Kids is beautiful!

  2. I love the Astronaut (White) Toddler / Child Costume!

  3. My daughter would love the Ariel costume. Thanks for the chance to win!

  4. My son would really enjoy the Deluxe Thomas The Tank Train & Engineer Toddler Costume.


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