Most young children love dressing up and playing pretend. I have to admit, I love watching Engineer get into make-believe. My teaching partner and I often get the giggles watching our students in the home center, too!
Having a stash of pretend play clothes doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. One of the easiest things to do is have hats on hand for the kiddos. Hats can be put on, and taken off, easily which allows for more independence by the children. They don’t usually take up much room, and they’re less expensive than dress-up clothes. Plus, you can make a hat out of pretty much anything — paper, scraps of fabric, headbands, etc.
With a hat, a child can go from a police officer
to a buffalo
to a builder
to an elephant
to a baker
to a scarecrow.
The children have so much fun with pretend play, but there are many educational benefits to it as well. To begin with, young kids learn through play. That’s how they explore the world, so even when it looks like they’re “just playing” their brains are getting a workout. The language and vocabulary experiences are tremendous during play. They’re able to practice speaking with their friends, and they also act as examples for each other. The etiquette of conversation is also practiced during this time.
Kids can extend their knowledge of books and authors by acting out stories and dressing up like favorite characters.
They can also pretend to be different people — from community helpers to children in other countries to family members.
Wearing and making silly hats around the holidays lets the children learn more about their culture. Even if the hats are goofy, it’s another way for the kids to connect with what they’re learning. Plus, something about putting on a hat seems to make more children braver to try new things and act out what they’ve been taught.
What I’ve written here likely isn’t news to anyone. It doesn’t hurt to hear a reminder once in a while, though! Plus, isn’t it great to see so many cute, smiling faces?
This post was originally published on Fun-A-Day!