Recovering Play – Being me or being someone else?

Being me or being someone else?

Dressing Up and Role Play

What is it?

Many young children have a fascination for other people’s shoes, hats etc. and enjoy trying them on. While doing this, children often take on the persona they think they have become.  This lets them express themselves in a different way. It can be simply putting on a hat, scarf, shawl or even a piece of fabric to wrap themself in. it doesn’t need to be princess dresses, or superhero outfits. They will often use any resources they can find to support their play in a creative way.

Why is it important?

Role play allows children to be creative, use their imagination, experiment, investigate and explore. All these help to develop language and social skills, while also letting children collaborate with their friends and most of all have fun.

How to bring it back

Review what you are providing in your setting at the moment to promote this. Is it an inviting area with lots of open ended and real resources which draws the children in and allows them to be creative? If not, find real resources, kitchen utensils, junk materials, boxes, shirts, scarves, hats and add them to your area. think about how you present these so children can see what is available and readily access them independently.

Sharing with home

Remind families about the fun children have through dressing up and role play and how they can do this at home without buying ‘dress up costumes’

This is one of a weekly series of posts highlighting different spaces, experiences and interactions that practitioners have told us are not all easy to get back after the pandemic restrictions.

It’s all about playing, talking, and having fun together – so we hope they are useful.  If there are any ideas you’d like us to highlight, just get in touch with your link EYESO.

For ideas about family engagement, you will find a “home” version of this post on