Pretend Play Ideas for the Holidays
There’s something magical about pretending to be someone else. Adults often wish to have different lives, but they just indulge in the fantasy. Children on the other hand, like to act things out to make it as real as possible. Their imagination is often clearly visible to outsiders as they battle imaginary foes and transform your home into a castle or fort. In fact, your child may not even respond to their name when they’re “in character”.
Why Children Love Playing Dress-Up
Playing make-believe games is a fundamental part of growing up. While the kids engage in this activity for fun, they actually learn quite a bit about themselves and the world. For example, putting on outfits and maneuvering items onto the “stage” promotes physical dexterity. To dive into this new world of their making, they also have to expand their vocabulary. It’s surprising how many big words little kids can remember if they choose to. For example, a child who is enamored with medieval knights may know more about them than most adults.
Since dress-up games make great group activities, kids also learn social skills through them. They have to organize which child dresses up as which character, and what happens in the story. When there’s disagreements, as there are bound to be, children have to work together to come up with a satisfactory solution.
How to Encourage Dress-Up Play during the Holidays
The holidays are a great time to get together with family. However, these family events can often feel long-winded to children, especially if they’re happening at someone else’s home. Therefore, it’s best to take along something to occupy the little ones. But even if you forgot to bring toys, your kids can still play dress-up, because all they need is their imagination and a few good story ideas.
- Re-enact the original Christmas story
- Play Santa Claus
- Play the Grinch
- Pretend to be Rudolph
- Enact a scene from Frosty
- Build an igloo and pretend to be a polar bear
- Transform into your favorite animal or character
Your kids probably don’t even need any suggestions on pretend-games. When they’re little, they also tend to be fixated on playing one specific game. While that may be annoying for grown-ups, it’s completely normal and age-appropriate for a 3 or 5-year-old to want to be an astronaut or a ninja and talk about nothing else.
Make Authentic Food
If you want to encourage your child to live out their imagination but you’re tired of the same games, you could help them make some authentic food. You could probably ask your child what an astronaut or a knight eats, and they would know. Maybe you can even read a book together and come up with some cool recipe ideas. You don’t have to make the food just like they did, either. Another option would be to make the food look like what they were eating by substituting local ingredients and adding some food coloring here and there.
Get Some Accessories
Every knight must have a sword, and every construction worker should have a drill and a saw. While you obviously don’t need to hand your preschooler any real tools, it’s a good idea to find some realistic accessories for their imaginary game. You’ll be surprised how much use they get out of the accessory. In fact, just having a sword can make your child feel like a real knight even they don’t have the rest of the costume. The same is true for wands and other things.
Dress-Up Clothes from Liontouch
At Hotaling Imports, we know that children don’t always make do with sheets and blankets for dress-up. They’d prefer to look like a real princess or pirate by wearing the appropriate outfit. That’s why we carry the high-quality brand Liontouch. This manufacturer from Denmark has a large selection of medieval, renaissance, and fantasy clothes.
Be a Princess
Almost every little girl dreams of being a princess or a fairy. Their dream can come true, at least in their fantasy world of dress-up. When you’re wearing a frilly dress and a beautiful crown, even your parents will recognize that you were born for greater things than bedtime and chores.
Be a Viking or a Pirate
Pirates are fearsome and revered by little boys because of it. Who wouldn’t want to embark on adventures and sail the seven seas when they’re little? Vikings and knights are also known for their bravery in battle and general courage. It’s hard not to feel brave when you’re holding a sword.