Does your child love to play dress-up? Pretend play is a great way to develop creativity, empathy and language skills. But all those props and clothes can get messy. Set up a pretend play area for your child to keep it all organized.
Find a spot to hand all of the dress-up clothes to keep them organized. Your child will also have an easier time finding just the right outfit when she wants to play. One option is to use a section of the closet. Hang a low bar at your child’s height so she can manage her hanging dress-up clothes. You can also use a freestanding clothing rack or a short coat rack to store a few hanging dress-up clothes. Or repurpose an old entertainment center. Put a tension rod in the area that used to hold a TV.
You’ll also end up with lots of little props: gloves, jewelry and other small items that add to the costumes. Tubs with lids work well to store these items. Use clear plastic tubs so your child can see inside when she’s looking for something. Store the tubs on a shelf near the hanging clothes. If you use the closet, place the tubs on the floor underneath the hanging items.
A mirror is a great piece to add to the pretend play area. Every child loves to admire herself in the outfit she created from the pretend clothes and props. Hang a full-length mirror in the dress-up area. Hang it so the bottom is along the floor so your child can see herself well. Or place the mirror on the inside of the closet door if you’re using the closet as the dress-up area.
You’ll want an open space for your child so she can get creative with her dramatic play. But you can also have other furniture and structures in the area to spark her imagination. Have a child-sized table that she can use as a kitchen table, restaurant table or store shelf. Use a big appliance box to make a house or store. These extras help your child come up with lots of imaginative situations.