Monday, December 5, 2011

Unique Christmas Gifts for Children: Let's Pretend {Role-Playing Attire}

If you missed last week's post, I announced a new series on unique gifts for children in anticipation of Christmas.  Most children have enough toys, but there are other options besides dancing Elmo, LeapFrog games, and Squinkies (whatever those are), gifts that encourage imaginative play, creativity, and learning. I began the discussion with Art Supplies, mentioning some particular gift ideas for the children in your life.  Check it out here.

Today I want to look at another Christmas gift idea that is often forgotten but one that many young children enjoy: Dress-up clothes. My little girls love to put on my old castoffs and march around the house like little divas.  We have a special basket in Kate's room designated solely for dress-up gear: from a cardboard police visor to old scarves, belts, purses, and jewelry, from past Halloween costumes to her Home Depot apron.  I haven't purchased one thing for the "Dress-Up Basket."  But this Christmas, since Kate is really getting into dressing up (and Cora does everything big sis does), I bought some super-cute dress-up gear on closeout at Halo Heaven (Look under "Closeouts" on left side of the screen).  {FYI: I do NOT receive compensation from Halo Heaven for promoting their products.}

On sale for $7 & in a variety of colors.

 Dress-up shoes for $1.75 a pair!

 Flower tutus for $2.50 each! 
Only $2.50 & in various colors!
 Lady bug wings only $1.80!

 Only $1 & in a variety of colors!

You can't beat those prices for cute dress-up clothes, but dress-up and role-playing are NOT just for girls! Little boys love to role-play too.  Do you have a son, nephew, or grandson who wears cowboy boots every day or won't leave the house without his super hero cape?  That little boy is dressing up, imagining himself to be Woody from Toy Story or Superman or Spiderman.

Why not encourage him in his creative play with a Dress-Up Cowboy Costume from This set comes with cowboy hat, vest, and chaps with fringe; rifle not included. 
Or for the child who loves all things construction, why not invest in a Melissa & Doug Construction Worker Costume?  It comes with everything seen below.

Many little boys love firemen.  Why not consider this Melissa & Doug Fire Chief Role Play Costume Set complete with everything a firefighter needs in an emergency?  {No, I do not receive compensation from Melissa & Doug for promoting their products.  I just love them!}

For little girls, this Pink 4-Piece Flower Fairy Princess Costume Set on Amazon is great.  It comes with tutu, wings, wand, and halo for only $16.95.  What little girl wouldn't feel beautiful twirling around in this dress-up set?

Have a girl who's into superheroes?  Consider this adorable Little Adventures Girl Superhero Cape.  It is a fully lined, washable velvet cape with velcro enclosure--easy for little ones to take on and off.  How fun is that!

For gender-neutral role-playing options, consider the Fisher Price Medical Kit, complete with doctor's bag, a working stethoscope, and a variety of medical tools for the budding physician.  (Lab coat not included.)

To take an even more economical route, why not consider making a "Dress-Up Basket" for the young child in your life?  Simply go through your closet, dressers, and jewelry box, and pick out items you no longer wear (things you'd likely to send to Goodwill at spring cleaning time anyway).  If your basket comes up a little short, peruse your local Goodwill for cheap role-playing attire or old Halloween costumes, or consider purchasing a costume set like those listed above. 

Consider the following:

Old shoes (high heels, loafers, tennis shoes, boots, house slippers, flip flops)
Old dresses, skirts, pants, shirts
Old coats, blazers, sweaters, vests
Belts, scarves, ties, gloves, hats, tobaggons, glasses, hairbows
Necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets
Robes, pajamas
Wigs, masks, Halloween costumes

Children are not picky and will love trying on "new-to-them" clothes and accessories.  The stories and play that will come out of their "Dress-Up Basket" will create vivid, lasting memories and encourage their creativity for years to come! 

Do your children enjoy dressing-up?  What are some dress-up or role-playing costumes they like to play in?  How do you encourage pretend play?

Blessings to you and yours!


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