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More Dress-Up Games for Kids

by Ann Hudson
  • Overview

    Children's games that stimulate the imagination are very important. Dress-up games encourage creativity in a way that comes naturally to kids. Costumes, masks, hats and props do not need to be elaborate or expensive to be effective. Mom and Dad's old clothes, thrift store finds or purchased costumes can all be used effectively in dress-up games.
  • Drama Games

    Drama games are a great way to incorporate dress-up play into an organized game. Mounting a play is fun and rewarding, but it's also a lot of work. A much quicker solution is to put together a box of costumes, hats and props and involve the children in some fast-paced improvisation activities. Have children come up one at a time and select up to three items from the box. Once they have selected items and put them on, have them turn to the other children and answer questions about the character they have just created. These questions might be about the character's imaginary name, interests, home or family. Limit the questions to around five per child. Another possibility is the voice game. For this game, gather the children in a circle and pass around two simple costume items in opposite directions. These items could be a hat and a feather boa or an over-sized pair of sunglasses and a fright wig, or whatever the leader chooses. The leader turns her back as these items are passed and blows a whistle. The two children who are holding these items when the whistle blows must put them on and carry on a conversation across the circle in a created voice that they think best fits the item. Continue this game until all children have had a turn.
  • Races

    Relay races involving costumes are a great source of lively enjoyment. Divide the kids into two teams and have them line up in two lines behind a designated starting place. Each team member must dash to the opposite end of the room and put on a costume over their clothes. They now run back to their teammates, take off the costume and hand it to the next person in line. That person must then put on the costume, run to the opposite side of the room, take off the costume and run back. Repeat this process until one team has won the race. A variation of this race is to have each child unpack the costume items from a large suitcase, put them all on, pose dramatically, repack the items and run, suitcase in hand, to the next person in line.
  • Memory Games

    That costume box can be a great resource for a memory game for either large groups of children or family play. Have one child leave the room and put on up to 10 items out of the costume box. These items may be put on over clothing if necessary. When the child reenters the room, tell players that they have 30 seconds to study the child's costume. Now have the child leave the room and take off three items. Bring the child back in and see if other players can identify which costume items were removed. A variation on this game would be to ask the costumed player to leave the room and then quiz the other players on the details of the costume such as the color of the tie, whether or not the player was wearing a necklace or what kind of clothing the player was originally wearing.

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