Buyer’s Guide – Kids Costumes & Pretend Play

Kids love to imitate! When young children dress up as characters or adults and act out roles, they learn about the world around them as well as develop their own identities. Simple kids costumes and unstructured free play are usually enough to create a fun environment for children of all ages – as long as they can pretend and have an audience – they’re happy! Halloween costumes are the most popular – however, children can have fun all year if they have the right costumes on hand.

There are many costumes that can be easily put together or there are quite a few that are much more elaborate.  If you haven’t already, set up a chest or trunk with all of your child’s dress up clothes to keep them stored neatly and easily accessible for play time.  Here are some of your best bets to keep your kids busy and amused all year long:

  • Careers: Children love to act out what they see grown-ups doing every day. Some of the most popular costumes that can help them imitate their every-day heroes are doctors, chefs, police officers, teachers, fire fighters, and train conductors.
  • Princess/Fairies: Everyone would like to be royalty! Many princess items such as plastic crowns, jewelry, makeup and magic wands are available online and in most toy/department stores. Feather boas and tutus can make the costume complete.
  • Pirates: Ahoy mates! The fun in being a pirate is the great accessories – from the eye patch to the parrot – the imagination can run wild.
  • Animals: Ideas range from ladybugs and bees to dinosaurs and frogs.
  • Cardboard Box Costumes: Kids love arts and crafts – they enjoy making their own costumes – and this allows them to have something to be proud of! Cardboard boxes can be made into many neat costumes, such as robots, race cars, a Jack in the Box or a television. Ideas abound – and will give your child the opportunity to be creative. Keep a good size box in the garage – and when they’re ready to create, you’ll have a project on hand!
  • Witches, Wizards, Ghosts and Goblins: Forever a favorite for young boys and girls – especially on Halloween. A list of costumes would never be complete without these timeless classics.
  • Monsters: Whether imitating one from a movie – or just putting on a frightening face, monster costumes allow for much imagination. Children can choose any type of clothes – even from the rag pile to put together a monster outfit. You can use eye shadow, lipstick, markers, or face paint to draw on monster faces. Let them tell you how they want to look – What color should their face be? Do they want to be funny or scary? Horns and/or fangs? Spots or stripes?
  • Favorite Characters: Along with the many timeless costumes listed above, children love to imitate their beloved super heroes, villains, and movie or cartoon characters.  There are a wide range of costumes available from Spiderman and Darth Vader to Hannah Montana and Barbie – you will always be able to find a costume to satisfy your child’s most recent interest.

Playing dress-up is one of the most creative things your children can do. Not only do they get to change outfits and stay occupied for extended periods of time, they can absorb a lot of knowledge about the world around them while having fun!