Young Julian is fond of beads and Holden loves to dance around with scarves, but it took me a while to set up a dress-up bin. I pressured myself to unveil it all at once, but it was easier to do little by little with a free visor here and an old flip phone there adding silly hats and leaky goggles as they came into my possession. I inherited some really sweet costumes eventually, too.
Having a treasure trove of costume fun means that I can sneak a few extra minutes wasting time on Facebook quizzes.
Build your own kick-ass dress-up bin:
- Headgear: hats, helmets, and wigs
- Fairy wings
- One fancy dress
- A tutu or two
- All the glassesÂ and goggles
- So many beads
Older children (4-5 year olds) enjoy playing dress-up with clothes but toddlers normally haven’t developed enough dexterity to manage this game. What they can handle is beads, bracelets and hats. Keep a full-length mirror nearby so they can see themselves wearing the accessories.
The size of your collection will dictate whether you can house it in clear bins, a hanging closet rod (aka garment rack on wheels), or some shoe organizing pouches. We think having supplies visible encourages their frequent use.
If your tot is still very oral/nibbly it would be wise to choose beads that have an embedded string (like Mardi Gras bead) rather than strung beads which could become a choking hazard if the string breaks.
To be totally honest, I always loved the dress-up bin more than my toddlers and preschoolers did. But whenever they got out the goodies, I fell in love with the idea all over again. And don’t worry if you have one pair of wings too many: dress-up items are infinitely hand-me-down-able!