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Role Play, Dressing Up and Make Believe

Natural Kids: Role Play, Dressing Up and Make Believe

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Role Play, Dressing Up and Make Believe

The dress-up box is a unique and always changing aspect to the waldorf child playroom. The playsilks, fairy skirts, magic wands and hooded cloaks; the elfin headbands and the knight costumes with swords, shields and bows and arrows all bring about such excitement and imagination. As one item is outgrown and passed down to the next child, new garments must be added for the older children. They want to be an elf this time, not a knight, so new garments must be sewn or obtained.
Five of my six children are old enough to dress-up. They start doing this at a very young age. They interact and play well together. Their love of costumes and role-playing inspired them to write their own play. My oldest daughter (the tall elf  with the bow and arrow in the last picture) is quite a talented writer. She has written a wonderful plot for their story and each child is a different character, with the oldest boy being two characters.

They have included cousins and friends, to play other parts. They have asked me to film their play. They will gladly act it out for anyone interested. They practice daily, dressing up and pretending to sword-fight or running through the hills of our property on a quest. This just goes to show how very creative role-play and dressing up can be. They also want to join in period piece role-play at the local civil war re-enactment. My middle girls love their prairie costumes and bonnets. They also use these outfits in their play for they are village maidens and the costumes work well for that also.

In role-play, the child(ren) can be whomever they choose, making their costumes as elaborate or simple as they prefer. They can be knights in the middle ages or fantasy elves and gnomes. My children often act like they are the characters from the Lord of the Rings novels, with the four year old being the dwarf, since he is indeed rather small.

These are magical times, filled with adventure in the great outdoors. Play silks and play stands become fairy homes or hidden rooms. Ponds become oceans, trees are sectioned off into the Elf Realm here and the Troll Forest there. 

Here are some lovely dress-up things you may consider for your children, from my lovely friends here at the NaturalKids Team:
These boots from FeltedwithFlourish may very well be elf boots! They would fit my ten year old daughter perfectly!

This beautiful rainbow silk cape from DesertDyeworks would make a lovely fairy cape!
This felt crown from mycakies would look beautiful on a little princess!

Every noble knight or dwarf needs one of these, from birchleafdesigns ...Three of my children have one (in the photos above) and they are truly beautiful! 

This beautiful hemp child's dress from consciousclothing would look lovely on a village maiden!

I can really see a little village baby wearing one of these from shelleycaskey ! My children love to dress up their baby sister and carry her around. She is the baby hobbit in our play! :0)

This felted wool cuff from  tizib would look really awesome on an elf-princess, don't you think? 

And lastly, this beautiful flower bouquet would look sweet held by a little flower girl at a fairy wedding! 

I made this (it's available in my shop) and have made similar bouquets for my daughters in the past. They are very well-loved and played with for all sorts of different make-believe scenarios.

Throw everything into a big wooden treasure chest toy box or a cedar chest and let their imaginations run wild! Capture what you can on film, for their play is sweet and their time with us fleeting.

~Here's to heroes and heroines, noble knights and fair princesses, dwarves and elves~


Blogger Sarasvati said...

awesome! we spent ENDLESS hours in our dressup box when i was a kid, my son loved it before he went teen on us, and my little 2 year old daughter has begun! what fun! thanks for the great article!

July 20, 2008 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Cary said...

very nicely done! my kids love to play dress up. i keep a basket in their room with some pegs hanging over it to hang things on. they love to use silks in many creative ways. my son still wears his knight costume i made last year for halloween, and uses the wooden sword and shield daily. it's usually the first place their friends head to, when they come over to play.

your children are darling! what a beautiful setting:)

July 20, 2008 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger about denise said...

Oh my little one's love dress-up. It's one of the best activities for all ages. Fun article!

July 20, 2008 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger germandolls said...

Great post! Wonderful pictures, writing, and suggestions! I like the fact that you add bigger garments for the older kids. I don't think we ever grow out of wanting to play dress-up!

July 21, 2008 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, as I tell my oldest son and daughter (who are almost 13 and 11) Alot of people get PAID to dress up and role play! :0) It's what they do for a living. Re-enactments are very popular. They have never felt "too old" to do it! :0)

July 21, 2008 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger TheSingingBird said...

Add my 14 year-year old to one who will never be too old for dress up, I think she plans to be one of those adults who gets paid to perform. This is a wonderful article Jenn!

July 21, 2008 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger WoolComesAlive said...

Thank you for sharing such an inspiring article Jenn! The magic is alive and flowing! Hooray!

July 22, 2008 at 7:07 PM  

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