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Dress up vs. costumes for kids


Dressing up is a favorite pastime of ours. Kids get very excited to put together zany outfits with random things they find around the house. Rarely do we refer to it as costumes: it’s just called dress up.

Comparing these two words make me realize that both words have similar meanings: putting on external accessories to appear like someone else. However, the word costume sounds like a deliberate attempt to be like some other specific person or thing whereas dress up seems more informal.

Our dress-up bin contains a variety of accessories: tiger ears, a pirate treasure box, beaded purse to carry to a tea party, butterfly wings, gloves, wands, goggles, hats, sunglasses, etc. They sometimes wear mixing bowls on their heads and march around holding spatulas. Get the wrapping ribbons out, the kids wrap scraps around their wrists to blast power beams and tie around their heads to become so-called ninjas.

To create more possibilities I get tempted to buy more dress-up items, but I consciously stop myself. My rationale is that dress up becomes more spontaneous if ordinary things can be creatively used to imagine ourselves different. But don’t hold me to it because I may just cave when I see dress-up props on sale at local craft stores!!


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Welcome to my blog! My name is Esther and I'm so happy you are here. I'm an avid nature photographer and a daydreaming thinker. My posts revolve around photos of nature's beauty, homeschooling adventures with my 2 kids, sporadic reflections on my child's heart condition, Bible reading reflections, gardening feats, and other mish mash things. Hopefully you'll leave encouraged, pensive, or smiling at the simple things of life. Thank you for stopping by and hope you'll find some interesting posts to read!

6 replies

  1. I love your thoughts on using everyday items. My daughters had a bin with dress-up clothes and items too, they loved it and it was so much fun to see what they would come up with on their own.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post.. totally agree that spontaneity is important for dress up. We love to make dens out of chairs, pegs and blankets. Then we can go anywhere, fly across the world if we want, the only limit is our imaginations.


    1. Thank you! We love to make tents too out of chairs, sheets ties to door handles, and tables, etc. I’ve become a so-called professional tent maker in our home. šŸ™‚ Imagination is the only limit, and it seems kids never seem to run low on it. Enjoy your adventures too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kids should dress up rather than give them a ipad thingy to play with, give them some old clothes, a cardboard box and some imagination. They can become pirates on board ship, chaps in a racing car, pilots of a plane. Then when they grow up they can blog instead, where we do the same but without the clothes or the box.


    1. It’s fun to see their imagination at work! Sometimes I play with puppets and they talk to it as if it were real.
      But they still love to watch those silly youtube videos of kids un-boxing toys. oy!!


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