Dress up games are more than just child’s play. Choosing and wearing different types of clothes and participating in role play dictated by costume helps children learn about themselves and explore the world around them. Young children are oftentimes happy with a dress-up box of random items of clothing and accessories; as they grow older, a more sophisticated selection of clothing choices and structured fashion games are helpful.

Chocolate Chic: This game is a real ice-breaker at parties. Gather clothing items and accessories including an over-sized coat or shirt, a hat, a scarf and a pair of gloves. Get the children to sit on the floor in a circle. Place a large bar of candy or chocolate and a knife and fork on a plate in the center of the circle. Have the children take turns to roll two dice. When a child rolls a double, he must go to the center of the circle, put on the items of clothing and try to eat as much of the candy as possible using the knife and fork before the next double is thrown.

Catwalk Queen: Ask friends and neighbors for unwanted items of clothing. Thrift stores are an excellent source of unusual items and accessories such as hats, wigs, jewelry and sunglasses. Have the kids select an outfit for themselves or take turns styling each other; a long mirror is essential for this. Arrange chairs alongside a walkway for the audience to watch the show. Demonstrate how to walk and turn like a model, or watch the fashion channel for ideas. Play lively dance music to accompany the show. Let each child take a turn on the catwalk and have someone act as photographer to take several flash photographs of her as she poses.

Fashion Trivia Quiz: Devise a fashion trivia quiz with questions targeted at the age level of the kids; research and preparation are vital. Use photographs and pictures to ask questions about vintage styles of clothing. To make it easier, provide multiple choice answers. Divide the kids into teams of three or four players. Have someone act as quiz master. Ask teams to swap answer sheets to mark the quiz and have a prize for the winning team.

Newspaper Dresses: Print out images of newspaper dresses from the Internet for inspiration. Provide plenty of newspaper, magazines and duct tape. Divide the kids into teams of three. One child is the model, the other two are designers. Have them design a dress and construct it on the model making it as elaborate and creative as possible. Allow about an hour for this activity. Photograph and judge the final creations.

Can I don`t eat, can I don`t sleep. But I can`t play dress up games.

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