Activity: Playing Dress-Up

My children love to pray dress up. We don’t have any clothes specifically bought for this purpose (I may get them some in time insha’Allah). But they frequent and choose the same garments for the purpose of playing dress up. It all started when my elder son was a toddler. He asked to put on my husband’s t-shirt and loved it. He walked around in it smilingly, enthusiastically. And ever since, it has become something that he does. My younger son has now joined in the fun, too.

The garments they usually choose are coats and jackets: both mine and my husband’s. More frequently, my husband’s. Hubs’ t-shirts. Sometimes, little thobes my elder son has been gifted with. Sometimes, my headscarves that they want them tied around their body (so fastened loosely around their necks) so it’s almost like a free flowing blanket all around them. And with these grown up, spacious, flowing garments around them, smiles are plentiful. Words and observations regarding the garments are inflected with a tone of joy and enthusiasm, punctuated with giggles and laughter. They go to the mirrors to look at their transformation, walk around the house, almost floating, in their new state that the costume has enabled.

If my husband is working from home when our sons are playing dress-up, they’ll go to our room and show Daddy their outfit. I’m very often asked to join in and wear one of Daddy’s jackets. I often oblige with this game, even if for a short stretch. It is a nice way of doing something together for us, and feeling connected. Sometimes, I’m asked ‘Mummy, can you be Daddy?’, in which case I say things that hubster typically says in a much deeper voice 😃

But yeah, dress-up is definitely an activity which works well for us, that they initiate from time-to-time and sometimes, more frequently. It injects playfulness into our home and I (mostly) enjoy it when I partake. When my elder son was a toddler, he mostly played; I didn’t join in with him – I was simply his assistant in putting on, and then adjusting, his chosen garment. 

I might initiate it for something we are recently trying to establish every afternoon which is family play time for the three of us (we’ve only done family play time once and I’ll write about it when – insha’Allah – it is cemented as a habit/something we’ve done more frequently). Family play time is, essentially, a time I’ve devoted to playing with the boys every day (4.10pmish – after Maghrib time, as Maghrib stands at the moment, to around 4.30pm). So I’m thinking playing dress-up could fit nicely into that slot as something we do together from time-to-time, if they want to.

The materials we have used for dress up:

• Hats

• Sunglasses and other novelty glasses (we were gifted a sunshine pair of glasses at an airport from somebody once)

• T-shirts (usually hubby’s)

• My headscarves (which we use as open ended garments: to tie around as capes, as blankets almost, etc)

• Jackets and cardigans (mine and hubby’s)

• Thobes

So yeah, maybe playing dress-up will work for you and/or your children? It’s provided us with fun, novelty in our daily routine and voices talking about the costumes we are wearing, inflected with beautiful enthusiasm, alhamdulillah.

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©AtHomeWithThePrinces, December, 2016

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