This week, my girls and I have been enjoying some half-term sunshine, and one of our favourite activities is always dressing up. They enjoy styling their headbands and sparkly hair clips (there are quite a few in our house as you can imagine) with a pick'n'mix of costumes.
Their dressing up box is a large chest, full of Disney dresses, dinosaur outfits, fairy wings and feathery things. Usually it is emptied in its entirety over their bedroom floor, and they delight in pulling out various pieces, and putting together unlikely combinations. Ever seen a policeman wearing a flower crown?
I've always had an instinct that Dress Up Play fires their imaginations, and I'm delighted to learn that there are key ways that the abundance of Hair Accessories in our house, actually help their development!
1) Motor Development
Hair Accessories and other Dress Up costumes provide children with motor-skills challenges. The pre-schooler who learns to fasten the alligator clips in her own hair is practising her fine motor skills. As school-girls learn to braid, they are acquiring a new and difficult motor skill. I have seen the sense of achievement in my own daughter when she finally learned to tie her own hair in a side-ponytail, with a scrunchie.
2) The Benefits of Colour
Colourful Hair Accessories are a joy for children. At 8 months old, babies fall in love with bright colours, and this stimulates their mind. The variety of colour is important too. Experts say exposing a child to different shades of the same colour can help development, rather than surrounding them with the same primary hues.
Much research has been carried out on the effects of colour on the brain. Some experts say different colours help development in different ways. Blue for example can encourage creativity. Yellow is the colour of happiness for children, as it is often associated with sunshine. Pink physically affects us in a positive way; it is relaxing and warm.
Colours are the most commonly used tool by children to express their emotions, and so allowing a child to choose from an assortment of dress-up colours, empowers them to express their emotion.
3) Creative Thinking and Communication Skills
Children stretch their imaginations by creating different characters, roles and worlds in their dress up play.
There is also the opportunity to develop their communication skills, as they tell you about the character they have created, and maybe even put on a show for you.
Try loaning her your costume jewellery to add to the dressing up fun.
She will be the cat that's got the cream in this cat ear headband. Add a tail made from a pair of tights for extra feline fun!
For a seaside tale - try this shimmering Mermaid Headband. My daughter and I love to read "The Singing Mermaid" by Julia Donaldson; add a Mermaid Story for extra language development.
For the best creative experience of all, try Mother Daughter Dress Up. I highly recommend it!