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My daughter is quite the dress up fashionista. She has about as many pretend clothes as she does real ones, and goes through several costume changes each day to show them off! Her collection has been gathered from numerous sources and it’s always a bit nostalgic to sort through the pieces and remember the story behind each accessory. For those of you with your own tiny fashion gurus at home, I’ve put together some tips for curating your own magical dress up box!

Thrift & Consignment Stores

The single biggest tip I have is to stalk the thrift racks for kiddy treasures. Old Halloween costumes are always plentiful and easy to imagine with, but don't be afraid to go outside the box as well. Fancy dresses are the bread and butter of my daughter's collection, look through several different sizes and save the bigger ones for later. Adult ensembles can often be cut down to make pretend clothes, even if you don’t sew, some fabric glue can hem a shortened piece.

I love to look for period pieces at the thrift store. One of the best ways to learn about history is to experience it! Fringe dresses from the 20’s, 50’s inspired shoes, and rad 80’s accessories all add historical flair. Besides experiencing different time periods, kids can also learn about other cultures through dress up play. We found a couple of kimonos at a thrift store in Hawaii, that sparked a Japanese tea party one afternoon.

Homemade Costumes & Accessories

Whether you sew or can barely handle yourself with a glue gun, DIY costumes are still an option! There are so many creative ideas shared around the web, here are a few of my favorites!

No Sew Poodle Skirt
No Sew Pirate, Scientist, and Super Hero
No Sew Dress Up Wings
Noodle Necklaces
Duct Tape Rings

I like to sew, so some of my kids favorite play items are the ones I've made for them. If you're handy with a machine, don't be afraid to alter a pattern and see if you can't reimagine it as something else!

Store Bought Costumes

Aurora and Grayson have lots of loving relatives who like to send gifts; we love the dress up items they’ve sent! Aurora has a Husker's cheerleader outfit that gets worn for more than just game days, and Grayson looks quite dashing in all of the career costumes that we have from Melissa and Doug.

The career themed costumes are undoubtedly the most played with, and for good reason. If you could become a police officer, doctor, or race car driver on command, wouldn't you experiment!

Now I invite you to share your tips, how have you helped your kids enhance their pretend play?


from Life Lesson Plans and The Gossamer Girl

Brigette was born and raised in Nebraska, but ever since her husband joined the Air Force, she has traveled around the world with him and their two young kids. First living in Hawaii, and then in Germany, their family has soaked up all sorts of cultural experiences that she loves to weave in to her writing. She and the kids are now back home and are rediscovering their roots. Recently, Brigette started writing a personal blog called The Gossamer Girl where she shares lifestyle stories about h ...

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