Updated: Apr 12
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood,”
- Mr. Fred Rogers
Dramatic play is especially important for little developing brains. Kids take on a role and use their imagination to act out all types of situations. The roles can be of fictional characters or real people. If the character is career related, they can learn a lot about what people in that job do. If it is a "heroic" character they can distinguish and act out positive character traits such as bravery, honesty or loyalty. When children participate in dramatic play with others, they learn about emotions and empathy. Sometimes they get physical exercise too (i.e. acting out what a superhero or dancer does.) It can also increase their confidence and build conflict resolution skills.
My kids love to dress in costumes, especially superhero costumes. So, about two years ago I created this place to display their costumes and make them easily accessible. It really was not much work and not too expensive either! When I moved one year ago, it was simple for me to replicate. If your kids are into something different, for example, princesses, the same template can be used and adjusted. I like using the wall as it gives the kids more floor space to play, especially since our new house has a smaller playroom than we had previously. And it doubles as decor!
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I purchased the Marvel canvas at Hobby Lobby but it can also be found reasonably priced on Amazon through the link below!
I believe I purchased the letters at Hobby Lobby as well, but you can find unfinished wooden letters at any craft store, Walmart or Target for reasonable prices as well. Mine are about 5 inches. The kids and I painted them colors associated with their favorite characters using acrylic paints. I attached the letters with Command Strips.
Finally, I placed the Avenger figurines they had been collecting in McDonald's Happy Meals on the clear shelf below. (Some were gifted to them as well, since many knew they were collecting.) Other figures could also work as well. I know McDonalds also gave out similar Eternals toys. I screwed these into the wall at my first house and used Velcro Command Strips now. The older boys do not like any of the toys in their collection to get misplaced, so the shelf is out of reach of my two year old.
These are the hooks I used to hang the costumes.
We have been collecting costumes for several years and not all of them are Marvel. In addition to Captain American and Spiderman capes and a Hulk costume, we have Batman, Robin and Superman outfits. A ninja turtle ensemble also hangs there.
Action Figures and Accessories
Finally, I store their costume accessories just on the floor under the outfits. Almost all of their action superhero/villian figures fit in this basket. They have some large power rangers that I wish I could also fit in their but they do not. I simply place their Gauntlet, Hulk Hands and Captain America Shield next to the basket, which is easy for the kids to put back.
I never really knew what to do with my kids other costumes. They love playing fireman, doctor, construction worker etc. Recently I decided to utilize a small space on the wall next to the Marvel area. Also check out my article on our other Dramatic Play Area - Not All Heroes Wear Capes!
I hope this gave you a little inspiration for your own playroom, and your kids have fun, Suiting Up!
SHARING IS CARING!