In the PreK world, it’s not the jack-o-lanterns, the spooky decorations, or even the candy that is the favorite… it’s the dressing up. Did you know that dressing up has so many benefits for your PreKPal? Just putting on and taking off the costumes and accessories helps strengthen that pincer grasp. This is the set of muscles we use for handwriting, and it’s so important to practice buttoning/unbuttoning, velcroing, snapping, and zipping. The added benefit is that this also promotes self-help skills needed for redressing after using the potty at school.
When your child dresses up, and is in character, he is also practicing using different emotions, different ways of speaking and communicating, and sometimes even different ways of moving (I’m looking at you, Spider-Man).
Dressing up and using your imagination is a cornerstone of the PreK world. You can foster this creativity at home, too. Consider making a dress up trunk for your children. Go to the store on Nov. 1 and head straight to the costume section. There have been many years I have grabbed awesome, expensive costumes for next to nothing. One year, Santa brought a whole dress-up box filled with after-Halloween finds. This is a good strategy for your high schooler as well. Don’t forget about Spirit days at school where you will need colored hair spray or other themed items.
Tired of your dress up things? Organize a swap with other moms. A great rainy-day activity is to get out the craft items and a cheap pillowcase with head and arm holes cut out. Let their imagination and creativity run wild!
We asked some of our favorite PreKPals what they like best about dressing up. Here’s what they said…
Anna Scott (4)
“I want to dress up like an LOL doll because they can squirt water in the bathtub. I like to dress up and pretend because it’s fun!”
“I’m going to be a jack-o-lantern. My mommy helps me dress up. It’s fun to trick or treat!”
“I’m going to be Iron Man. I have superpowers! I can fly and can shoot things from my hands!”
Alicia Jenne’ is a veteran teacher of little people. She is the PreK Pals Lead Teacher for PreK#1 at Rock Quarry Elementary School.