Dress-up ideas for preschoolers

Written by shelley frost
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Dress-up ideas for preschoolers
Animals offer inspiration for dress-up clothes. (police dog 23 image by Andrew Buckin from Fotolia.com)

Dress-up clothes transform preschool kids into new characters. They engage creativity and imagination to take on the role of the character created by the costume. Dress-up activities also help preschool kids with language development and communication with one another. The interaction the kids have in the course of dress-up play helps them understand the world and relationships.

Multicultural Costumes

Adding multicultural outfits to dress-up exposes the kids to different cultures. They get to explore firsthand the different type of dress worn in other cultures. Look at costume shops for costumes based on different cultures. This might include a Japanese kimono, a Native American headdress, an Indian sari or outfits from any other country.

Community Helpers

Many preschool programs include a community helper unit. The unit focuses on the different people who help a community function. This might include firefighters, police officers, mail carriers, bakers, doctors, restaurant employees and teachers. Outfits that reflect these roles within the community work well as dress-up ideas for the preschoolers. By including community helper costumes in the dress-up area, the kids can apply what they learnt in class to the dramatic play activities. Many party supply stores sell hats for different community helpers. You can also make your own from construction paper.

Halloween Costumes

Old Halloween costumes also work well in the dress-up area for preschoolers. The day after Halloween, extra costumes go on clearance. This is an ideal time to stock up on costumes for dress-up activities. Garage sales and thrift stores are also good places to find inexpensive Halloween costumes to bulk up the dress-up clothing collection. There are many different options in commercial costumes, so you can get a good variety for dress-up activities by using Halloween costumes.


Animals are popular with preschool kids. From pets to wild animals, kids enjoy learning about creatures. Including animal dress-up clothes allows the kids to act like the animals they love. They can use the facts they learn about animals in class to act like the animals. You can easily make animal ears by gluing ear shapes made out of craft foam to headbands. You can also purchase faux fur from craft stores to make your own simple costumes.

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