48. Role Play
Dressing up isn’t just for parties. It’s a powerful way of teaching children that our thoughts and feelings may be different from someone else’s, helping to develop a sense of empathy. This is what educators call ‘theory of mind’ and it’s boosted by imaginative role play, which allows children to explore the world from the perspective of others, and importantly, to begin to understand the ideas of good and evil. This is why superhero play is so popular: children can safely explore the consequences of being a 'baddie' without having to transgress in real life. When two or more children are involved, the value of roleplay grows even more, as children learn to co-operate with each other in their shared imaginary world. They may even develop their own languages and codes to communicate with each other. With so many ready made ‘fancy dress’ outfits available, it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying a new ones every time an occasion requires it. We say dressing up isn’t just for parties! Instead, buy two or three silks, and you have the basics of any dressing up outfit at home, whenever you want. Turn them into Roman robes or tie them to wrists for fairy wings. The possibilities are endless and you will see the return on this simple investment for years and years.