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Role Play and Dressing Up

Dressing up is a powerful way of exploring human nature and understanding that other people’s thoughts and feelings may be different from our own. In dressing up, children can safely explore the consequences of being a 'baddie' without having to transgress in real life and can learn to co-operate with each other in their shared imaginary world. The youngest children prefer costumes that help them to visualise the character that they have become. Preschoolers, however, are happy with a square of fabric that can be knotted and twisted to suit. They are confident with symbolic play and are happy to let their imagination fill in the gaps. Fabric can of course also be used as a prop in small world play: blue for water, green for grass or draped over a chair to make a cave.

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