Dressing up is one of the best ways for your toddler to pretend and explore the world through play.
It's also a great way to introduce the concept of size, colour and texture - so you can point out her little feet in your big shoes, or wear a silky dress, a blue hat, a gold necklace. The new vocabulary you introduce will all sink in as your toddler chooses which item to wear.
There are lots of role play ideas from being a farmer ("Let's go feed the pigs"), a character from their favourite cartoon ("Charlie and Lola - Sizzles is completely not here!"), to just being a smaller "you" ("We're going to the supermarket, what shall we buy?").
Dressing up is a perfect rainy day activity. Why not suggest your toddler organises a tea party for all their soft toys. They'll have to think about what to take in the picnic, how you're going to travel, and make sure everyone has enough cake. And in the summer, when the sun's out, they can organise the picnic in the garden - getting some healthy fresh air at the same time.
You don't need to go out and buy lots of clothing either as your cast-offs are just as suitable and make for great family photographs. However, nothing beats a 100% polyester super hero suit when they are obsessed with a particular cartoon. You can find these online and many cartoon character costumes are available in local party shops.
Older toddlers can practice their fine motor-skills by doing up buttons, poppers, hooks and velcro tabs - and make up little play scenarios for you to join in.
Choosing a dressing up theme for your toddler's party can also be fun, with themed tableware, decorations and cake.
Mess it Up Messy Play - Tuesday, 25 Feb
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