Dress-up imaginative play: Videos & books for early learners

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian

It’s been a week since Halloween: is your kid still wearing their costumes? Dress-up imaginative play is such an important part of childhood!

You know what big fans we are of Mr. Rogers here at the library, and this quote really resonated:

“One of Fred’s favorite stories was about a boy who insisted on wearing his superhero cape when he went to the doctor for a checkup. I always thought that was a great message about how much pretending means to children—especially when they’re wearing a costume—or even something that represents a costume, like a crown, a cape or a purse.”

Hedda Sharapan, MS, Mr. Rogers’ coworker

Sharapan’s latest blog post has wonderful information on how costumes and imagining can help kids explore feelings and situations, grow empathy, and support self-regulation.

Below find videos to watch together, online resources showcasing more of the benefits of dress-up play, and books to share about dressing up and using your imagination!

Watch these videos

In this video, I used my imagination to pretend that our gerbil was going on a big adventure, on the hunt for summer reading beads. What stories can you tell about animals you see? How can you pretend to be the animal?

Here, Jenny and I talk about different ways to tell stories. Dressing up is a great way to create and tell a story!

Explore these online resources

Read these books

Check out these great books about dressing up and imaginative play:

Shelley Harris

About Shelley

Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.