Imaginative play can help kids understand and cope with reality, so open up the tickle trunk—it’s time for some dragon dress-up pretend play. This play roars.
A tickle trunk is just another name for the box, basket, old suitcase, or drawer that holds the collection of dress-up clothes and accessories. Halloween isn’t the only time kids like to play dress-up and some kind of container keeps the costumes and props from the bottom of the closet floor. Some possible items range from fairy wings and royal crowns to swords and shields. Both boys and girls play with a variety of stuff. Capes for super heroes and magic wands are pretty popular too.
Dragons need wings and scary teeth. Although these can be imagined, they are quite easy to create. Depending on the color wanted, you can make a headband for your child out of paper. Using white paper, cut out 2 eyes and some big, pointy teeth. The eyes get glued onto the top edge of the headband and the teeth go along the bottom.
To make the wings, we found a large t-shirt at the thrift store. A quick cut up the front to the neck band turned the front into dragon wings. Little Sister slipped this on over her head and arms. It wasn’t pretty but it was simple, fast, and very inexpensive. Since dragons are imaginary, they can be any color. This one is purple.
Getting a still photo was impossible because dragons fly, don’t you know. (Note: You may need to be prepared for roars during dragon dress-up pretend play as well as flying around. How could I have overlooked this?)
How does imaginative play help with reality? When kids pretend, they are taking a slice of reality. They juggle this bit all around and stretch it in all directions. Dragons are fantasy, but having power and being ‘the boss’ isn’t. Kids are often scared and know what that’s like. Sometimes, it feels good to be the one scaring every one else, even if it is only pretend. Knights are another way to cope with fears by being brave and fearless. This kind of play is children’s way of figuring out how the real world works. Kids aren’t the only ones who like to imagine they can slay dragons. Do you ever wish you could too?
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