With Halloween around the corner, we're doing quite a bit of dress-up play in the Orange Easel studio.  

Wait...what?  Dress-up?  Is this ART???
Preschool Art Class getting creative with our dress-up play {OrangeEaselArt.com}
Playing dress-up exercises the imagination through role playing, acting, and plot development. Done properly, the game of dress-up demands a large selection: garage-sale-treasures, out-dated accessories, old Halloween costumes, and dance recital dresses.  

But, we believe that the dress-up bin has the potential to include a variety of homemade (CHILD-made) items.  There's the possibility for CREATION.  And THAT is the Art.
Making hats for creative time. {OrangeEaselArt.com}
These are the types of invitations we're setting-up this month in the studio.  Yes, there's still an Ironman costume, and a tutu, and a sword and shield.  But where the supply is lacking there's the possibility of creation too.  Encouraging the children to make their OWN costumes for play fosters an attitude of self-sufficiency, confidence, and independence. 

So, ORANGE EASEL doesn't have an Elsa costume?  Let's make one!  
(And we're not talking about the picture-perfect one that you see on Pinterest that is a 24 page pdf pattern that Momma sew together.  We're talking CHILD-directed, CHILD-created.  It isn't going to look like something from the store.  And that's okay.  Actually it's better.)
One of the best gifts we can give our children is the belief that they can be MAKERS.  If something isn't accessible, they can MAKE it exist.  If something isn't readily available, they can FIND it and MAKE it.  

We are called to be makers...inventors, creators, and problem solvers.  Make it.  And be proud of what you've created.  These handmade articles should be kept alongside our manufactured items and given the same value, if not more. 

Below is a list of dress-up play items to get you started creating items for your dress-up bin.   Make a few with the kids to get them started THINKING about costume creation.  Once they know it's a possibility, they'll be coming up with their own patterns and designs!
10 Dress Up Crafts that Kids Can Make. And WHY they SHOULD. {OrangeEaselArt.com}

Build your Dress-Up Bin

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From www.Picklebums.com
MAKE A MASK
This is an easy mask from Picklebums that we're doing this month with our preschool classes. The cardboard egg cartons are a wonderful material to paint on!  

Our little artists are having fun adorning them with glitter glue, gemstones and feathers. 

http://picklebums.com/2013/10/22/make-an-egg-carton-mask/#comment-40274
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From One Savvy Mom
A CAPE FROM A TSHIRT
All you need is an old tshirt and some scissors to make a new cape!

http://www.onesavvymom.net/2013/06/no-sew-upcycled-super-hero-cape-kids.html
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From PreschoolPlaybook.com
PEEKABOO ANIMAL MASKS
So many animal options.  Just a paper plate and an imagination!

http://www.preschoolplaybook.com/2009/03/lion-and-lamb-mask.html
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From CuttingTinyBites.com
PAPER DINOSAUR COSTUME
Can you imagine a herd of these creatures running around the house?  And roaring?  Maybe this could be just the beginning?  Next, dragons.  Or unicorns.  

http://www.cuttingtinybites.com/2014/09/diy-paper-dinosaur-hat.html

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From ReadingConfetti.com
EASY DRESS UP HATS
Paper plates can become crowns, alien antennas and more!


http://www.readingconfetti.com/2012/10/easy-dress-up-hats-paper-plate-craft.html
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From Babble.com
PRETEND WATCHES
Toilet paper rolls become watch bands in this costume creation.  

http://www.babble.com/toddler/toddler-crafts-for-the-non-crafty-paper-roll-projects-101/

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From DoodleCraftBlog.com
TAKE FLIGHT WITH A JET PACK
Where would your kids fly with just a couple soda bottles and some duct tape?  

http://www.doodlecraftblog.com/2012/04/super-sci-fi-rocket-fueled-jet-pack.html
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From HomeWithTheBoys.net
PAPER BAG VESTS
Teach your kiddos how to make these vest and there's no limit on what costume they can create!  Check out the adorable Tiger costumer from Home With The Boys.

http://homewiththeboys.net/friday-fun-paper-bag-vest-tutorial/

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From KidsActivitiesBlog.com
MAGICAL WANDS 
Glittering wands are the perfect accessory for ANY costume.  As a bonus, these wands are guaranteed to double as swords.

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/47366/easy-wizards-wand
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From Pre-KPages.com
CHEF'S HAT

Pretend to be a head chef or award-winning baker with a simple paper hat.

http://www.pre-kpages.com/dramatic-play-chefs-hat/

If your kids really get into making costumes, you can encourage this creativity and independence: keep a stash of recyclables, scrap fabric, old clothes, construction paper and craft supplies near your dress-up station!

What's the favorite item in your dress-up bin?
 


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