Dress-Up Activities for Kids


When you dress up, you can be a king or a wizard -- or anything else you can imagine.
When you dress up, you can be a king or a wizard -- or anything else you can imagine.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Dress-up activities for kids are a guaranteed hit with young and older children alike. You might think that only kids like to dress up in costumes or old clothes, but people have been dressing up for thousands of years. In ancient cultures, people often would dance while dressed in animal skins -- this was a way to celebrate good hunting or plentiful crops.

Your dress-up play probably doesn't include such rituals, but isn't it fun to dress up in different clothes and pretend you're someone (or something) else? The following articles offer suggestions for different dress-up play and accessories. Who would you like to be today?

The Fashion Set

Borrow clothes from your family; then put on a fashion show. Learn other ways to have fun.

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

What you do want to be when you grow up? See the ways that you can dress up like that person.

Magic Wand

With a magic wand, you can be a magician or a fairy princess. Find out how to make one.

Wonderful Wizard or Crowned Royalty

Try on this wizard hat or king's (or queen's) crown for a "just right" dress-up accessory. Learn how to make it.

Pipe Cleaner Ears

You can be a rabbit, a mouse, or any other animal with a pair of pipe cleaner ears. Find out more about it.

Put on a fashion show with clothes you can find at home! Read all about it on the next page.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

The Fashion Set

Become part of the "fashion set" by dressing up in different outfits. That's right -- doll up, dude up, and strut your stuff! Part of the fun in dressing up is to pretend you're someone else.

Gather your "fashion" wardrobe by borrowing clothing from your parents, siblings, or any other people in your household. Just be sure to ask for permission first!

What You'll Need:

  • Dress-up clothes (dresses, men's suits, shoes, hats, coats, purses, jewelry, gloves)

How to Become Part of the Fashion Set:

Step 1: Dress up as different people.

Step 2: See how many fashionable, funny, or downright strange outfits you can come up with. You'll have a roaring good time.

Step 3: Plan a fashion show, and see if your audience can guess who you are!

Now that you've pretended to be other people, who would you like to be when you grow up? Keep reading to learn more about that dress-up activity.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

Dress up in clothes that show your future career!
Dress up in clothes that show your future career!
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Have you ever thought about being a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker? Sure, those jobs may seem to come from the pages of nursery rhymes, but they all are real jobs that people have.

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? It's fun to act out different careers. Try them all!

What You'll Need:

  • Old clothes (donated for costumes or bought at yard sales or thrift stores; wash before wearing)
  • Newspaper
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Stapler
  • Clear tape
  • Glue
  • Cardboard

How to Play Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker:

Step 1: Make your own costumes for various jobs, such as a doctor, nurse, firefighter, lawyer, schoolteacher, and so on. You could use secondhand clothes, or cut the costume pieces out of newspaper or construction paper.

Step 2: If you're making your own clothes, use markers to decorate the paper pieces. Fasten them with staples, clear tape, and glue.

Step 3: Use the cardboard to cut out props, such as stethoscopes, shields, computers, and so on. Don't forget to create hats to go along with your costumes.

Do this just for fun, or put on a show for your friends.

Ever want to be a magician or a fairy godmother? Keep reading to find out how to make a magic wand.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

Magic Wand

You'll feel positively magical with this special wand.
You'll feel positively magical with this special wand.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

With a wave of the magic wand, you can become a magician, a wizard, or

or even a fairy godmother. This wand is likely to become one of your favorite props for dress-up play.

And it's as fun to make it as it is to play with it. You'll need to ask an adult for help with some of it, but the fun parts are all yours!

What You'll Need

  • 2 yards of ribbon
  • Blunt scissors
  • Ruler
  • Craft glue
  • 24-inch wood dowel with 1/2-inch diameter
  • Cardboard
  • Ballpoint pen or black felt-tip pen
  • Aluminum foil
  • Old paintbrush
  • Sequins or small jingle bells (optional)

How to Make a Magic Wand

Step 1: Cut a 24-inch piece of ribbon. Glue one end of the ribbon to one end of the wood dowel; then wrap it around the dowel.

Step 2: When you reach the bottom, trim off the excess ribbon and glue the end in place.

Step 3: To make the wand streamers, cut a few strips of ribbon with varying lengths. Glue one end of each strip to the top end of the dowel. If you want, add some sequins or small jingle bells to each streamer end.

Step 4: Cut a small strip of cardboard about 1 inch long. Wrap and glue the strip of cardboard around the dowel, 1/2 inch from the top end, covering the ends of the ribbons.

Step 5: Ask an adult to cut 2 small slits in the cardboard, one across from the other.

Step 6: Draw and cut out a moon, star, or other magical symbols from the aluminum foil.

Step 7: To stiffen the foil, coat one side with glue and let it dry. Insert the foil shape in the slits. Add a dab of glue to hold it in place.

All you need to be a wizard, a king or a queen is the right hat or crown. Keep reading to find out how to make one.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

Wonderful Wizard or Crowned Royalty

Make a crown or wizard's hat -- it's up to you and your imagination.
Make a crown or wizard's hat -- it's up to you and your imagination.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Be a wonderful wizard or crowned royalty -- it's all in how you create the head piece! It's amazingly simple (and lots of fun!) to create a hat fit for a magician, princess, or wizard -- or a crown fit for a king or queen.

What a perfect addition to your dress-up wardrobe, and what fun to be able to say you made it yourself!

What You'll Need:

  • Colored poster board
  • Tape
  • Clean, round, empty ice cream tub
  • Pencil
  • Yarn
  • Gold star stickers
  • Markers
  • Poster paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Glitter glue
  • Sheer or sparkly fabric
  • Scissors
  • Glue

How to Be a Wonderful Wizard or Crowned Royalty:

Step 1: For the wizard's hat, use the colored poster board to shape a cone; tape the cone in place.

Step 2: The decorations can be as plain or fancy as you wish. Use the gold star stickers, markers, poster paints, and glitter glue to decorate the cone.

Step 3: When the decorations are dry, use glue or tape to fasten a corner of the sheer or sparkly fabric just inside the top of the hat.

Step 4: For a crown, use the ice cream tub as a base for building a crown, or make a base out of posterboard.

Step 5: Cut the poster board to make a saw-toothed strip.

Step 6: Glue the strip around the base of the ice cream tub to make the points, then bejewel and bedazzle your crown.

Now, how about becoming a rabbit or other animal? It's easy -- with pipe cleaner ears. Learn how to make them on the next page.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

Pipe Cleaner Ears

Pipe cleaner ears are a great costume accessory.
Pipe cleaner ears are a great costume accessory.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

These pipe cleaner ears are great for Halloween costumes, dress-up play, or any old day you feel like being silly.

You can also use this idea to create other pretend "hats," to make other animal ears stick up or hang from the band, or to tie yarn to the pipe cleaners to make a wig. Have fun!

What You'll Need:

  • 6 or 7 pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Craft glue
  • Yarn (optional)

How to Make Pipe Cleaner Ears:

Step 1: Make a hat form with pipe cleaners (see picture). Twist the ends of two or three pipe cleaners together in a band. Make sure it fits around your head. Ask an adult to trim off any excess.

Step 2: Take four pipe cleaners and attach them to the band. Twist them together at the top to make a "hat."

Step 3: Cut two rabbit ears in a fold-over pattern from a piece of construction paper. Color them with markers.

Step 4: Fold them over the top pipe cleaners and glue the sides together.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out: