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Costumes May Do The Trick

Children love to dress up from an early age. Boys or girls enjoy the fun of pretending to be someone else. Pediatric therapists are always looking for innovative and creative ways to incorporate movement tasks into everyday play. Since Halloween is coming upon us, perhaps dressing up will do the trick. Here are several reasons why to include dressing up into a therapy session or suggestion for an at home activity.

1. Functional Tasks: Of course, an occupational therapist looks at dressing as a very functional task. Children will be motivated to practice buttoning, zippers or other fasteners in order to get the costume on. They have to put arms into sleeves and legs into pants. This is much more fun that getting dressed in the morning.

2. Fine Motor Skill Practice: In order to fasten the clothes, children need to use their fingers and hands.

3. Balance skills: When a child is stepping into a costume, they must balance on one foot to get the other foot in.

4. Imagination and Free Play: In today’s fast paced society, children do not have extensive amounts of free time to just play. When a child puts on a costume it opens up a entire new world of their imagination.

5. Gross Motor Skills: Once that costume is on, a child can not resist to leap over tall buildings, gallop on a horse, be in a circus, fly on a broom…
The list goes on and on. Children will rarely sit still while in costume.

So the next time you want a child to practice fine motor skills, balance and gross motor skills all while doing a functional task – get out a box of dress up clothes or costumes!