10 top tips for authentic dramatic play

Are you looking for ideas to move away from traditional dress up resources, princess costumes and Super hero outfits ?

The first step is to understand WHY! 

Have you read our previous article “Do we use costumes?”

Tip 1 

Can you remember a time as a child wearing your Mother’s shoes? Children love to pretend to be like 

their signification parent or carer.  

Swop manufactured miniature dress up shoes for authentic ‘Clippy Cloppy’ shoes. Ask for donations or search

Charity or Op shops. They are a valuable resource that children love to experience 

TIP 2 

A selection of hats are a great resources to extend children’s play and enhance their imagination. 

Tip 3 

Waistcoats, jackets, shirts and Punjabi suits.  

Tip 4 

TV remotes. These can be used with elastic bands as strapped to a child’s wrist to create Super hero laser weapons.

Weapon play in innate within our boys, embrace it instead of trying to banish. If you try and stop weapon play children will

Only become secretive and hide their games. Research weapon play in Earl Years 

Tip 5

A selection of ties. 

Tip 6

Beads, handbags and clogs 

Keep dress up items in a suitcase. Add books to enhance and celebrate cultural diversity 

Tip 7 

Recycled and donated ballet outfits 

Tip 8

Cultural diversity should be embedded in your setting and free from ‘token gestures’ These should be available throughout the year.  

TIP 9 

Hang resources and present them so they present a subliminal invitation to come and access 

Tip 10 

Bring it all together, scarves and bangles, clogs and hats  ( Becki Agar childminding image )

Time to make a list of all the resources you need. Ask parents and carers, friends and family for such items. People only know what you are looking for if you ask them and explain Why you need them.  


Would you like to read more on Role play? Remember we don’t set up themed role play. We follow the children’s lead and let them be the pilots in their own play . Here is a link to another blog that might interest you . The pink and blue divide