Do you remember dressing up as a superhero or a princess when you were little? Many of us eagerly transformed our wardrobe into something imaginary on a regular basis. Today, dressing up isn't just fun for the youngest ones or for Halloween.
In fact, you've probably received a note from school announcing a special dress up day coinciding with a project in your elementary schooler's classroom. Children are now being given the opportunity to dress up at school — and it's helping them construct and celebrate their learning.
Dressing up for special themes is often educational — and motivational — for students. More and more schools are promoting thematic dress up days because it helps to:
- Build class/school spirit
- Develop community
- Encourage creativity and imagination
- Allow for self-expression
- Challenge kids to think outside the box and tie their ideas to things they are studying
- Promote attendance and participation
- Celebrate hard work
Check out these popular dress up days that can take place at school, and learn how you can support your child and extend the learning at home.
1. Role Model, History, or Biography Day generally involves learning about a period in history or focusing on an important person who has contributed to the world. It’s an opportunity for your child to focus on a specific time period or delve into a person who intrigues her.
At home, you can read about your child’s topic using books from the library or you can watch a video together on YouTube. You may find the Inspiring Women or Great African Americans book lists helpful for ideas.
2. Spirit or Sports Team Day usually involves wearing school or team colors and logo apparel. It’s generally an easy one to prep for at home.
You can extend the fun by making a dinner that's themed around your child's school or team colors. Make spaghetti if your child's colors are red and white. If blue and gold are your colors, you could have a yellow cake with blueberry topping for dessert. During dinner, talk about the fun activities your child did at school.
3. Dress as a Book Character Day is one of my favorites. Your child can reflect on his favorite books and chose a character that he identifies with and wants to become for the day. This one is packed with learning.
Your child will have to do some character analysis. He'll need to decide the likes and dislikes of the character, physical characteristics, and think about how the character acts. Of course, he'll also need to do some reading in order to pick out a character, so this one encourages lots of literacy practice.
4. Crazy Hat, Socks, or Hair Day usually occurs at the end of a school year. It's a fun time to "let your hair down" and celebrate the hard work done throughout the school year. This is a great opportunity to let children express themselves and try out a new style they might not normally wear. It’s always fun when other family members get involved by offering ideas and assistance.
5. Pajama Day is usually associated with a reading event at the school. The children may be invited to wear pajamas during the day or families may even be invited to attend an evening event.
Carry on the fun at home. Put on your jammies early, load up on the bed, and have an evening full of read-alouds. If you need some recommendations, check out the Family Read-Alouds book list.
Have fun with your child and extend the dress up days at home. You’ll be building memories your young learner won’t forget.
Connect with Jodie Rodriguez on her site, Growing Book by Book.
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