Playing Dress Up With A Physically Disabled Child

Dress up is not something that I grew up playing all the time. For Halloween I had zero interest in dressing up like a Disney Princess, and I gravitated towards costumes that my brothers would wear, but outside of Halloween we never dressed up for play. I remember vaguely my brothers having super hero pajamas with the velcro capes on the backs, but that is as far as I can remember from my childhood. 

Em has very specific homework that we have to do for her "functional skills" preschool. Each month they send home a calendar and you're supposed to complete each task each day (although to be honest it's more like us cramming to get everything done the last week of the month). The tasks are things like tracing certain letters, sing a certain song while brushing teeth, play with playdough, do a craft, play dress up, etc... 

Jay has never had any interest in playing dress up. He's never once wanted to play with Halloween costumes beyond their one time hit in October, and despite the fact that there are a bunch of costumes in his closet, he never wears them. 

One part of Em's childhood that I've felt like I was missing out on was having a little girl running around the house in princess dresses. Playing dress up I feel should be a child motivated activity, and to be honest, getting Em in and out of princess dresses is just a lot of work for someone who can't really move too well to appreciate it. So with Em's homework asking for dress up on a monthly basis, I've felt myself thinking "how is a physically disabled child supposed to play dress up?", and "this is just one more pointless thing to add to my life that I have to initiate that she'll hate."

But then I remembered when we were in Idaho waiting to move into our home in Utah this summer, Em found a pair of Buzz Lightyear wings that belonged to one of her cousins, and wanted us to put them on her, and she thought that they were the greatest things ever. A few weeks ago when I was at the dollar store, I found a plastic crown, a fairy wand, and some wings, and brought them home, and it's been so fun to see this side of my little girl! She LOVES wearing her wings and crawling around the house with her crown and wand. It's honestly just soo cute! 

It's made me think of future gifts to give her and how dressing up doesn't always have to be about the princess dresses. We can find other things like little animal masks, or cat ears, or a cape, or small things like that. It's such a fun and new area of parenting and I've honestly really been loving it so much. And so has Em, which makes it even more fun. 

1 comment

  1. Love these accessible dress-ups.

    And it can often be one part of a costume which makes a difference.