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Nursery Rhymes and Dress Up Ideas

by Erica Loop, studioD

By the time that your child reaches the preschool years, dress up and drama will become a primary factor in her choice of playtime activities. According to the PBS Parents website, between the ages of 3 and 4 years, children will enjoy dressing up in costumes as part of their play acting experiences. Whether your little one is a natural Little Bo Peep or she wants to take on a more animal-like role such as one of the "Three Blind Mice," nursery rhymes provide an easy entrance into the world of dress up drama.

Three Blind Mice

The classic nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice" provides a few options for your child's dress-up costumes. The most obvious idea is to suit him up in a mouse outfit. You don’t have to buy an elaborate costume with faux fur. An easy, dress-up outfit that fits this rhyme can include a headband with paper circle-shaped mouse ears attached at the top, a tail made from cut fabric or felt that you pin to the back of your child's pants, or to the bottom of the back of his shorts, and a pair of sunglasses. If your child does not want to play one of the three mice, she can be the farmer's wife. This dress-up idea is easy to recreate with a long dress and an apron.

Little Bo Peep

Whether your child wants to dress up as Little Bo Peep or she wants to be a lost sheep, you can help dramatize this classic tale at home with a cute costume. Put together a Little Bo Peep costume using a frilly dress, short apron worn over the dress as a pinafore and a formal bonnet. Choose an Easter bonnet or similar hat. Tie a pretty bow around the brim to complete the look. To make a sheep costume, create your own animal ears by gluing or taping two pink felt ovals to the top of a headband. Glue cotton balls to the headband for a fuzzy sheep effect. Pair this with a white sweat suit to finish the sheep look.

Jack and Jill

The "Jack and Jill" nursery rhyme provides an ideal opportunity for a brother and sister, or male and female friend pair, to act out a story together. Each outfit is simple, giving you and your kids an array of easy options when it comes to costumes choices. Go with overalls and farm-like flannel shirts as a simple "Jack and Jill" coordinating costume. Jill's costume can include an overall skirt to differentiate it from the costume that Jack wears. Another option is to dress up the costumes, giving Jack a pair of khakis and Jill a fancy floral dress. If you want to go with a completely literal translation of the time-tested tale, make a paper crown for Jack to wear before he breaks it.

Little Miss Muffet

Create a "Little Miss Muffet" dress up costume for your little miss by outfitting her in a fancy, frilly dress. Use an old ballet recital dress or a fun frock that has ruffles and bows. If the dress does not have a bow, buy a piece of satin ribbon and tie it around the waist. Add props like a bowl and a spoon for Miss Muffet's curds and whey. If your child does not want to play the Miss Muffet role, go with a spider theme. Stuff six black knee socks with newspapers to make the spider's legs -- your child's arms will double as the remaining two legs. Tie the socks at the top or stitch them shut with a needle and thread. Sew three of the socks to each side of a long-sleeved black shirt, starting under the arms. Don't worry about a lack of sewing skills. A few simple stitches are enough to attach the lightly filled socks to the shirt. If you don't want to sew, hot glue six strips of black poster board paper to the sides of the shirt. Wait for the glue to cool and dry before your child wears it.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images