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How to manage Dressing up resources at preschool?


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I am currently studying towards my Early Years foundation degree. We have to look at an specific area of our preschool and compile a work based project around it. I am looking at our dressing up area but before I definitely go ahead with this topic I thought I would look to see if their is enough research available.

 

We currently have a rail with hangers on and a variety of princess dresses etc. We also have normal clothes and a selection of material. We have found that within a very short period of time all the resources are thrown all over the floor. This could be because we have so much stuff and the item they are after is difficult to find. Once it is all over the floor, tidying away at the end of the session becomes a regular bone of contention with staff. We have considered a smaller amount out, the whole 'less is more' but the children do have their regular favourites.

 

I would be really grateful if you could let me know how your dressing up area works within your setting and how you manage it.

 

Thanks in advance x

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im not sure ours works well at all! I have a large basket...that's it! we do remove and refresh items all the time...tend to avoid the princess dresses as we just end up with issues...I manage about a week with them out and then put them all in the wash (for the next month or so!)

 

we did a fab project some years ago (when children were older and group was smaller) based around the princess dresses going missing....they had been stolen and the children had to work out the clues...ended up with a treasure chest of goodies arriving at the end of the week

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We also have a rail with a variety of both girl/boys outfits on it. The older children have been shown how to put them back on the hanger and most can do it independently. The younger ones will usually come to a member of staff as they may need help and so staff will put it on the hanger and then give it back to them to hang on the rail. They are reminded throughout the session about hanging their costumes back on the rail and not just left on the floor. This is all part of PSE - being independent/self help skills and respect for resources.

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We had a rail - now like finleysmaid have a basket. Last week we had a cull - and still find we have too much but - children do have their favourites!! Most of the time the carpet area looks like a teenagers bedroom - and they change as often to! I can't say I 'like' this particular resource very much - but its popular! If we only get half of the dressing up out you can bet we're constantly asked for the other half!

I don't feel there is much 'added value' to the activity - maybe turn taking?!?! oh and us suggesting they try to put the clothes on themselves!!! - so independence. We have tried 'adding storylines' suggesting role play but generally not much interest is shown. Two of our boys make good fireman and actually 'roleplay' firefighting - superheros just want to fight one another and the princess dresses are on and off all morning! We get some playability with the doctors/nurses outfits too.

Edited by Rafa
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We have a 'unit' which has rail. We changed the rail, which used to have coat hangers to a piece of wood with coat hooks on. Works a bit better. Still clothes and material over the floor. The unit has shelves at the end. I put baskets there and we have bags, purses, hats and scarfs in them. The children love the bags - lots of transporting!!!

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Sew quite a large loop in the back - wide enough for small fingers to get hold of (wide ribbon is a good idea), and put a row of hooks, like coat hooks, on the wall with a photo of the costume above each hook. Then encourage the children to tidy up themselves. Helps their matching skills too.

Edited by GFCCCC
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we have a rail with a box underneath, the rail has a mirror on the end and plenty of space for handbags, shopping bags etc. We have a selection of costumes out and rotate them every 2 weeks or so, or whenever they need washing. I try to put themed costumes together depending what we have in role play or home corner. We too have issues when the princess dresses are out, the turn taking needs close management lol, and when the super hero costumes are out ( the ones that do up at the back) some of the children need help getting in to them ( and annoyingly seconds later out again!) . Our children need to be reminded on how to hang them back up and yes the floor resembles my teenage daughters room lol.

 

how are you doing your foundation degree? i am doing mine with OU and I am in my second year x

Edited by twinthinguk
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Sew quite a large loop in the back - wide enough for small fingers to get hold of (wide ribbon is a good idea), and put a row of hooks, like coat hooks, on the wall with a photo of the costume above each hook. Then encourage the children to tidy up themselves. Helps their matching skills too.

LOVE that idea! :1b

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my daughter made capes some time ago so the boys and girls both use these now for lots of different roles including superheroes...they tend to reduce the negative effects because they are generalised and then the boys have to make up their own character they are really easy to put on by holding on to the Velcro tabs (or stick and loop is you're a QI fan!) and 'throwing' over your head then just stick the tabs together....I rhink there's a picture of them on 'our own makes' thread.

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That is a fab idea, but don't really have wall space, we have a unit like isp, but it has given me the idea to take a photo of each outfit and make a label for the hangers....thank you :-)

 

They are definately not allowed to leave things on the floor till the end of session, if noticed they are asked to it put away (with help if needed), even if not their mess we ask chn to help pick up abandoned things...'helping hand' stickers work wonders ;-)

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When I was in nursery I did away with all the character (usually Disney) costumes. I wanted to develop their own imaginations and found that predetermined characters limited play to a rerehash of the same old same old. We did have some costumes that we used for supported role play, so for example when the children were exploring the Diwali story (yes, we re-enacted the entire ramayana in the garden) they were able to decide which costume best matched the characters in the story, so the skeleton suit became Ravan the Demon and Captain Hook was Prince Rama!

However our everyday collection of fabric sections, hats, bags, capes etc were all far more open ended and developed much more imaginative and gender neutral play.

We had a rack and things hung or were in the basket section below.

 

Cx

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We have a unit from Huddersfield Early Excellence - the middle part with about 5 hooks and the two sides have 3 shelves each. We have a pet carry case/ a basket with 'props' wands, walkie talkies, phones, cameras, etc. On the other side there is a basket of dance scarves and ribbons, a CD player, and a basket of hats and bags and a few pieces of material. There is limited amounts of everything but enough to satisfy most children's needs.

 

As for costumes - we got rid of all the character costumes and have gone with home made capes with velcro fastening for independence - as they are generic capes they enable the wearer to taken on a variety of identities chosen by the wearer.

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