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Benefits of Pretend Play with Great Pretenders

Disclaimer: I received products for review purposes. No other compensation was received. Though the product was free, opinions are 100% my very own.

Halloween is right around the corner and I'm super excited. Aren't you? Although I just love dressing up, Halloween truly gives me an excuse to be whoever I want to be. To dress up and go outside because guess what, everyone is doing it on that day. Well almost everyone. My party pooper mommy thinks it's ok to dress in jeans and tee and put a witch hat on and give out candy. She calls it the casual witch costume. I call it being lazy and not getting into the spirit of dressing up. When the Great Pretenders contacted me about doing post and reviewing one of their costumes, as usual mommy had to check them out and boy oh boy, I so wish we had found them before we went to our Renaissance Fair this summer. Better late than never I say. Well now I know where I'm getting my costume for next Renaissance Fair.

For the past couple of weeks I have been dressing up a bit more. While I love dressing up in my casual clothing and changing at least 4 - 5 times a day, there's something that speaks to me when I dress up in a costume. So I bet you're wondering how does pretend play benefit not just me, but also your little ones as well. Well I was sent the Medieval Gown and once I put it on it was time for me to pretend to be the princess that I was.

These aren't your run of the mill costume. These are very high quality, hand made in Canada costumes and I couldn't help but pretend. Now here are the ways that they helped me. Dressing up allows me to experiment, role play and fantasize. I can be whoever I want to be, and be where ever I want to be. There are no rules it all up to you and your imagination. Let it take over!

1. It teaches Social and Emotional Skills:-

Dressing up allows for your little one to experiment with the social and emotional roles of life. With cooperative play, your little one will learn the rules of society which includes taking turns, sharing responsibility and learning how to creatively solve problems. Through character play, your little one learns how to "walk in someone else's shoes” and it encourages teamwork along with an interest in peers. Your little one also learns to negotiate which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. Since your little one only sees the world from her view point, cooperative play in turn helps them to understand the way others feel.

2. Language Skills:-

When we little ones engage in pretend play, you will hear words that you never thought we knew. It requires that we tell stories in our own way and you may hear us narrate our experiences. Usually we mimic the words and ideas we hear from our parents, siblings, teachers, daycare providers and even the TV. This helps to build our vocabulary and helps us visualize what we need to say. Its also a great idea for the grown ups to offer us feedback to help us better understand the words we are using. This not only helps with our grammar but it also helps make the connection between spoken and written language, a skill that we will need later on to help us to read.

3. Self-Control:-

By now you know that most little kids don't have any self control. That's why the terrible two's was invented. Even after the age of 2 sometimes it doesn't get much better. When we do pretend play we usually play within the boundaries of the role we have taken, especially when playing with other kids. Studies have shown that children control their impulses significantly better when doing pretend play than at any other times. Did you ever think to wonder why parents often make up a game to get their little ones to eat their veggies or finish a chore? Turning something mundane and unappealing into a make-believe game is a popular trick that clever parents and educators use and it truly does works. Take it from someone who knows.

4. Problem Solving Skills:-

When you do pretend play it provides you with a variety of problems that you need to solve. Be it sharing your toys or getting away from that imaginary dog, your little one uses their cognitive thinking skills that they will forever use in every aspect of their life. Playing role playing games takes your child to imaginary places and situations that they may never experience in real life. They can then work out the scary or even confusing life challenges that may face them. Through these role plays your little one will become a lot more comfortable  and more prepared for life events in a much safer way. Although your little one may not always act logically during pretend play, the process of solving their own problems then becomes a habit. By solving their problem in the pretend world, they then become better prepared to think of solutions creatively for their own real life problems.

5. Self-esteem:-

By letting your child be whoever they want to be in their pretend world, letting them have full control and by accepting them, no matter how silly they are, you are thereby enhancing their self esteem. Let them be who they want to be, let them go where they want to go and encourage their creativity. Pretending to be a princess who has power over everything makes me feel strong, brave and invincible. This builds my self-confidence. Not only is my self-esteem boosted when mommy doesn't laugh at my silliness but all the running and jumping around keep me active which in turn builds up my strength, coordination and balance. Its a win-win.

Now that you've learned a few of the benefits of pretend play what are you waiting for? Great Pretenders has costumes for not just little girls but boys as well. There are your medieval costumes and your 21st century costumes that you are familiar with. Costumes ranging from princesses to super heroes. You name it and Great Pretenders has it. I am so loving my Medieval Gown and I have to give them my TWO TINY THUMBS UP!

You can purchase your costume for Halloween from the Great Pretenders online now. They ship to the US and Canada. Yes my Canadian friends, you can order as well. Purchases shipping to Canada will be shipped FEDEX while the US Orders are shipped UPS.

Here are the ways to connect with The Great Pretenders:

Disclosure: Growing Up Madison receives products in order to conduct reviews. No monetary compensation was provided unless noted otherwise. All opinions are 100% my own. Some posts may contain affiliate links that I receive commission for payment from in exchange for referrals. In the event of a giveaway, the sponsor is responsible for delivery of the prize, unless otherwise noted in the posting. Giveaways are not sponsored by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or any other social media site. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Annmarie John
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  1. Totally entered as both my girls love to dress up and we have tons of princess costumes here and they would love one more to add to their collection ;)

  2. Yes my lo olive to dress up , he puts on his superhero caps, and will dress in anything he feels like, he really likes mommies running shoes . I know a perfect little girl who would love this.

    1. we had the biggest dress up closet when kids were young, i just recently donated most of it.

  3. My little guy LOVES to dress up. I love this time of the year and we buy our costumes early so they can play dress up.

  4. Dress up is so much fun. When I was a little girl, it was my favorite form of play time. Your imagination can just go anywhere.

  5. Love the princess costume! Dressing up is so much fun, I love Halloween even though I understand the lazy witch costume some years. I remember some rainy Halloweens when mommy just wasn't up for dressing up, not this year though : )

  6. I love that you give your daughter the opportunity to be a child and learn and play and develop through various outlets! I look forward to dressing up my kiddos, even the dog!

  7. My niece and nephew just loves dressing up that's why they can't wait for Halloween although my niece loves dressing up as a Disney princess on an almost daily basis. It really does build creativity. She would love this fairy butterfly costume.

  8. Dress up is my girls' favorite thing to do. Love how they just use their imaginations when they are all dressed up. Your daughter is one lucky girl!

  9. My daughter loves dressing up and anything fashion... Shed loooove this!! Ty

  10. She is just too cute in that Medieval Gown! My daughter loves imaginative play and we have quite a collection of different costumes. I'll have to look into this company!

  11. Awe, what a sweet costume. We love costumes and have two tubs of them in the playroom, as the kids play dress up all the time. I love watching their imagination run wild

  12. I love watching my lil' guy when he's pretending. The little games he comes up with are beyond cute!

  13. Even though we don't celebrate Halloween, I was just thinking about how much fun it could be for JR to dress up and pretend he's different people and doing different things. I've shown him how to pretend he's cooking, but I watch him sometimes and it seems he's already pretending with some of his toys. Thanks for sharing more ideas and reasons to open up this type of play even the more!

  14. Awww, she is just darling. The boys are not quite ready for Halloween yet, I haven't even heard them say what they want to be. I think it is important for children to be free to dress up and use their imaginations, even if that is not at Halloween time.

  15. What a cutie pie! She looks so adorable in this costume.

  16. Your daughter looks adorable! My kids always loved playing dress up when they were little!

  17. My son likes to dress up as a super hero!

  18. Why am I not surprised that Madison picked the princess costume? :) Love the dress and tiara. She's rocking it.

  19. The costume looks gorgeous on your baby. It is great fun to watch our children play and make believe.

  20. currently Frozen is all the rage so Ana and Elsa and even the horse.

  21. I just this post on your FB page. You are too cute in your medieval gown. I love Renaissance Fairs as well and have gone to a few. You would totally fit in with your outfit. Love this post as well because I remember growing up my parents would always encourage my imaginative play.

  22. my kids (son, 8 daughter, 3) LOVE playing dress up together!!! we keep all our old haloween stuff (adut and child) in a box in DD'S room ... there is SO MUCH (even some accessories from before they were born!) my daughter loves dressing up as a pumpkin, and donning a blue wig - my son likes the spooky zombie stuff :) they are a screa ;)

  23. My grandkids love dressing up. I can't wait for Halloween.

  24. My granddaughter loves to dress up. She wants to be a princess all the time.

  25. Every single one of our grands love to play dress up! We have so much fun with the dress up trunk.

  26. All my nieces love to dress up! One is always a princess, the other ones prefers doctor, rocker, you name it!

  27. Yes she loves dressing up as Elsa.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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