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Learning through dress up play

One of my favourite shows as a kid was Mr. Dressup. This Canadian classic was such a big part of so many kids’ childhoods. I loved when Mr. Dressup opened up the Tickle Trunk and pulled out a different costume. I don’t remember having many costumes as a child, but I do remember loving to play make believe!

Yesterday our family took a trip to the Museum of Civilization where there is the most amazing Children’s Museum. If you are ever in the Ottawa area, let me know and I will take you there! It’s a must see.

Photos of Canadian Children's Museum, Gatineau
This photo of Canadian Children’s Museum is courtesy of TripAdvisor

As you walk into the Museum, your first destination is to the Theatre.







It is truly a miniature version of the real thing, with a ticket booth and play money (Joel’s first stop, he sold me a ticket for $40 and assigned me a seat), a back stage and dressing area, make up chairs and costumes gallore.

This is where all the fun happens… choosing the right costume, getting into the role and making an appearance on the stage! It was hard to leave this first area, my kids could have easily lost themselves for an hour. Here are some of their choice roles:






 First we have the lovely Queen Mieka, full of grace and beauty!









And Joel the stoic tree… .









Then Mieka the Ram.. taking life by the horns. I think this one suited her well. If we’d had a few more kid with us we could have put on the most grand performance with a tree, a ram, the wind, the moon, a jester and of course the Queen!









But the fun didn’t stop here, the kids got to pretend to be construction works, rickshaw taxi drivers, fruit stand vendors, postal workers, shop keepers, and ship crew. By the time we finished our tour, they were wiped! What was so amazing to see was just how quickly they fell into role play; while they were building a wall as a construction worker, they talked about making sure the bricks were balanced and didn’t fall over, needing a hard hat and a vest to be safe, and when it was time to pack up the tools. When they were shop keepers, they quickly fell into roles of asking for my order and making change. When they were postal workers, they sold me some stamps and put my imaginary letters in the slot. It was so interesting to see the gravitate to parts of the museum they were most interested in.

I know my kids had a great time at the Children’s Museum, and although they may not have known it, I had just as much fun watching them learn while they played. My eyes were opened to it, and sat back and watched as they developed their ideas of the world.


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