The dress-up basket takes little investment and can last for many years of play.
Your toddler's imagination is really taking off. By the time she's 3 years old, she will pretend to be someone else during her playtime. Whether she imagines being a baker, a doctor or even a police officer, providing her with a basket of appropriate apparel can turn playtime into a rich learning experience. For the toddler obsessed with cop cars and badges, follow these simple directions to make a police uniform that will spark her imagination and cost you little money.
1Find a dark blue button-up shirt with a collar. Replace standard buttons with shiny ones — gold-colored, brass or silver buttons will work well for the police officer look. Use fabric paint and iron-on patches to make official-looking badges. Make one police badge in big block letters. Iron this patch to the left side of the shirt. Make another patch with the officer's name on it. Iron this patch to the right side. And remember that when she is wearing the shirt, refer to her as Officer 'Smith.' Of course, use her last name. Add the dark blue pants and a black belt. She should be looking pretty official by this point.
2Clip play handcuffs to her belt loop. Place a walkie talkie at the collar. Add a whistle on a short lanyard in the shirt pocket. Consider making a rule that the whistle can only be blown outside. If it makes the dog or yourself go crazy, you might want to accidentally lose the whistle one night.
3Place a pair of aviator sunglasses on the young officer. Purchase a police hat to complete the look. She is ready to track down her first suspect, which is probably you. Let's hope the handcuffs fit comfortably, and that you have a good attorney.
- Find used embroidered patches at the second-hand store to sew on the uniform for a more official look.Add to the costume basket by looking for finds at second-hand stores and yard sales.For a cop from bygone days, find a large key ring with many keys placed on it from the second-hand store to add to the fun.
- Instruct your toddler in how to play safely with the toys you have added to the police uniform — the handcuffs are on a suspect with their approval.Sew the gold buttons on securely. Small buttons in a toddler's mouth can lead to a choking hazard.
Things You'll Need
- Blue pants
- Blue shirt
- Gold buttons
- Fabric paintIron-on patches
- Police hat
- Handcuffs (play)
- Walkie talkie