How Dressing up Fosters Imagination and Characterisation

How Dressing up Fosters Imagination and Characterisation

The fun and excitement of dressing up normally starts at a young age. A tiara transforms you into a princess, a tutu turns you into a ballerina, dad’s straw hat changes you into a farmer! Role play, make-believe and dress-ups allow children to develop imagination and build confidence through exploration of these new characters, but what happens as we get older? Those glasses we wear are no longer turning us into a scientist, they are just helping us read. That pair of wellingtons are no longer for jumping through to magical worlds in puddles, just for keeping our feet dry in the garden. Where did the magic disappear to?

Dressing up in costumes is an important part of drama that all students, of all ages, need to experience. Children seek out costumes and dressing up naturally for play, but as our students get older costumes allow them to develop character further and become the part!

In drama classes, and specifically when we are preparing for performances, costumes and props make up a key part of our character development. The costumes they wear reinforce the scenarios and character traits! Plus, it’s fun to dress up!

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Here are a few of the benefits of dressing up:

1. Fostering Imagination 

Children’s imaginations know no bounds, and as our student grow and develop we want them to have the opportunity to use their love of dressing up to help them develop their skills in characterisation.

2. Exploring Identity 

When students are younger, dressing up allows them to explore the idea of character and themselves. They decide what they want to be when they grow up, what they like and dislike!

3. Improving Communication 

Dressing up forces children to experiment with new language. They have to anticipate what, for example, a ballerina would say, or how a space explorer would speak. This gives them chance to practise with words and phrases they wouldn’t normally use.


Our annual concert gives students the wonderful opportunity to develop their characters further through dressing up in costume.

“I’d just like to congratulate you on how fabulous the concert was. I love that my kids can be exposed to all the bubbling creativity that Speak Up runs on whilst gaining some very valuable skills for life.” – Mum