Looking for fun dress up ideas for your kids to help promote pretend play? Look no further! Whether you’re dressing up like your favorite characters, going to a Halloween party, or just promoting pretend play, kids of all ages will love these dress up ideas. These ideas are great for at home or in the preschool or kindergarten classroom.

dress up ideas

Top 20 Super Simple Dress Up Ideas

This is our Top 20 Super Simple Dress Up Ideas are great for kids who love to dress up!

Wearing the right clothes, whether it’s a crown, swirling ballet skirt or builders hard hat, seems to complete their pretend play.

The secret to the very best dress up costumes lies in the child’s imagination. If they feel the costume is right, then it’s perfect!

Creative Dress Up Ideas for Kids

1. Turn Dad’s Shirt Into A Doctor’s Coat

Dress up ideas- doctors coat made from shirt with red cross and equipment- kids activities blog
Make your own doctor’s coat! Perfect for pretending being a doctor.

Want a fun idea for an easy dress up and pretend play idea? Use Dad’s old shirt to make a doctor’s coat! Tip: You can use stitch witchery fusible bonding web to make this a no sew project. -via The Bear and the Fox

2. Use A Pillow Case To Make A Nurse’s Costume

dress up ideas- nurses costume with head band and baby doll- kids activities blog
Be a nurse with this homemade nurse’s costume and patch up all the baby dolls!

Here is another easy costume idea! Use an old pillowcase or bedsheet to make a nurse’s apron. You can also make this project no sew by using fusible bonding web. -via Ziggity Zoom

3. Super Simple Hero Cape

dress up ideas- super hero cape yellow on little girl with pink dress- kids activities blog
Be super with this DIY super hero cape.

Super heroes can try this super simple super hero cape  which you can make in minutes, using fabric glue if you don’t want to sew. This is one of my favorite and easy diy costumes. Just like an iconic movie depicting superheroes, your child can act like their favorite movie characters.-via Mama Smiles

4. Cute Dress Up Ideas

dress up ideas- cute dress up tea party ideas with 2 girls having a tea party- kids activities blog
Dress up for a fancy tea party!

Here’s some cute dress up ideas that will inspire you. -via Kids Activities Blog

5. Pretty Lace Princess Crown

Dress up ideas- blue, gray, gold, and pink lace princess crowns- kids activities blog
Be a princess or queen with these beautiful lace crowns.

This is such a good idea for a great costume! I love this pretty lace princess crown. -via BeauCoup

6. 1920’s Flapper Costume

Dress up ideas- 1920s costume for whole family- kids activities blog
Your whole family can dress up like it’s the 1920s.

This is such an awesome costume. Use a t-shirt dress to make a 1920s flapper costume. You can make a white dress, blue dress, whatever color you like, even a black t-shirt. Plus you don’t new a sewing machine!- via Tessie Fay

Dress Up Ideas for Everyone!

dress up ideas

7. DIY Unicorn Costume 

Everybody loves unicorns!! Make this DIY unicorn costume for hours of dress up fun. What a fun way to promote pretend play! -via Craftaholics Anonymous

8. Dress Up Stage

Dress up ideas- stage with blue couch and white table and pink curtains- kids activities blog
Your kids can put on shows, plays, and tell epic stories with a stage.

A dress up stage is a great way for kids to act out their imaginative play. They can pretend to make up their own stories and scenarios or act out favorite stories like Harry Potter, or pretend to be the Sanderson sisters, or Princess Leia. The sky is the limit when you’re pretending! -via House of Turquoise

9. DIY Dress Up Closet

Dress up ideas- DIY dress up closet blue with dresses and hats in it- kids activities blog
Keep your child’s dress up clothes all in one area.

This is such a great choice! You can also turn an old armoire or tv stand into a DIY dress up closet. Add a mirror on the side. -via Rain On A Tin Roof

10. No Sew Ash Ketchum Pokemon Costume

Dress up ideas- Ash Ketchum costume worn by a little boy with hat and vest- kids activities blog
Gotta catch ’em all!

If your kid loves Pokemon as much as mine do, then you need to make this no sew Ash Ketchum Pokemon costume to add to their creative play arsenal. -via Kids Activities Blog

11. DIY Felt Stick Horse

Dress up ideas- felt hobby horses black, gray, and white- kids activities blog
Ride around in style on a felt horse.

Make a DIY felt stick horse for cowboy play. No sewing required!

12. DIY Paper Dinosaur Hat

Dress up ideas- green dinosaur hat worn by little girl- kids activities blog
Rawr! This paper dinosaur hat is so amazing!

What an easy way to promote pretend play with your child’s favourite character. This is so cool! Make a DIY Paper Dinosaur Hat. -via Cutting Tiny Bites

13. DIY Dress Up Mailman

Dress up ideas- little boy in blue clothes with bag dressed like mail man- kids activities blog
Dress up just like the mail man.

What a unique costume! Your kid will love this DIY Dress Up Mailman idea! Little girls and little boys will love delivering the mail in this super cute costume. -via Jen Spends

So Many Dress Up Ideas You’ll Love

dress up ideas

14. Beautiful Dress Up Wings

Learn how to make beautiful dress up wings in this tutorial. -via Pretty Prudents

13. Make Your Own Animal Ears

Dress up ideas- animal ears on little girl- kids activities blog
You can be a different animal everyday!

These felt and fabric animal ears for make believe play would be wonderful to add to your great dress up ideas. -via Hart and Sew

14. No Sew Tulle Skirt    

dress up ideas- blue and purple tulle skirts on 2 girls hugging by a tree- kids activities blog
Make your own tulle skirt! It makes me think of Cinderella.

Add a super full no sew tulle skirt to your child’s imaginative play stash for lots of dress up ideas. -via Living Well Spending Less

15. Homemade Bird Mask

Dress up ideas- homemade bird mask template pdf file black and white- kids activities blog
Make your own bird mask using this printable template.

Dive into the craft box and create a bird mask. -via Turtle Diary

16. No Sew Superhero Capes

Dress up ideas- no sew red and yellow superhero cape craft on little girl- kids activities blog
Can’t sew? No problem! You can still make a superhero cape.

Here are some more no sew superhero capes. Includes a FREE template! -via Make and Takes

17. DIY Cardboard Camper

dress up ideas- gray and black cardboard camper with boy in green shirt- kids activities blog
This little homemade cardboard camper is a great way to promote pretend play.

Not a costume, but a great DIY project for hours of make believe fun–make a DIY Cardboard Camper! This Airstream is perfect for boys! -via The Merry Thought

18. DIY Jewelry

Dress up ideas- diy kid's jewelry with rings, necklaces, bracelets- kids activities blog
Make your own shiny jewelry.

Dress up isn’t complete without some cute bling! Check out this guide to DIY jewelry. -via Felt with Love Designs

19. Our Favorite Items For Our Pretend Clothes Closet

Dress up ideas- pretend clothes boy dressed like harry potter- kids activities blog
These are our favorite dress up clothes for kids.

You’ll also want to read our Favorite Items for Our Pretend Clothes Chest. This post contains lots of great ideas on how to stock your kids dress up costumes.

What are some dress up ideas for kids?

Need more dress up ideas? Here is a list of 50 to the Top Dress Up Ideas for Kids!

  1. Superheroes (e.g., Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman)
  2. Animals (e.g., lion, tiger, bunny)
  3. Pirates
  4. Princesses
  5. Cowboys/Cowgirls
  6. Fairies
  7. Doctors/Nurses
  8. Firefighters
  9. Police Officers
  10. Astronauts
  11. Knights
  12. Ballerinas
  13. Zombies
  14. Mermaids
  15. Witches/Wizards
  16. Robots
  17. Dinosaurs
  18. Clowns
  19. Athletes (e.g., soccer player, basketball player)
  20. Ghosts
  21. Pop Stars
  22. Historical Figures (e.g., Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra)
  23. Garden Creatures (e.g., ladybug, butterfly)
  24. Farmers
  25. Chefs
  26. Magicians
  27. Explorers
  28. Rock Stars
  29. Storybook Characters (e.g., Little Red Riding Hood, Peter Pan)
  30. Insects (e.g., bee, butterfly)
  31. Circus Performers (e.g., acrobat, ringmaster)
  32. Native Americans
  33. Greek Gods/Goddesses
  34. Robots
  35. Construction Workers
  36. Cowboys/Cowgirls
  37. Vikings
  38. Historical Royalty (e.g., King/Queen)
  39. Ninjas
  40. Safari Explorers
  41. Sports Stars (e.g., baseball player, tennis player)
  42. Monsters
  43. Artists
  44. Popcorn Vendor
  45. Space Aliens
  46. Magicians
  47. Ancient Egyptians
  48. Fairy Tale Villains (e.g., wicked witch, evil queen)
  49. Scarecrows
  50. Fashion Designers

Why are imaginative play and dress up so important for kids?

The importance of imaginative play for children has been deeply and extensively studied by researchers and experts in child development. (We’ve literally written books about imaginative play! Playing dress up is an important part of that. Dress up clothes literally allow kids to add sensory elements to their imaginations. Kids can dive into their imaginations more fully to develop skills like social skills, empathy, and emotional regulation, and gain a broader perspective on the world around them. But that doesn’t mean that dress up ideas have to be expensive costumes. Instead, focus on imagination when helping your kids find dress up ideas. A tablecloth makes a great superhero cape. A wooden spoon makes a great fairy wand. A parent’s button-up shirt makes a perfect lab coat when playing doctor.

Waht are popular dress up ideas for kids' parties?

Considering a dress up theme for a kids party? You should absolutely do it! They are so much fun. One popular theme is princesses and princes. Kids can dress up in their fanciest suits or dresses for the event. Find some plastic crowns at the local party store and crown them kings and queens as they arrive.

Another fun theme is superheroes, where children can pretend to be their favorite superheroes like Spider-Man or Wonder Woman. Fairytale and storybook characters are also popular. Animals are a cute and popular theme too, where kids can dress up as lions, tigers, or even their favorite pets.

Pirates are another exciting theme, where children can wear eye patches and pretend to search for treasure. (Try hiding a cardboard treasure box filled with treats for them to find.)

Sports stars, outer space, and magical creatures… the ideas are endless. And we guarantee your kids will be so excited for the event.

More Dress Up Fun From Kids Activities Blog:

I think keeping costumes simply let kids imaginations go wild. What do your kids love to use to dress up?

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  1. Thanks for including our robot. Some great ideas here, I’ll have to see which ones I can convince goblin to try

  2. Adorable – what child doesn’t like dressing up. Even better if you get to create your costumes yourself!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy & Alissa

  3. Great round up Cathy! I happen to know an almost 4 year old who is going to love that super rocket blaster idea!

  4. So many wonderful ideas ”and, I love that so many of them use items we already have at home!

  5. Fabulous round-up, Cathy – and thank you for including our superhero capes! 🙂