When my two daughters were 4 & 6 years old I decided to put together a dress up box for them but I quickly realised that my choices were pretty limited. I could find plenty of cheap colourful costumes but nothing that would last for more than a couple of hours before it fell apart, and as for washing and drying? Forget it. Everything seemed to be made for Halloween and designed to last for about a week.
I decided that the only thing for it was to make my own costumes, using decent, quality fabrics that could actually stand up to the rough and tumble of real play (and laundry). I started with scrubs I wanted costumes that reflected realistic role models and after years of watching me working in healthcare, my children wanted to be a Doctor, a Nurse, a Surgeon or a Vet. From then on my girls became co-designers and models, their classmates became size testers until, finally, I sent out my very first orders. The reaction was everything I could have hoped for:
As I started to work with, and supply, Early Childhood Centres I witnessed the deeply powerful value of dramatic play in early childhood. The benefits extend far beyond imagination and I wanted to make sure my costumes reflected that. I worked with early years educators and a fabulous Irish illustrator to develop printable packs that are not only aligned with the Aistear curricular framework but also quickly and easily transform a play space into a Garda Station, a Bakery, a Doctors Surgery or a Fire Station.
PS: I get asked about the name Mermaids and Dragons quite a lot.
It comes from my 2 little girls- one mermaid who would happily spend hours upside down in the water and one little dragon who chases birds away by roaring her little heart out