When I was a little girl, one of my favourite stories was the one about the beautiful girl (who didn't know she was a princess) who was trapped in a tall tower by a wicked witch. This girl had the longest, most beautiful hair I had ever imagined (my own hair was fine, flyaway mousy brown and was kept short by my mum who kept hoping that would thicken it up although it never did).
In any case, I am sure you know which story I am talking about . . . my eldest granddaughter, Fairy Pink, calls it "Apunzal, Apunzal let your hair down" and, just like her nanna did all those years ago, wants more than anything to have hair as long and luxurious as Rapunzel. Just about every day, Fairy Pink asks if we can check to see if her hair has grown long enough yet but, alas, it still only reaches to the middle of her back.
Children love fantasy . . . actually, most people enjoy fantasy in some form or other so it is not really the exclusive domain of kids - they just get away with playing pretend a lot easier than adults do.
I love to scour the op shop to find cool dress up things - flowergirl dresses, capes, sparkly tops and all sorts of good stuff is available . . . I found a Disney Princess Ariel dress as well as a Tinkerbell dress the other day. Each cost me $2 - beat that! I took them home and washed them and added them to the dress up box in the girl's room in my house.
We have collected fairy wings and crowns, red magician capes and devil's horns, full lace dresses and once even had a green caterpillar outfit (rather difficult to get into). Our dress up box is such a source of fun and imaginative play games that there really is never a dull moment!
As I have already mentioned, fantasy is not just for the very young . . .
My youngest daughter ordered a Minnie Mouse costume on eBay a couple of years ago and it was delivered on a day that the grandkids had come over to play. Without a word to the little girls, Auntie went into her room and got changed into this amazing costume - complete with four finger gloves, a beautiful pink and white spotted satin dress and a huge Minnie Mouse head.
The look on Fairy Pink and Fairy Purple's faces when life size Minnie Mouse walked down our hallway was priceless! I told them that I knew how much they loved Minnie Mouse and that I knew her and had invited her over to meet them. Talk about nanna cred!
Eventually the penny dropped and they realised that their Auntie was inside the Minnie outfit and, if anything, that was even cooler than just having the real Minnie Mouse in their nanna's house.
The seriousness of life takes over oh, so quickly for us all so why not put together a dress up box with lots of bits and pieces for active imaginations? To be honest, I think I enjoy dressing up as much as they do (do you think I could be using them as cover so I can continue to live out my childhood fantasies . . ? )