Often times there are options for learning about science to arts and crafts to physical activities that are enjoyable for children to do and fun for parents and guardians to either participate or watch as a spectator. There may also be chances for children to pretend by dressing up with clothes and costumes worn by many.
With regards to the clothes and dress up part of these museums, at first I thought it was a cute idea. The more I thought about it though, and the more I read in the news, the more I realized and felt, as did Daniel, that this wasn't such a good idea.
We started to have concerns about exposure to bed bugs.
It's not unheard of for bed bugs to travel on people's clothing and in their hair from one location to another. Therefore, because these clothes and costumes in museums and other shared locations are tried on by many kids, it's not unlikely the possibility of bed bugs latching on to our children, then our cars and eventually into our homes, which their presence becomes an even bigger issue to address.
You may think that I am crazy about this. That's okay. We are all entitled to our own opinions and perspectives. This Mommy's Point of View is that these bed bugs do not discriminate and if you don't want them to invade your life, this to me is one precautionary measure to take to help reduce the risk.
These little, annoying bed bugs can get from place to place very easily and many times not even been seen by the naked eye, especially the immature, young ones.
Therefore, when going to children's museums and other places with clothes for dress up,other then at homes of friends and family, let's be reluctant for them to gussy up in these duds.
It may seem extreme. But for us, this is what works. And, it's a recommendation I suggest for you too.
The good news for us is that Sarah is very understanding of our request for her not to play with these clothes when we are out, except for when we are at the homes of friends and family where dress up is allowed. We tell her that these clothes are dirty and tried on by many and that it would be best to enjoy this favorite activity for home where there are many dress-up options available.
Since Sarah doesn't like bugs it doesn't make sense to scare her by telling her these clothes could have bugs on them. She may never want to play dress up ever again anywhere.
To me, it's like when we take our children to public restrooms. We try very hard for our kids not to touch anything so they won't pick up any germs or other gross things. So, instead, to say that this bathroom, like the clothes, are not cleaned by us so we are not sure how clean they are may be a better approach than to scare them fully.
So, my recommendation, the next time there is a dress up opportunity out in public, try to turn your child's attention to a different, fun activity to occupy and interest them. If this doesn't work, come up with your own approach to helping to explain to your child the reason behind your request.
The good thing to do too, if you have kids who like to dress up, is to have some options at home that they can choose from so you can say that we can play dress up at home. And, so it doesn't feel like you are breaking the bank, instead of buying brand new costumes or gear, especially during Halloween time, try find inexpensive or free costumes and fun dress-up items at yard sales, consignments stores and stoop sales, etc. Off-season costume sales are also a great time to stock up for children's dress-up and pretend wardrobes. Most importantly, before you get anything, choose costumes that can easily be put in the washing machine and dryer before first use. Another reason why yard sales are a great idea, if you spend a dollar or two and the costume doesn't fare well after a wash you didn't spend a lot and the loss won't be great.
If you would rather not purchase these types of items from garage sales, Good Will or other places, that's fine too. Try looking in your closet or your old belongings that are out of style, in storage in the garage that have been waiting to get tossed or are too big or small for you to wear. These items can become a child's haven for imagination. Check for fun ties, bracelets, vests, necklaces and more. It can even become a stroll down memory lane watching our kids prance around pretending to be doctors, teachers, princesses, pirates and more.
Happy dressing up safely.