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Princess dressing up in reception

(89 Posts)
jackierussell Mon 30-Nov-15 17:18:40

This is a bit of an AIBU, we are getting increasing uncomfortable with the amount of dressing up as Disney princesses that seems to be happening in our daughters reception class, the class is small and comprises 80% girls. The teacher has already made several comments about them being a group with lots of strong characters, and it seems a lot of their play involves dressing up a a princess and/or arguing about who is wearing what. We haven't banned princess stuff at home but don't try to encourage it and all the talk about who was which princess at school is making me feeling queasy! I also feel it is quite excluding for the boys in the class. Is princess dressing up every day common in reception, I can't help but feel that the dressing up could be tailored to the half term topic, down played or based on more every day roles. Fair enough if they have to play princesses but why give them the Disney style dresses? I am also concerned that it is not helping with the class dynamics.

SisterMoonshine Mon 30-Nov-15 17:23:44

The way you said that makes it sound as though it's happening in school with school costumes.
Princess costumes are everywhere, it's probably what they've been donated most of.
You could donate costumes more to your liking.

TurnOffTheTv Mon 30-Nov-15 17:26:21

We have a rack with a full range of costumes on. Police/doctor/clown/cowboy/firefighter etc. The princess costumes always go first, what can you do?

Hulababy Mon 30-Nov-15 17:27:52

I assume they just have a box of dress up costumes - and will rely a lot of costumes which have been donated.

IMO having a box of princess/fairy dress up doesn't exclude the boys. They try it on too at most schools in reception!

However, if you want them to have more choice - why not donate a costume or two of your choosing?

Bambooshoots14 Mon 30-Nov-15 17:28:56

What do you thinks going to happen if they dress up as princesses? How does this exclude the boys?

jackierussell Mon 30-Nov-15 17:29:42

Thanks sister and turn , I am thinking of donating and yes I am aware they will be picked first, I'm not sure if donated or purchased, I guess we have to ride out the year and hope there is less time for it in y1!

jackierussell Mon 30-Nov-15 17:32:40

They just go on and on about the princess stuff I know they will anyway but just keeping thinking 'arghh why have them in school' I know the boys can join in too but I've a feeling they don't.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 30-Nov-15 17:32:39

My thought is that whatever is available will be fought over. Want what they cant have! Character means bossy.

jackierussell Mon 30-Nov-15 17:34:11

It's funny until school started I didn't realise how many things there are that I'm not that keen on!

jackierussell Mon 30-Nov-15 17:35:46

Yes Sally, not sure what the collective would be for a group of bossy princesses? A flounce maybe!

Snowglobe18 Mon 30-Nov-15 17:38:09

Definitely a flounce! I hate it too.

Penguito Mon 30-Nov-15 17:37:45

'Why have them in school?'Fgs they are princess dresses- not guns! I have a nursery school age daughter who loves princesses- we have Disney princess costumes at home. What harm is it doing?? They are children for such a short time, let her dress up as a princess if it's what makes her happy.

AuntieStella Mon 30-Nov-15 17:38:17

It is a bit limiting if they stay narrowly within the same repertoire. And yes, I think school should broaden horizons.

And the way ahead would be to renew the stock of dress up clothes and accessories.

It's a pity the stocks so out of balance in the first place because, assuming this year's 80:20 ratio is not typical, then I'd have expected the stock built up over time would have been more varied. But however that came about, it needs fixing before next year as they certainly cannot count on 80:20 in subsequent years.

I'd go about it two ways: a) an appeal for donations for dress up (perhaps worded to emphasise that owing to previous generosity, they are well supplied with princess costumes and are seeking those for occupations and animals; and b) seeing if the PTA could fund-raise for a few more pieces and let the teacher/TA choose what would best supplement the current stuff.

jackierussell Mon 30-Nov-15 17:44:11

Thanks auntie some good ideas, the daily nature of it is part of what bothers me, will try a sort a wider range to donate for next term, I had no problem with it at pre school and do have the dreaded dresses at home just wish the things would be broader, less stereotypical and more interesting in school!

VagueIdeas Mon 30-Nov-15 17:47:39

I always see little girls at my DD's preschool in princess dresses clip clopping around in plastic kitten heels. The boys dress as Batman/Spider-Man.

I find it really difficult to get het up about it tbh. The children are having fun and you just can't fight this gendered stuff (or rather you can, but not when they're so little).

My DD hates dressing up clothes, anyway grin

WipsGlitter Mon 30-Nov-15 17:54:21

The boys can be just as stereotyped though - batman etc.

One little girl in DS2s class dressed as the gruffalo every day for months!

Sirzy Mon 30-Nov-15 17:57:22

The boys dress up in the princess dresses too in my experience!

MimsyBorogroves Mon 30-Nov-15 17:59:22

They had princess dresses in reception when DS1 was that age.

He was always in them first, much to the disgust of certain members of the class grin

Pico2 Mon 30-Nov-15 18:05:25

I've just asked DD. In her classroom they have dressing up clothes in each reception classroom. In hers there is one princess dress and one princess cape. She has worn the cape but the dress is too small for her. No one argues about who can wear them. Obviously that was reported by a 5 year old, so might not be complete, but it certainly doesn't suggest that your DD's class experience is universal.

Out2pasture Mon 30-Nov-15 18:14:38

With Halloween behind us I can think of several costume/dress up ideas that don't involve the princess dress. I had a large dress-up box for my trio, none store bought but home sewn. I'd discuss my concerns with the school principle, follow up with a non princess costume donation and challenge the PTA.

Snossidge Mon 30-Nov-15 18:20:39

If they are really interested and engaged in princess roleplay, then the teacher probably has it because she is getting lots of learning and progress from it - otherwise she wouldn't have it.

Young children learn more and are more engaged when adults follow their interests rather than imposing what they consider to be suitable termly topics on them.

hazeyjane Mon 30-Nov-15 18:58:55

At our preschool we avoid princess dresses and superhero costumes because it tends to cause quite a lot of drama between the children, and because we know that most of the children have these costumes at home. We have lots of big scarves, sari type things, and bits that can be put together to make a dress, or a cape, indian style long tops, and silky chines style waistcoat things that the boys and the girls are both happy to wear and that they can pretend to be lots of different sorts of things.

mrz Mon 30-Nov-15 19:25:17

Often the most macho boys will dominate the princess costumes ...if that's not happening it would be very unusual IME

Millymollymama Mon 30-Nov-15 21:26:55

When my children went to school, there was no dressing up box in reception. They left that behind at nursery. No arguments!

Sparklycat Mon 30-Nov-15 21:43:21

Things like this baffle me...so young girls like dressing up as princesses?? And what?? It's not dangerous and has been going on many many years, I played princesses and am fully aware as an adult that I am not a princess and do not need to wear pink all the time. Honestly it really does make me baffled. If my daughter wants to play at being a princess she can what is the problem? (Really, what is it? Please explain?).

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