We may not have read the scholarly articles on the importance of imaginative play but we get it. There are all kinds of cognitive, emotional and social benefits to encouraging our little ones to engage in role play. We’re on board with all of it, naturally; partly because we understand its merits and partly because nothing keeps them occupied and entertained quite like the costume box! We. Are. Sold.
The trouble is, not all costumes are created equal. There are the ones that shed glitter, the paper-thin, synthetic ones that split at the seams and the ones that just won’t withstand a spin cycle. Then there the costumes that will probably outlast all of our kids and the kids they’re passed on to – like the ones made by Lucy of Mermaids and Dragons.
About Mermaids & Dragons
When Lucy Smith, a Meath-based mum of two found it increasingly difficult to source quality costumes that would really stimulate the imagination of her daughters but also survive rigorous play and repeated washing, she decided to address the problem herself with a small fabric stash and a sewing machine.
Of course, it was super easy to find cvive a hand wash or comic book character costumes that they would find interesting for about 5 minutes. Other than that I was coming up blank. – Mermaids & Dragons
Costumes with a Difference
Mermaids and Dragons has since grown into one of Ireland’s most unique and exciting online costume retailers. Lucy’s ever-expanding range of realistic, inspiring, high quality costumes include fire officer, paramedic, doctor, scientist, chef, police office and pirate, among others. She also stocks gorgeous princess crowns, knights’ helmets and personalised swords.
Our costumes are versatile, encourage open ended play and develop communication skills. – Mermaids & Dragons
Imagination in Action™
As well as the costume range, Lucy has gone a step further and designed a whole library of downloadable, printable resources to help make dressing up even more fun. They’re all free, even if you don’t make a purchase on the site! Choose from X-ray posters, eye charts, check-up charts, clinic door signs, fire safety check lists and and lots more.
We develop resources which we believe immerse a child in the experience of role play and dress up and compliment the fantastic costumes we create.
Is there a doctor in the house?
The timely arrival of my five-year-old’s miniature doctor’s scrubs (the week I broke my leg) made for all kinds of fun and experimentation with bandages and stethoscopes. She embraced the role with gusto, even fetching me snacks and drinks. All part of the job. No complaints here.
What was even more remarkable was watching her act out and make sense of the real-life situation going on around her while she was in character. Her empathy and concern definitely helped me understand the impact my injury was having on the kids.
Our Thoughts on our Mermaids & Dragons Costume
- The quality of the fabric and stitching is incredible, as is the attention to detail. The strong, soft cottons are comfortable for little wearers and, very importantly, everything can be machine washed and tumble dried. Hurrah!
- The vast library of printable accessories really enhanced the dress-up fun. My little lady loved filling out patient charts, examining X-rays and sticking up signs and schedules. It added a realistic dimension to the play.
- We loved the fact that each costume set came with a personalised certificate, complete with red foil seal. Another lovely touch.
- We also loved the fact that the costume set came packaged in its own cloth bag. A nice touch and very handy for storing the various components together – if you’re that mom.
- The personalised embroidery service for bags and costumes makes them even more special. Yes, Lucy has thought of everything!
- The costume range is fab. Lucy is making the costumes that parents and kids want but often can’t find. The bigger shops are awash with Elsa dresses and super hero gear but if you’re looking for something a little different and true-to-life, then your search ends with Mermaids & Dragons.
- Costumes start at €45. There’s no doubt that this is an expensive starting point but I’m happy to pay more when I know that a) I’m getting high-quality, long-lasting products and b) I’m supporting a small Irish business.
- Lucy is a pleasure to deal with and it’s clear that quality and customer service is very important to her. She’s passionate about what she’s doing and as a mum herself, she’s very in tune with what parents, as consumers, are after.
The Good News…
Support a great cause
For the month of November, Mermaids & Dragons is donating 10% of all sales to The Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Win a Mermaids & Dragon Costume
Lucy has also kindly offered a second set of the scrubs featured, worth €45, to a Shinners & the Brood reader, which I’ll be giving away on my Facebook page over the weekend. To enter pop over to Shinners & the Brood on Facebook.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on costumes. Are you fans? What do you think of Mermaids & Dragons?
Disclosure: I received a set of scrubs in return for a post on my experience of the site and the products we received. All thoughts are my own, as always. If you’d like to read more about how I collaborate with brands, check out my Disclosure Page.