Imaginative Play

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

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.

Mermaids and Dragons
X-Ray Role Play Set

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.

Mermaids & Dragons
Eye Clinic Role Play

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.

Mermaids & Dragons

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. 

To keep up with news, discounts and see Lucy’s latest creations, follow Mermaids & Dragons on Facebook or check out Lucy’s gorgeous Instagram Feed.

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.  

Not all costumes are created equal. Find out what we thought of our gear from Mermaids & Dragons and win a set of kids' scrubs in time for Christmas! #kidscostumes #mermaidsanddragons www.shinnersandthebrood.com

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18 Comments

  1. Oh wow I love this, thanks for introducing this brand to me. Aoibhínn wants to be a doctor ( at 3) and Santa has a little kit for her, this outfit would be amazing for her. And I love the free downloadable prints, Santa will have to take note of these for her and her twin brother who has volunteered to be the best patient:)

    • Sinéad Reply

      Oh that’s adorable! I can only imagine the cuteness!

  2. Oh, how fantastic are they? When my kids were little I used to hate that horrible, cheap look of kids’ dress up costumes, and they were so easy to rip or damage. I love that these costumes look like the real thing only is smaller versions and the time and effort gone in to making them just right (along with the accessories) is really obvious!

  3. Oh my goodness, these look awesome! Definitely going to be keeping an eye out for the giveaway. My little man would love them x

  4. It’s really refreshing to hear about a high-quality costume – it’s a real rarity now! These look comfortable and so well made. I’m blown away by the printables that are free! They are AMAZING – my daughter would love that to play doctor I will head over to check out the site. Thanks for sharing! x

  5. Oh these look like fantastic costumes! I also love that you can download resources to go with the costumes to encourage imaginative play. What a brilliant idea. The x-rays are my favourite. I know that my two would love these.

  6. These look amazing. My three yrar old dresses up everyday. He loves it. So many of his costumes are filthy but I dare not wash them because they are so flimsy. And they are expensive too! I will look into these.

  7. These costumes looks great. We have a dressing up rail and the boys love dressing up and creating little stories imspired by the outfits.

  8. I love the look of these costumes and props especially the x-rays! I can’t wait till my daughter is old enough for dress up play.

  9. Monkey loves dress up and I must admit I encourage it from the role playing and imaginative play. I love the idea of having resources from the internet to allow you to increase the roleplay options for each character.
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Fun Footprint Christmas Crafts

  10. These look amazing. My daughter loves imaginative play and I’m always looking for costumes to add to her dressing up box. But there are only so many princesses one girl can have. I love the look of the firefighter costume (as Little Miss just visited a fire station on a school trip). And I think that the free printables to help further the imaginative play is just brilliant. Hugs Lucy xxxx
    Lucy Howard recently posted…The day I closed the door and walked away

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