Dressing up is a very important part of role play. It allows children to become other people and explore different personalities and emotions.
Readymade costumes are big business but there is an extra dimension to your child’s fun if they play with lots of kids crafts to make their own costume. It’s more creative and also they are more likely to wear the clothes more often. They will also have a larger wardrobe of make-believe costumes because they cost so much less.
Think about safety when designing a costume. Take care with cloaks or garments that are fastened at the neck. Also look out for tripping hazards. With younger children, be aware of the dangers of choking or the possibility of catching small fingers in detailed outfits. It’s really up to adults to produce the base for the costume as a lot of activities may be unsafe for children. However, it’s the kids that get to do the really fun bits by making the costume special.
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The easiest cloak is made from a curtain. Start by marking the correct length for the child’s height. Now make a new hem by simple stitching or using iron-on glue tape, which is readily available in lots of stores.
Now use the strings at the top of the curtain to gather the fabric together so it fits correctly. Finally, attach strong tie fastenings at the neck.
Now kids are ready to turn the simple cloak into something wonderful:
- Glue silver foil stars to the fabric to make a magical cloak.
- Use a velvet curtain and sticks lots of cotton wool or white fun fur around all the edges for a royal look.
- Stick logos and letters to a shorter cloak to make an outfit for a super hero.
- Use net curtains with stick-on gems for a stylish princess or a glamorous bride.
Complete your overall look with the perfect hat! All sorts of shapes and styles can be used for dressing up- sun hats, baseball caps, beanie hats and woollen hats.
Kids can add flowers made with paper or ribbon, gems and feathers. Try adding bits of net or lace too. A hat can be completely changed by securing a cone of paper over the crown. Once the join is hidden, you have a convincing witch’s hat.
Hats can be simple paper bands stuck with feathers for Native Indians or jewels for Kings and Queens. Hair bands are very good bases for hats too. All you need is pipe cleaners and pom-poms for aliens or cut-out ears for all sorts of animal disguises.
Clever Box Costumes
Who would believe that even a cardboard box can be a brilliant outfit? Simply cut away the top and bottom. Set the cut cardboard to one side, it will be used later.
Attach straps made from strong card or string in two loops either side of the box. This will sit on the wearer’s shoulders.
Now for the fun. Kids can set to work converting an old box into an animal, car, plane or robot. Use the cardboard cut offs as stick –on heads, ears, tails, buttons or dials.
All you need to add are the right coloured clothes for the wearer and maybe a simple hat to finish off the look.
A Few More Ideas
The sky is the limit with children’s costumes. Some easy ideas are:
- A short cloak, eye mask and a toilet roll wristband for a perfect super hero.
- Halloween costumes are easy with black clothes painted with fabric paint to make a skeleton shape.
- A decorated white sheet and face paint is the base for a ghost. Make the cloak black and add a hat and you have created a witch- perfect for Halloween costumes.
- Stripy shirts with brown trousers and a homemade gold buckle, eye patch and cutlass make a great pirate.
- If you want to conjure up a clown, add a homemade neck ruffle, some trouser braces and lots of cut-out shapes and floppy paper flowers.
There are limitless ideas for homemade costumes and the finished outfits impress people so much. Kids love wearing costumes and they are even more passionate about making them with so many fun kids crafts.