Managing Book Week Costumes

Most people have an extreme reaction to dress up parties – you either love them or hate them.  I personally love a good dress up party.  Managing Book Week costumes for kids involves one big dress up party.  Book Week has found its way into most primary schools in Australia and usually involves one day where your kids are expected to show up at school in costume of their favourite book character,

While I used to put an amazing amount of thought into what I’d dress up as for my friends’ dress up parties, these days I have a completely different approach for managing Book Week costumes for my kids.  I don’t want to spend my spare time and energy on creating amazing costumes for them.

So, what’s the easiest way I’ve found to manage Book Week costumes?

I completely turn around how I chat with my kids about their costumes.  And I set the bar LOW.  The kids know that their costumes cannot involve any sowing from my husband or me.  The costumes also won’t involve travelling to special stores to find the perfect accessory.

In our house, all costumes (for Book Week or other dress up parties) involve one of 2 approaches:

1. Using clothing already in the house.  Instead of thinking of the perfect character and then thinking about where we can source their outfit from, we focus on the opposite.  The kids see what clothing we have in the house and then think about what character they can go as.  For example, my daughter loves gymnastics and has a few leotards – she has gone as a gymnast in her leotard to a few dress up parties.  When she was younger, she wore her favourite Cinderella dress to every dress up party and Halloween.  For my son, he loves animals and so would wear an animals t-shirt and khaki pants and be a zookeeper.

2.  Buy a costume online that can have multiple uses.  When I’ve been organised enough, I’ve ordered some costumes online that can be used for many different characters e.g. our kids have a black gown that has been used to dress up as Harry Potter, a professor and the grim reaper.

I have a friend who bought a nice red and white striped jumper for her daughter, knowing it could double as a Where’s Wally costume.  Another dressed her daughter in brown pants and a green top – she was a tree.  Another had her son dressed casually with underpants over the top – he was Captain Underpants.

Really simple ideas, mainly based on what’s already in the cupboard!
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