No matter what the occasion, kids love to dress in costume. Instead of fretting at the next dress-up event about what your child will wear, help him or her use imagination and put together an outfit from your closet and theirs.
The best part about dressing as a cowboy or girl is that almost every child already owns a pair of jeans. Kids’ cowboy hats are inexpensive at any party supply store. Add on kids western belts and bandanas and your buckaroos are ready to ride.
Even without a fancy chef’s hat, your little baker can look the part easily. Pencil in a curly “French” mustache with eyeliner. Tuck a big white dish towel into his or her belt. Give your little Julia Child or Marcus Samuelsson a big plastic bowl and a wooden spoon for props. The best part is dusting them from head to toe with flour for authenticity. (Make sure they hold a napkin over their nose and mouth before you dust.)
Clowns come in all shapes and sizes and mismatched clothes. Let your funny guy or gal raid an older sibling’s closet for a pair of pants that needs to be held up with suspenders or bright ribbons. Add in the loudest shirt you can find. Use vampy red lipstick to make a clown nose and exaggerated smile (or frown). For an extra touch, put your comedian in a pair of dad’s giant shoes, padded with extra socks.
Grumpy Old Man
If you can teach your child to say, “Stay off my lawn!” while wearing a bathrobe, you’ve got a great grumpy old man or grumpy old lady costume. Add a rolled-up newspaper or flashlight for props. If your child really wants to get in character, put her in curlers or use shoe polish to make him prematurely gray.
Costumes don’t have to be expensive or elaborate. A towel around the neck can make a superhero and a paper crown can make a monarch if you use your imagination.