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Dress Up Ideas!

by: Diane Flynn Keith
posted: February 26, 2005

Little kids love to dress up in costumes and grown-up clothes. I kept a big costume box filled with all kinds of clothing articles that the kids could use to act out any character that came to mind — often inspired by stories we had read.

They tried on different personalities as they dressed up and pretended to be a daddy, mommy, doctor, fire fighter, police officer, chef, grocer, letter carrier, dancer, sports personality, rock star, etc. That costume box provided endless hours of imaginative fun. Here are some ideas to help you create your own costume box:

  1. Go through your closet and find clothes that you don't wear anymore and put them in the costume box. Don't forget shoes, hats, gloves, belts, purses, ties and costume jewelry.
  2. Ask grandparents and other relatives and friends to donate any old clothing, uniform, costumes, or accessories to your costume box.
  3. Trick-or-Treat!
  4. Take the kids to the second-hand clothing store or Good Will or Salvation Army store. Let them choose some grown-up clothing items from the racks. Shirts, pants, jackets, dresses, hats, gloves and more -- these items are often very inexpensive -- maybe only $0.50- $2.00 each! I found feather boas and even a light-up disco bow tie for only a couple of bucks. I also found children's costume items at the second hand store -- leftovers from Halloweens past.
  5. Building Supply Stores often carry inexpensive construction helmets, welder's masks, painter's masks and hats, safety goggles and other items that kids love to try on and use when they play.
  6. Costume stores and theaters occasionally have worn costumes and accessories for sale or to give away. Look in your phone book yellow pages and make some calls to see what you can find.
  7. Uniform shops sometimes have big sales on career clothing -- call to find out.
  8. Next time you visit your doctor's office or veterinary office ask them if they would contribute a couple of clean pairs of disposable masks or gloves or other items to your costume box.
  9. To the Batmobile!
  10. Garage sales are great places to pick up clothing items and accessories for very little money. Check your newspaper listings or visit Craig's list for garage sales.
  11. Flea Markets are another great source for finding costume items.
  12. Don't forget Freecycle -- an Internet based network that provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items. One person's trash can truly be another's treasure!
  13. Fabric remnants can stimulate your costume imagination. You'll find them at fabric and craft stores.
  14. Make costumes for your children. You'll find some suitable, easy patterns from Scholastic.

Have fun playing "Dress-Up" with your little ones!

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