WBD is just a few sleeps away, and that means one thing – costumes. But don’t worry, you can still pull this off. Our Hour Hands team of busy mums have put together some easy ideas for World Book Day costumes, with no sewing skills required!
Dread and joy
Do costume days at school make you break out in cold sweat? Are memories of the last one coming back to haunt you… the frantic search in the dressing-up box at midnight the day before and the knowledge that really everything in there is at least two sizes too small. The fact that your morning routine disintegrates into total chaos once the children can wear anything other than uniform. The battle with the child that hates dressing up and the debate with the one that wants a full theatre costume and face paint. And your husband’s helpful comments such as “Waste of money”, or “Just give it straight to charity”?
Yes – we’ve been there, done that.
But despite all this, a little bit of us is still proud of what we can achieve with limited resources and extreme time pressure. The children (mostly) love it, and you’ll get great photo opportunities for next year’s calendar or social media.
Here’s how to battle through this year’s World Book Day costume challenge with more smiles and (a little) less sweat!
Let’s face it, preparation is the key to surviving the juggle of work, household and children. Ideally you’ll have it in your diary with a reminder set, but if that hasn’t happened (and if it had then you wouldn’t be reading this) then you’re not too late. Just don’t leave it until the night before (but if you do, skip straight to point 3)!
Costumes – the survival guide
There are three ways of dealing with the costume problem:
1. Borrow or buy it
If you have a active social media parents or school network, check if you can pick up a secondhand outfit cheaply or borrow one. If that fails, the fancy dress shop you drive past on your way to work is your next stop. And then there’s Amazon Prime – our saviour on countless occasions.
2. Outsource it
We’re huge fans of outsourcing (possibly that’s why we operate a Concierge Service?!). Everyone should work to their strengths; if sewing costumes isn’t one of yours then find someone else that enjoys it and is good at it. They earn some money and you get a costume – it’s a win-win situation. If you’ve got a keen and able grandma around, even better!
3. Use their normal clothes
With pre-teens in the house, dressing up is decidedly uncool. Get them to scour their bookcase (or Google) to find characters sporting everyday clothes. Job done!
Easy World Book Day costumes:
Horrid Henry – Stripy jumper and jeans
Matilda – Red hair ribbon, (blue) dress, pile of books
Tom Gates – white t-shirt (if you have time let them draw on it) take the book.
Alex Rider (Stormbreaker) – black/dark jacket/hoody, white t-shirt, trainers. If they like hair gel, today is the day to let them loose with it. If you can find sunglasses, even better.
Harry and the bucket full of dinosaurs – blue trousers, red t-shirt and some dinosaurs
Ben (Gangsta Granny) – normal clothes, Bandit Eye mask (or paint it on with face paint if you have some)
Billionaire Boy – have you just been to a family wedding and bought your little one a suit? There you go – you can use it again!
Ratburger – Your child fancies the scruffy look. Perfect. Stripy t-shirt, old trousers/jeans, sunglasses if you have, scruffy hair.
Chloe in Mr. Stink – Stripy t-shirt, jeans, trainers, (red) cardigan/coat.
Pippi Longstocking, Annie, Ron Weasley or Tintin – all great if your child has ginger hair or you happen to have a ginger wig in the bottom of the dressing-up box.
Mr Men – Mr Bump (blue t-shirt and trousers, and some bandages), Mr Greedy (pink clothes with a pillow under the t-shirt)
Bad mum/good mum?
Does it make you a bad mum if you buy your costume or get someone else to make it. The answer is NO. Is it going to affect your children’s happiness and chances of success in later life? NO. So don’t let the pressure get to you.
If you’re talented enough to turn your hand to sewing, be proud and enjoy it. If you have a bit of spare time or need a little bit of extra cash, let your friends know. They might be just delighted to have a saviour in their circle of friends.
Good luck mums and dads, and remember, enjoy the photos and embrace the madness!