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Book and Character Costumes


Suggest that it might be fun to dress up as a favorite storybook character or even a book itself! This idea will appeal to all the book lovers if you have occasion to dress up.
  • Reading Is Fundamental
  • Celebrations and Holidays, Drama
    • 3-5
    • 6-8
    • 9-12
    • teen
  • Multiple
  • Indoor
  • Play

MATERIALS: For book jacket: Large box, paints and brushes, utility knife, face paints. For character costume: Varies with each costume Book Jacket. Children can wear what every well-dressed book wears-a dust jacket.

First children design and paint the front of a large box to look like a book jacket. Each child can design his or her own. The jacket cover should feature the title of the book, the author's name, and an illustration. Cut armholes and a head hole out of the top and side panels. When it's time to dress up, help a child into the jacket. As a final touch, make up the child's face as a character in the book, or as a book worm crawling out of the book. Character Costume. If you have more time and ambition, help children think up character costumes. Very young children will probably choose an animal character from a picture book or Mother Goose. Older children can turn to their own favorites. Have a young child describe the character to you: What animal features does it have (ears, tail, whiskers)? Does he wear a certain kind of clothing? Does she carry something special? Have an older child research the period of the story or novel for authentic costume details. You don't have to spend a lot of time sewing an elaborate coverup; a leotard and tights or thermal underwear will do for animal skin while you concentrate instead on face makeup, masks, or accessories. Sew felt bear ears on Corduroys hooded sweatshirt, and let your child rip off a button on one side of his or her old corduroy overalls. Give Katy No-Pocket an apron with a huge pocket for carrying her Kangaroo baby (a sock puppet will do) and her Halloween treats. People characters can dress up in clothes you scrounge up and accessories you sew. Take little Laura Ingalls to a rummage sale or thrift store to find her a prairie skirt and shawl. Help Amelia Bedelia sew an old-fashioned bonnet, or Ferdinand a red cape. Planning a character costume encourages children to be inventive and to read for details. More thought and energy are spent on the costumes than money, so your children may learn a simple lesson in thrift as well.

Book and Character Costumes