I might appear quite crafty, but the thought of having to come up with a themed costume for a school event always fills me with dread. There's a huge difference between buying a costume on eBay and spending hours coming up with a lovingly handcrafted effort, and I'm not sure where on the scale I fit in.
I cheated a bit for Harry's 'Fairytale Day' by dressing him as a Prince - making him a crown and sending him in wearing his formal suit. I also played it safe for 'World Book Day', going with a Charlie Bucket costume that involved jeans and a plain top. I did go to a little more effort with the Shepherd's Nativity costume, but generally I've kept it simple.
So I thought I could make a bit more effort for 'Circus Day' and come up with something original and yet not requiring too much time or expense. After a bit of brainstorming with family members, my Dad suggested a Lion Tamer. A quick Google for ideas gave me a starting point (as well as a few very unsuitable ones!)
I decided to make Harry more of a Lion Trainer, so instead of a whip we made him a little tin for 'Lion Treats', which he filled with coloured sweets that he drew and cut out.
I took our hula hoop and added flames by cutting shapes out of red and yellow paper and taping them around the top edge. Then he wore his smart trousers and waistcoat with a t-shirt. I would have liked to add a moustache but he refuses any kind of face paint. A lion was an essential part of the costume, and fortunately we have a stuffed Simba.
Even though it was the morning of the Britmums conference and I was almost off duty, I went along to the school to see all the other children dress up (and pick up some ideas for when it's Mia's turn in a couple of years). One really original costume that I saw was a plate spinner, with a paper plate taped to a stick. There were also a few strongmen and plenty of clowns. Most of the girls were in tutus, so that's something that I should be able to manage!
What Harry really liked about this costume was the opportunities that it gave him for role play. Although I don't think that they put on any kind of performance at the school, he had a great time at home playing lion tamers, teaching his toy lion to jump through the hoop and do other tricks before being rewarded with a sweet.
What sort of costumes have you had to produce for your child?