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Childrens Costumes and Fancy Dress

Childrens Costumes and Fancy Dress.

Kids love dressing up as fireman, fairies, doctors, nurses and all manner of other imaginary and real people, animals and fantasy creatures. It is our job as parents to enable children to fully explore their imaginations to let their personalities develop and to experiment with all that life has to offer; not only for the pure fun factor of dressing up but as an educational opportunity that can help teach relaxation, sharing and creativity.

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Fancy Dress or Dress Up

The terms 'Fancy dress' and 'dressing up' costumes are used interchangeably but there is a difference, typically fancy dress is a simple costume designed for a one off party or event so may not be used again. Every parent knows kids that dress up in costume are very unlikely to only do it once so dressing up costumes for children are typically higher quality and harder wearing. The extra expense is usually minimal compared to the vastly better play experience the child has the chance to develop. Why limit them to witches and wizards at Halloween when there are so many other possibilities to explore that they can also enjoy all year round?

Costumes help develop life skills

Dressing up helps develop skills and traits that are important for adult life later on. They give the child wearing the costume the chance to step out of their normal persona and experience life through the eyes of another. Dressing up as a nurse will almost inevitably give the child a reason to practise and feel empathy for others while dressing up as Knight or Pirate is likely to bring out the rescuer or leader side of wearer respectively. Stepping out of their normal role into an imaginary one can be an emotional release as well as a powerful learning experience and fun too.

Costumes in Education

Schools and educational institutions can make great use of costumes to illustrate key points and envelop performers and audience in a more enthralling and 'edu-taining' experience. Teaching kids to brush their teeth while dressed as a toothbrush and toothpaste or how to cross the road while wearing police and lollypop crossing patrol uniforms will reinforce the message and is likely to be far better recalled by the children watching and taking part.

Elaborate or Simple Costumes

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Just how elaborate should a child's costume should be is much like everything in life; cost will be a factor but imagination is a powerful thing and low cost fancy dress or cheaper costumes can offer just as much fun as the most highly decorated princess dress or kings cloak. That said, the quality of some garments is so high that they are virtually indistinguishable from 'the real thing' which increases the richness of experience proportionally. Stage shows and carnivals usually demand the highest quality costumes but these can also be enjoyed every day by the luckiest children.

UK Fancy Dress Brands

Brands are important to get full backup, great design and above all full safety assurances. Big UK costume brands such as Travis Designs, Pretend to Bee and major overseas brands such as Leg Avenue and Souza for Kids as examples all have rigorous testing processes and every costume is certified to meet current EU standards for sale in the UK. Such assurances is almost always missing from cheaper or imported unbranded costumes. The world is full of manufacturers that have lower standards than EU and UK consumers demand so importing cheap children's costumes from overseas or 'home-made' sellers should be avoided at all costs.

Make Your Own Kids Costumes

Why should I not just make a costume instead of buying it? The same reasons you should pick a good brand; a child's safety is paramount and while you may be very good at designing and sewing a personalised costume you cannot be sure that it doesn't present a choking hazard, contain materials or small parts that are unsuitable for children or indeed dyes that are poisonous or irritant unless the completed garment undergoes a rigorous expert examination. It costs several thousand pounds to check a professionally designed costume meets these standards so the chances of managing to meet them yourself are slim at best.

How do I chose?

We've arranged products by type of event, type of costume (department) and by brand and further subdivided these sections for ease of browsing our ranges. If you find a costume brand you like, click on the brand logo and skip straight to their entire range. Remember to try to match the costume to the child's expectations and needs and make sure you have accurate sizing rather than just relying on the age guide although we have an excellent returns process to allow exchanging if necessary.

This article was first published 3 November 2015
Author: Dean Winsbury

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