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ruralteacher ruralteacher is offline
 
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Creating costumes in the primary grades
Old 06-20-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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I am taking an art class this summer that is currently studying how artists use costumes to create mood in their performance. Then we are asked how WE use it in our classrooms. Well, I'm a new teacher and haven't gotten to costumes yet...So, I came to my fellow teachers and am asking, what would I need to do in order to be able to have kids dress up and create skits/plays in the classroom? Keeping in mind that I have NO funds from the school, and NO money in my own pockets, what kinds of things do I ask for in my 'please donate...' letter?


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on the cheap
Old 06-24-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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I use large paper grocery bags for vests all of the time. Open the bag and place it as if you were going to fill it. Cut one side down the middle. The bottom of the bag can be cut to form a collar and size, each side for arm holes. The children can decorate to be community helpers, animals or whatever costume you need for a particular skit/play. Fit strips of paper to go around the child's head. Staple or tape to secure. (To the paper, not to the kid's head! )The children can paste feathers, scraps of fabric, draw spots, strips. You can make masks with paper plates-cut out eye holes, hole punch either side and tie string to fit. You can also tape a plate to a craft stick for the children to be able to hold in front of their faces. Cereal boxes can be covered and used for accessory pieces like a suit case, doctor bag, purse, or back pack. Parents would most likely donate discarded "dress-up" clothes like scarves (silky, or winter variety)purses, hats, and costume jewelry. Western theme costumes are easy enough with clothing most children have at home-blue jeans, button shirts, etc... Hankerchiefs, bandanas are cheap. Face paint bought after Halloween are always discounted. Anytime you add whiskers, paint a nose, or pink up cheeks you create an instant transformation. My local dollar stores carry fire hats, construction hats and the like. Maybe ask parents for gift cards to your local dollar store(s)?
*Underlined items are things that parents will consistently donate in my experience-especially recyclables. Hope this helps!
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Doing it on the cheap
Old 07-19-2009, 11:30 AM
 
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I agreed with pp. It's all about the Dollar Tree. The fine arts teacher at my school and I recently put on a musical with primary grade children and were able to costume the whole cast for hardly any money. We got tank tops for $1 and she decorated them with felt and feathers (for barnyard animals). She made hats out of cheap visors and some foam.

If you have a Michael's near you, sign up for their emails and you'll get a 40% coupon every week (just print out as many as you need - you can use it once a day). We use craft materials to put together great costumes. Ask for gift cards!
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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My absolute favorite activity that I did with my kindergarteners was this:

1) Masks- spray paint colanders (the ones with a single long handle if possible) with pink paint. Use pom-pom balls, craft foam, & wiggle eyes to create pig faces. You'll need 3 of these.

2) Make a wolf costume. I usually just used a large gray shirt with a tail pinned on.

3) Get the kids involved! Divide the class into 3 parts. Each group gets a large piece of bulletin board paper. I would usually but the top into a pointed roof shape and draw on a door. Then, one group gets red paper that they have to cut into rectangles & glue on for bricks. Another group cuts strips of yellow for hay. The third group cuts strips of brown for sticks.

4) Have the kids perform The 3 Little Pigs. You can simply read it and have them act it out. I always liked to use Greg & Steve's 3 Pigs song so that the entire class could rock out to it.

Have fun!
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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Another fun 'costume' for kids: Buy yellow feather dusters. Add wiggle eyes & a beak. If you have several of these, they can act out the "5 little ducks went out one day..." song.

Also, go to the local pharmacy/clinic & ask for lab coats.

Buy a few large scraps of material. Add an old camera. You probably have one in a drawer if you look. Ta-da! Instant way to set up a pretend photo studio.


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great ideas
Old 08-04-2009, 03:48 AM
 
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These are great ideas.
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