When you think your child’s school has had enough non-uniform days, you get a letter about WORLD BOOK DAY! And of course, I did not expect it even though it was plastered everywhere I looked. Now, supermarkets and retailers are cashing in on this and making plenty of money selling costumes for our children to dress up in on this day.
What kind of parent are you?
Do you read the letter and become excited and overjoyed, you start to think about the different costumes you could make? Or do you think of a few expletives that you can’t say out loud because your lovely little children are looking at you ready to discuss what they will be dressing up as? Well, I am a bit of both. I am definitely not excited as I am absolutely fed up of non-uniform/ dress up days my kids have already had at school, but I love being creative so my mind begins to wonder about what materials I will need to make their costumes.
I guess, in that sense, I am a little old-fashioned as that’s what we’ve always done – made the costumes. The kids love it because they can get involved and every child looks unique in their own special way. So, no two Cinderellas will wear the same gown… unless you’ve bought them from the supermarket!! I cannot tell you how surprised I was at the number of children who wore ready-made costumes; I’m guessing my children were the only ones in costumes that we made.
My eldest, in year 4, wanted to go as Pocahontas. I found an old dress and we cut it up and added tassels and feathers and we made a head piece and it was great! My little one, in year 1, wanted to dress up as Little Red Riding Hood. So we made her a little hood and cape and we filled up a little basket with goodies and off they went. When they returned home, we spoke about their day and they said that they were the only children in their class that had their costumes made at home.
What???! I was right but, what is going on? Either parents have become too lazy or they don’t have any time or they just can’t be bothered!! Has creativity disappeared? Don’t you think it teaches your child a little about having an imagination and thinking about what they can use to be creative and make their costumes? Soon, it’s just not going to be cool to make them anymore and I’ll have to buy them too, because I don’t want my children feeling left out because all the other kids have fancy costumes and they don’t.
I think schools should actually insist that children do not buy their costumes, but are they really going to do that? I don’t think so, remember, they make money too. My children had to take in a pound each for dressing up, that’s quite a lot when you add it up for all the children in the school…. AND, (and that’s a big ‘and’), my children had another non-uniform day the following week for another event. And guess what? Yes, you’re right; they had to take in another pound each, plus an Easter egg… which the parents will have to buy back so the school can benefit. I do digress. I suppose I am venting a little here!!
So, back to World Book Day, don’t get me wrong. I am in favour of the day itself and I think books should be celebrated, but just like all other events in the year, it’s become very commercialised and we’re all falling for it. It’s no longer about the most creative costumes, and the time and effort put in to making something wonderful that our children can wear and be proud of, but it’s now about putting something on them and sending them off to school. Did you notice this year how many children wore the same costumes? It’s bound to happen if everyone is buying them, so no one will feel special anymore.
I use social media quite a lot and love to take a look to see what creative costumes parents have put their children in. So, sat with my cup of tea, I scroll through Instagram and Facebook and what do I see? I was not a happy bunny. I am feeling very disappointed. Everyone dressed up as Harry Potter or one of his mates! (I’m not a Harry Potter fan so I don’t know their names!) They all looked the same! I saw a lot of Horrid Henrys and Fantastic Mr. Foxes, but did I see any homemade costumes?
I actually made a conscious effort to keep looking just to find one so my faith in humanity can be restored. Not one. Not a single one! Now please, parents, carers and anyone else reading this please comment and tell me you made a costume. I would love to hear from you. Share your costumes ideas with us. Make me happy again!
Or, if you are in favour of the bought costumes, let me know why. Maybe I will come round to it, (not likely but it’s a challenge for you all). If you’re a teacher, how do you feel about World Book Day at your school? Do all the kids look the same?
I will leave you with this quote from Albert Einstein, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”
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