Make dressing up inclusive

Dressing up

If your school is dressing up, celebrate choice (avoid giving prizes for best costume, which can exclude some children.

A popular way to encourage children (particularly reluctant readers) to engage with reading, to swap reading recommendations, and to celebrate what children are reading at home.

Tips to make dressing up inclusive and a way to celebrate children’s book choices:

• Just 3 items: can children create a character or book from just 3 items from home
or school?
• Does your letter to parents focus on the child’s choice of book?

• A rail stocked with various hats, capes, coats and tails can provide key elements of costume to support children’s understanding of character across the year.
Host a costume swap, or parents or PTAs might be able to help source costumes.

• Provide options for children who prefer non-fiction – offer options to share favourite facts or be the author using costumes or props.

Offer alternatives

  • Make badges.
  • Customise t-shirts.
  • The cardboard challenge: provide brown cardboard and a time limit of 30 minutes. Invite children to create a key prop or clothing item. These could be displayed with the books to create a museum that the class can explore or be modelled in an assembly.
  • Role on the wall: Invite the children to draw round each other and use the outline to create the silhouette of their character. Create a character profile by writing key actions on the arms and hands, key feelings in the heart, key ideas or thoughts in their head, key sayings (if there are any) in a speech bubble and key places they go on their feet. Display the finished characters in a gallery for the others to explore.
  • Create a poster: Children pick a non-fiction title and create a poster with some of the most exciting information from the book or a profile of something described in the book.