Who hasn't been captivated by the picture of the grandchildren sneaking up the stairs into grandma's attic going through her trunk and trying on old clothes? It's an image that delights us and one I've tried to recreate at my house.
My daughter-in-law actually got me started on a costume box. For my granddaughter's fourth birthday, I called my daughter-in-law for ideas for a gift. She suggested costumes for their family's costume box. I was glad to contribute. But it got me to thinking. . . I needed a costume box at my house too! I already had a cedar trunk that I have used for a coffee table, but no longer had room for in my living room. I was set!
And more. . .
My sister got me the book, Grandmother, Another Name for Love by Alice Gray and Susan Wales. I've already sung this book's praises in another blog post. I copied a lot of the authors' ideas for my costume box from their chapter, "Tender Moments," when I started my costume collection for my box.
Collect, collect, collect! From EVERYWHERE!
You can probably guess the drill. Start with your own closet--old dresses, handbags, tops, shoes, and perhaps some hats. Then from my husband's closet I got an old sport coat and two vests from his hippie days including a serape. Then I hit the thriftshops. The local party supply store is great as you can get a wealth of accessories there for a minimal price. I even snagged tutus and princess dresses at discount stores. The list is endless. My sister donated all her old costume jewelry, but as I write this, I'm thinking she might want her jewelry back! She has great-granddaughters now.
Don't forget the jewelry and accessory box. I used a separate box for that--so boas and flower leis don't get crushed. This cute box was inexpensive at the craft store and it matches my guest room decor.
Remember other professions too! That fourth birthday for my granddaughter that I previously mentioned? Besides the princess dress, I did buy her nurses' and doctors' garb as well. And my girls love the safari hats (or dinosaur hunter's hats....whatever) and the firemen hats too. I'm an equal opportunity grandma!
Please remember. . .
This costume box was thirteen years in the making. This didn't happen overnight. And some of the costumes were donated from my grandkids' own costume box. They outgrew them and wanted their younger cousin to enjoy them when he was at my house.
If nothing else, just let them get into your closet. That's really all they need for a world of fun!
"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning." Mr. Rogers
Costumes in action:
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!