To think schools do not realise hassle of dress up days?

(245 Posts)
MariusEarlobe Fri 22-Feb-13 10:34:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TomArchersSausage Fri 22-Feb-13 11:23:22

If it is an Ofsted thing then it's not a reflection on the school's abilities, it's the parents who have done the workhmm

Loa Fri 22-Feb-13 11:25:57

We tried making them for first few years - but it is just easier and less likely to go wrong if we just buy them.

They got very frequent at one point and I think someone must have approached the school - because next year they went right down to one.

They are slowly creeping up again – with 3 DC it gets expensive.


willyoulistentome Fri 22-Feb-13 11:30:19

lisad123everybodydancenow - I completely agree. My eldest has recently diagnosed AS. He HATES dresing up and looking different. He finds the whole day really difficult when everything is out of the usual. When discussing his issues with the HT, I could see it suddenly dawn on her that not everyone wouldn find it fun to dress up.

Our school only do two a year... Hallowe'en and their action day for whichever green flag their going for that year.

Loads of us make costumes but it doesn't matter either way... The principal always puts the word out not to go to too much trouble.

Ds1 won the prize for his class last week dressed as a diver: two water bottles taped together, painted black with an oxygen gauge (drawn on paper) stuck on. Tubing connecting to SN old fireman mask they got with a playset years ago. Two red flippers made of cardboard and duct taped to his old clogs. Dds leggings and a plain black top. Cost me €2 for the 'tubing' but it's twisty plant wire and there's loads left in the pack so that will get used.

The kids were so excited by it and had a brilliant day.

I'd be annoyed if it were more often or we were expected to pay but as it stands I think they're a nice idea.

Meglet Fri 22-Feb-13 11:37:30


We get about a weeks notice. It's a mad rush trying to fit costume hunting in around work. I could tolerate it if we knew weeks in advance as I'd have time to scour the charity shops and put together something cheap, last time I just bought brand new fancy dress - for one wear angry.

willyoulistentome Fri 22-Feb-13 11:38:47

SummerRainIsADistantMemory - ha snap! My DS2 (who does NOT have AS and who DOES love dressing up) also went to school dressed as a deep sea diver for the "come dressed for the job you want to do when you grow up" day. He had a wet suit and mask and flippers anyway - I also did the water bottles on the back thing with an old inner tube attached to something for the mouth piece. He also got a prize - he even went to assembly in his real flippers!!!

I did have a moment of thinking " the flippers in assembly will serve them bloody well right for yet another dressup day!!"

steppemum Fri 22-Feb-13 11:39:03

That sounds great summer, trouble is, for lots of them you can't make something that easily.

I like things like for jubilee they all went in in red white and blue - plenty of flexibility there.
But victorians? Pretty hard to do without sewing or buying something.

Chelvis Fri 22-Feb-13 11:46:03

Seriously, the teachers don't always like these much either .... there's always someone in every primary staff room who loves them and if, God forbid, it's the head or deputy head, that's why you end up with 19 (!!!!) of them. They encourage distraction and competition in the children and when you have so much curricululum material to get through, these theme days are a real hassle.

They just put pressure on normal parents, encourage the worst in the pushy ones, and worry/embarrass the children whose parents don't have the time/funds/inclination to prepare them a costume. 1-2 a year, maybe, but I'd make my feelings known if it was any more than that!

Meglet... We're lucky in that respect, we were told the day they went back after Christmas about last weeks one! (I still ended up making them the day before blush

Willyou... grin I had similar thoughts on the flippers. The paint on his water bottles was flaking too and I took guilty pleasure at the thought of him trailing paint flecks everywhere.... Payback for all the a2/a3 sized masterpieces in one inch thick paint I've been presented with with the words 'teacher said we should get mummy to hang it at home'. They brood on the noticeboard until enough paint has fallen off into the cat food that they can justifiably be removed, upon which I am immediately presented with another.

wol1968 Fri 22-Feb-13 11:54:43

YADNBU. I like sewing, and really enjoyed doing DD's Victorian costume, but what if you're working FT and/or can't afford the money to supply materials?

I'm also hmm at those letters home that insist you can make a convincing Tudor costume out of an old bin liner and some string. Really?? Sometimes it's harder work being 'creative' with unpromising materials than it is sewing from a pattern - and I find there's nothing quite like the 'don't go to too much trouble' letter for making you feel completely stupid and inadequate when you can't quite pull off the Fairy Godmother rags-into-ballgown trick.

[goes to track down Fairy Godmother wand]

williaminajetfighter Fri 22-Feb-13 11:55:45

It is also my version of hell. My DD is in a private school and there are a lot of wealthy SAHMs who seem to have much more time/money to be able to craft lovely outfits. I work FT, long hours and am currently on my home (DH working away).

This means if I can even REMEMBER that the event is happening I often have to find some last-minute cheapo victorian costume, or character outfit in Matalan. It's just one more thing that makes me feel inferior to the other mums at DD's school.

Kids like it but not sure it has much to do with learnin.....

williaminajetfighter Fri 22-Feb-13 11:56:24

whoops, typo... 'on my own...'

BadMissM Fri 22-Feb-13 12:00:06

I used to make DD's costumes, but found everyone else either didn't bother, or bought expensive ready-made ones.

However, I explained to DD that not everyone's mother had a box full of material and a taste for mad accessories that could be cannibalised.

I tended to adapt things found in charity shops, and mix them up with her own clothes and made bits....

She's at secondary now, and she relly misses them!

SixFeetUnder Fri 22-Feb-13 12:01:11

I agree Meglet, our school likes to mention it on the Monday night for a dress up day on the Thursday for example. It means no chance to check Ebay or spend a lot of time making one, it's usually cobbled together!

And really all the issues which are meant to be why schools have a uniform in the first place are going to be highlighted even more on dress up days.

willyoulistentome Fri 22-Feb-13 12:04:40

That reminds me - when DS1 was in Reception many years ago - he had to be a donkey in the nativity play. I was still a 'keen Reception Mum' then and went of to the local Oxfan to find somethng cheap and grey to cannibalise. Cam e home with a 20p grey golf jumper intending to somehow turn it into a donkey outfit. However DH spotted it and wouldn't let me cut it up ..and he still wears it now..

IneedAgoldenNickname Fri 22-Feb-13 12:04:43

Can't be anything to do with ofsted, as our school is rated outstanding NTT only has 1 costume day, which is world book day.

The only time this has ever annoyed me was last year, when they themed it to roald Dahl. The children were tools that the best costumes would get a photo in the weekly newsletter and one if the winners was a shop bought gruffalo costume! The shop bought us fine, but what does the gruffalo have to with the theme?

bedmonster Fri 22-Feb-13 12:09:10

I don't like them at all. I have no sewing/crafty skill. Don't own a needle and thread. Don't have yards of fabric just sitting round the house ready to be turned into a victorian costume. I hire them as we have a good fancy dress shop in our town. Expensive but only 4 a year between the 2 DDs. I would be bloody furious at 19.

steppemum Fri 22-Feb-13 12:09:40

thing is - I can sew quite well, I have a box full or junk and fabric, and we have a vast dressing up collection.

But you can bet your bottom dollar that the dress up won't fit any of them. last years world book day they were supposed to wear something connected to the book their class was reading. Dd was doing Where's Wally.

Now I defy you to effectively make a red and white stripey long sleeved T-shirt that will pass muster. So beg borrow or buy. We found one, and some glasses, but it was a major deal to hunt it down (I even broke principles and did a search in asda and tesco etc) But we never found the 'right' hat. Cue upset dd on the morning as others had the 'right' hat and she didn't. The hard won stripey shirt was no longer enough.

It isn't anything to do with Ofsted. They may comment on it in the report if it had happened recently and the children mention it or there are pictures up, but it would have no impact on the grading at all.

I hate them too. Our Literacy co-ordinator insists on WBD dressing up each year. More than once I've panic bought some kind of inappropriate 'Sexy Bo-Peep' costume by mistake and then had to cobble together a costume in the morning and nobody knows what it is (the Bobby Shaftoe/tinfoil knee buckles debacle springs to mind).

I teach Foundation Stage and to be honest the day itself is lovely and the children are excited about their costumes and about books, but I can get them excited about books anyway.


willyoulistentome Fri 22-Feb-13 12:16:08

ALL our teachers came in as a "Wally" as in Where's Wally, one WBD. Some of them very reluctantly, might I add!!!

I don't mind them if I get plenty of time to prepare and a few reminders along the way, what would be nice though is maybe some instruction, I don't need spoon feeding but saying, that your child needs to be dressed in something from this category and x,y,z would be suitable would help.

Although my poor DS2 I have forgotten twice since he started yr 1 blush first was superhero day and luckily they had a Batman costume in the dress up box, second was Children in Need day and I forgot and sent him in uniform, luckily the staff at the school are lovely and thy gave me a sheet of spot stickers to cover him in in the teachers room before class!

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 22-Feb-13 12:18:57

I don't know if boy's school is doing WBD dress up yet or not. Some years they do, some they don't, and we have a new head. So am waiting for notice, rather than sorting something at half term which might not be needed.

I'm hoping they do give some notice.

Arithmeticulous Fri 22-Feb-13 12:25:48

I think you can do a lot with a set of plain leggings/joggers and top in white, brown, black and possibly red & blue.

Then face paints and hats/hairbands or whatever to create a masterpiece.

Startail Fri 22-Feb-13 12:26:47

Once a term and lots of warning OK, more than that or at short notice no!

Likewise please please please tell us if you want red clothes for Red Nose Day and spots for Pudsy, in advance not 2 days before.

This assumption that every child owns something, red, spotted or stripped or green drives me nuts.

Actually my girly pink, purple, turquoise and denim wearing DD2 doesn't own anything, red or green or black to narrate the school play Grrrrrr!

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