So, today I got an email from my son's nursery school teacher, a desperate plea for a sewing parent to help out by whipping up some new costumes for the imaginative play corner. Even though I am sewing around the clock for Crafty Bastards and have not even started the jellyfish and crab (yes, that's right, Little Brother has now migrated from sea tortoise to crab--sketch to follow), I of course committed to sewing new costumes for the preschool. Turns out the problem is that a particular four-year-old so favors the lion costume that she has worn it down to a nub. Also, she makes it look so exciting to be wearing it that, though intended to provide joy, the lion costume is now causing dissent amongst the Fours.
I took a look at the favored costume and it was quite simple, just a little polar fleece tunic with a tail and a matching cap with ears and what I assume used to be the mane. The teacher expressed a need for some other costumes of a similar type, so I thought, maybe a monkey? In my brainstorming mode, I turned to Etsy to see what sorts of costumes those folks were coming up with. I found quite a few that would be great for Halloween or anytime:
Two Little Bluebirds offers loads of fodder for imaginative play, including a Pink Pirate Set and this Superhero Set. You do see a lot of superhero capes on the market, but I love that she has included a belt and the cuffs and even that little badge at the throat. That kind of detail is really the strength of this shop--the pirate set even includes a little roll-up map and a bag of "booty" (not the R. Kelly type). Fantastic.
Tangle Wit Designs really knows its way around some polar fleece, and these hats do double duty as dress up outfits and real cold-weather accessories, complete with ear flaps. The Cardinal Hat is especially great for those little ornithologists in your life. Actually, I might buy this myself. It would be a great way to pick out your kid on the slopes!
Her Flying Horses has a wonderful selection of very reasonably priced costumes ideal for pretend play. My son would adore this Dragon Cloak (which is just a great idea) because it would be so easy to throw on and get right to the fun part of chasing his brother and roaring at the top of his lungs.
Imaginative play is such an important part of childhood. According to all sorts of sciencey people, it is essential to developing well-adjusted, bright, happy humans. And while it is sometimes frustrating for me when I address my son and he replies with, "I am a robot I am a robot" in his automaton voice, I know that this is crucial for him on almost every level. And imaginative play also gives them something to do while I am sewing. Which I need to go do now.