Archive for the ‘Childrens Fancy Dress’

European Day of Languages Comments Off

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

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September 26th is the European Day of Languages. There are over 6000 languages spoken in the world, and behind each one lies a rich and diverse culture. The European Day of Languages aims to celebrate this worldwide diversity, showing people across Europe how important languages are, and how fun and enriching it can be to learn a new one.

 

Most of us learned French at school; it is the country closest to us, and the 18th most spoken language in the world. Learning French gives children a taste of a language that is not too complicated to learn, and the opportunity to visit our closest European neighbours.  There are many languages in the world that are more widely spoken.

Chinese is the world’s most widely spoken language, with 955 million native speakers – but arguably, if you’re not planning a trip to China any time soon, it might not be of much use to you. Spanish is second most widely spoken, and as well as being the main language of Spain, there are also native speakers in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, parts of the United States, Cuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and many more places. Learning Spanish can give you a real advantage in the modern world.

But what if you’re not interested in learning to gain an advantage; what if you’re studying for fun? In that case, why not try Russian (which also involves learning a whole new alphabet), or perhaps Tagalog, the language of the Philippines? Learning a new language can be really interesting and fulfilling as a hobby. Once you’ve learned some of the language, you can visit the country to try out what you’ve learned. You can learn about the culture, about the country’s history and about the people’s day to day lives.

Because their brains are still developing, children are usually better able to pick up new languages – the younger the better! If you have children, why not celebrate European Day of Languages by learning some key words and phrases from different languages? You could make it fun by allowing the child to choose a word, and then look up its meaning in lots of different languages – how many languages can you find?

Here are a few to get you started:

Hello!
French: Bonjour
German: Hallo
Spanish: Hola
Swedish: Halla
Finnish: Hei
Africaans: Haai
Croatian: Bok
Swahili: Habari

You could learn about the country and maybe dress up in their national dress and cook some of their traditional food. It’s fun for all ages to explore different cultures and languages. Many languages have words that don’t even exist in English, for example the German word schadenfreude, meaning taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune; or perhaps the Danish word for skimming stones, plimpplampplettere. Looking for these words can be great fun and very enlightening!

 

 

Have a Fabulous Alphabet Party, From A to Z! Comments Off

Posted on July 28, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

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Alphabet parties are  all the rage at the moment.

Whether you choose B because your name is Brian, or G because your name is Xavier and  nobody will come dressed as a xylophone,  a letter is a great way to inspire people to use their imaginations and come up with fabulous fancy dress ideas.

Of course, with an alphabet-themed party, everyone will be singing ABC-related songs… this one is our favourite at the moment:

A Grade “A” Party

A is a very popular letter for a party theme – because there are so many great ideas!

Here are a few…

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A-Grade Music

If you’re having an A-themed party, you will need to think of musicians beginning with A. Here are a few:

  • Abba (durr, obviously)
  • ABC (this band are good for ALL alphabet parties!)
  • AC/DC
  • A-Ha
  • Peter Andre (don’t pretend you don’t know any of his songs)

A Zed-Tastic Celebration

You might think there aren’t many costumes beginning with Z… really though, you just have to think a little more creatively.

Why not challenge your guests…

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Zedtabulous Music

Can’t think of any musical acts beginning with Z? Fret not; we have inspiration for you right here!

  • ZZ Top (obviously!)
  • Zero 7
  • The Zombies
  • Frank Zappa (oh yeah!)
  • The Zutons

If you’re planning an alphabet-themed party, don’t forget to check out our website for some great ideas!

If You Go Down To The Woods Today… Comments Off

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

You’re in for a big surprise!

18th June was International Picnic Day, in the middle of what has been National Picnic Week. Summer is the perfect time for a teddy bears’ picnic party, especially with the lovely weather we’ve had lately! Here’s our guide to the best teddy bears’ picnic ever!

Fisher Price teddy bears picnic

Teddy Bears’ Picnic Food

 

teddy bear sandwiches

If you’ve a teddy bear biscuit cutter, you don’t need to stick to using it for biscuits! Why not cut up sandwiches into teddy bear shapes too!

Teddy Bears Picnic Car cakes

We love these adorable little teddy bear cars; they look really simple to make as well!

teddy bear picnic paw prints

How fabulous are these! You could make them with Wagon Wheels and white icing. Simple! (just make sure you bring along plenty of baby wipes)

Teddy Bears’ Picnic Costumes

 Of course, the children will want to be in bear costumes

 

How about trying out this tutorial for face paints? All kids love to have their faces painted and you could easily customise this with different coloured noses etc to keep all of them happy.

 

Teddy Bears’ Picnic Games

Teddy bears picnic beanbag game

We love this game because it’s so simple to set up, and also something the whole family can join in with.!

pin the bow tie on the teddy bear

Or how about a lovely game of Pin the Bow Tie on the Teddy Bear?

Another great idea is to get one of the adults to dress up in a giant teddy bear costume and play Hunt The Bear in the house or garden – or in the woods if there are some local to you!

teddy bear stories

Of course, at the end of the day before home time, it’s always nice to have a story time to calm everyone down!

Teddy Bears’ Picnic Decorations

The key to decorating for a Teddy Bears’ Picnic is… bears, bears, bears!

teddy bears picnic bunting

We love this cute bunting; it’s easy to make with some sheets of coloured card and a teddy bear biscuit cutter.

Whatever you do for your Teddy Bears’ Picnic, have a beary good time!

Celebrate Magic Day with your Favourite Magical Characters! Comments Off

Posted on June 09, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

Abracadabra!!

If you’re one of those people who loves magic, you’ll be pleased to hear that 12th June is Magic Day, an annual day that celebrates everything to do with magic. What child – or adult, if we’re being honest – is not mesmerised by an in explicable magic trick?

Here are some great ideas to help you make Magic Day fun for all the family:

Fancy Dress

Obviously, we’ll jump at any chance to get dressed up, and magical fancy dress is no exception. These days the most famous magical character has to be Harry Potter, but there’s also Gandelf from Lord of the Rings or an old fashioned magician in sharp black suit like our Lego man here. Girls can dress as Hermione Granger if they like, or how about a good old fashioned witch costume, with pointy hat, broomstick and wand?

Lego magician

Tricks

You can’t celebrate Magic Day without tricks, can you! Don’t worry if you’re not quite at the rabbit-from-hat stage just yet; we’ve found this fantastic YouTube tutorial to help you to wow your friends:

 

 

If your children are a little younger, how about making some magic gloop for them to play with? This couldn’t be easier; you just mix cornflour with water and some food colouring, and you have a slimy gloop that’s solid when you scrunch it up into a ball, but goes back to a liquid as soon as you let go of it. We’ve yet to meet a child who didn’t love playing with this stuff! Make it more fun by adding some glitter!

 

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Magic Party!

If you’re going to the trouble of learning tricks and witchy fancy dress costumes, you may as well decorate the house and throw a magical party! Who doesn’t love an excuse for a party?

magic cupcakes

 

Why not try your hand at some clever “rabbit from a hat” cupcakes, using rabbit biscuits and hat-shaped cupcake cases?

 

rabbit hat party game

This is a delightfully simple yet fun game for all the family; all you need is a black hat (you can use black paper around a waste paper bin), and some bunny rabbit toys. The winner gets a magical penny pulled from behind their ears!

 

Whatever you do this Magic Day, make sure it’s… magical!

The Ultimate Guide to Throwing a Circus Themed Party! Comments Off

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

Roll up, roll up! 19th May is Circus Day! In celebration of everything Big Top, we’ve created the ultimate guide to throwing your very own circus fancy dress party.

Everyone loves a trip to the circus: the clowns and acrobats; trapeze artists and tightrope walkers; jugglers and unicyclists. A fantastic treat for all of the family – and great fun to dress up as too! Everything you need, from lion costumes to face painting, is right here.

Faces:

Whenever you think of the circus, you think of clowns. Whether it’s a classic white face, red nose combo, or something a little more scary, a clown is the perfect idea for circus fancy dress. The beauty of dressing up as a clown is that you can make it as simple or as detailed as you like! Either  paint your face white and go mad with the nose and lips, or you go for full-on professional make up with all sorts of detail.

We love this tutorial for a classic clown’s face:

If you fancy being a little more scary, here’s a great one:

If you think clowns are so last season, and you want to be something a little more different, this website has a fantastic tutorial for a classic lion face:

Classic Lion Face

Classic Lion Face

Glitter is optional of course, but then if you’re going to the trouble of painting your face why not add a touch of sparkle!

Food:

One of the main attractions at the circus (besides the performers) is the food. In order to throw a good party – whatever the intended age range – you need to have great food on offer!

The classics of course are hot dogs and pop corn; but why not also try making cones from red and white striped paper for chips? Striped bags of sweets is also a winner.

We love the idea of having a “hot dog vendor” doing the rounds at your party:

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We also love the idea of these lion tamer whips:

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Decorations:

We love the decoration ideas in this pin:

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The key with circus decoration is lots of red and white stripes, and lots of brightly coloured balloons. In fact, lots of bright colours, full stop!

And we love this really simple idea for decoration: all you need is some brightly coloured rolls of crepe paper and a hula hoop:

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Games/Entertainment:

  • A party is not a party without games – especially if it’s a children’s party!
  • Obviously, if your party is circus- themed, you must play Sleeping Lions!
  • Pass The Parcel with circus-themed paper and gifts is also a good idea.

One thing kids really love at a party is to make something they can bring home. If you prepare the pieces beforehand, these circus tent hats can be great fun:

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Another great idea for all age ranges is a “photo booth” – all you need is a big sheet (or piece of coloured material) as the backdrop, and lots of props for people to hold. An empty picture frame is always excellent for this. Since your guests are already in fancy dress, they won’t need much else to have a fantastic photo taken!

As an added bonus, these downloadable circus printables are a great way to throw your party in style:

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World Book Day: Best costumes for Mum and Dad Comments Off

Posted on February 28, 2014 by admin

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There’s less than a week to go before we get creative, dress up as our favourite fictional characters and celebrate our love of all things literary! If you’re helping out at school this year, throwing a bookish party or just want to join in with the fun with your kids, then we’ve got some great ideas for costumes!

Sam’s Sandwich

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Based on David Pelham’s imaginative picture book, you can really get creative with your costume ideas and recreate the sandwich from Sam’s Sandwich.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Roald Dahl’s books are always a great source of inspiration for fun and imaginative character costumes. If you’re looking to get the whole family involved this World Book Day, then check out these great character costumes for Willy Wonka, an Oompa Loompa and a Wonka bar!

Luna Lovegood

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If you’re bored of the usual Harry Potter costumes, why not check out this fabulous Luna Lovegood costume! Even if you’re not especially creative, you can easily transform yourself into this great character. All you need are some kooky glasses and a blonde wig and you’re most of the way there!

Elphaba

Taking inspiration from the Wizard of Oz, why not get a little green this World Book Day and transform yourself into the not-so-wicked wicked witch Elphaba from Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of West. This great make-up tutorial from audfaced shows you how to create an effective look with all that green face paint.

If you’ve got some great ideas for your family fancy dress for World Book Day, then join in the conversation over on our Facebook page!

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World Book Day: Best costumes for boys Comments Off

Posted on February 24, 2014 by admin

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With just over a week to go before parents, teachers and kids will be celebrating their favourite fictional fancies, we’re taking a look at some great costume ideas for boys.

There are loads of simple and creative ideas that you can easily achieve. So if you’re looking for some fresh fiction ideas for boys’ costumes then let Fancy Dress Ball be your guide and check out these cool costume ideas…

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

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Recreate everybody’s favourite cheeky dinner guest from Judith Kerr’s beloved children’s book The Tiger Who Came to tea. You don’t necessarily need a tiger costume to achieve this look, just some orange pyjamas, some fabric paint and some face paint should do the trick!

The Guffalo

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The most feared creature of the forest is another great costume that’s fairly simple to achieve. If you’re a creative type who loves a bit of crafting, this Gruffalo costume can easily be put together with just the right amount of felt and imagination!

Bert from Mary Poppins

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Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Mary! Drawing inspiration from Dick Van Dyke’s costume from Disney’s film adaptation of PL Travers’ beloved novel Mary Poppins, this character is instantly recognisable. Using a straw hat, bow-tie and ribbon you can create this cute, colourful costume.

Max from Where the Wild Things Are

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First published in 1963, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are still remains as one of the most popular children’s book today. This costume for protagonist Max can be created using a onesie, pyjamas and a little creativity for the crown and tail!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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Yet another classic character is The Very Hungry Caterpillar from Eric Carle’s 1969 children’s picture book. There are loads of different ways to create this costume, but this great example uses a long green tunic and paper mache to recreate our favourite caterpillar!

Got some inspired costume for World Book Day? Why not head over to our Facebook page and share your ideas!

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Get the look… Traditional Christmas Comments Off

Posted on December 13, 2013 by admin

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A traditional Christmas look incorporates everything we love about the holiday period: a touch of magic, a sprinkle of good joy and a great big handful of glitter! Whether you’re looking to create a Christmassy look for a party, a night on the town or for Christmas day itself, we’ve got the low-down for every part of the look.

Think cheesy Christmas jumpers teamed with fluffy Santa hats, Victorian hairstyles with a little extra oomph, bright colours on your clothes and for your make-up, but most importantly, a whole lot of glamour.

The make-up method

The traditional Christmas make-up look is all about having fun with your products. For those who can feel a little intimidated by bright colours, Julia Graf has put together a brilliant video for an evergreen look.

The bright colours blend well with the glitter to give the make-up a deeper, more developed appearance. The combination of the two also work to make the eyes pop and are sure to compliment a whole range of skin tones.

This particular make-up combination is suitable for day or night time events and with a variety of hairstyles. Thick curls or ringlets will work well with the look for night time looks, while daytime would look brilliant with a top knot or bun.

The products

A highly pigmented eye-shadow will work well for this look, but for something with a little more edge that will last a lot longer, stage make-up will have a much brighter finish.

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Red and green are the traditional Christmas colours and adding a touch of red glitter to small features on the face will help to give the look an extra touch of magic. Green grease paint will work especially well for those wearing the make-up whilst out on the town, while choosing even brighter neon green face paint is sure to make the look truly stand out from the crowd.

The alternative looks

There are plenty of fun ways to change this look according to your favourite Christmas colours. Just remember: the brighter, the better!

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This neon make-up manages to be both understated and astonishing as the eyes and lips gently draw attention to the most flattering areas of the face. The pink works incredibly well with the green, while the lips are beautifully bright.

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If you fancy yourself as Santa’s little helper this year, this look is as fun as it is well-executed. The lips are the perfect shade of red to really stand out, while a touch of silver or green glitter would really finish off the design around the eyes.

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A little more Gothic but not less festive, this look is inspired by the traditional elf design but uses defined eye-liner to add an extra edge. The false eyelashes have brought attention to the design and the darker colours have created the ideal night-time Christmas look.

What do you think to our traditional Christmas look? Why not leave us a comment on our Facebook page and let us know what you’re wearing this Christmas!

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The very best traditional Halloween party games! Comments Off

Posted on October 04, 2013 by admin

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If you’re planning on hosting a Halloween party this year, you might be thinking about taking it back to basics. While costumes, music, snacks and plenty of drinks will be on the cards, in the name of all things retro, you might be thinking about including some classic Halloween games!

Playing games with your friends isn’t just a lot of fun, but it’ll really make your party stand out from the rest! Plenty of traditional party games are suitable for all ages, and only become more fun the older you are!

Bobbing for apples

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One of the best known and loved Halloween party games, bobbing for apples has been a staple of the holiday since Halloween parties began! You’ll probably remember playing this game as a child, and it’s only become more fun now that you’ve grown up!

To play a traditional version of this game, you’ll need to a find a big container that can be filled with water and apples. By kneeling on the floor, players will have to hold their hands behind their backs and use their mouths to grab hold of an apple! Be quick now, there’s only a minute on the clock…

For a grown up version, consider filling the container with a potent punch or cider to really kick things up a notch!

Pass the apple

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Apple-based games are very traditional for Halloween, with pass the apple perfectly complementing the bobbing game!

Standing in a circle, participants must pass the apple around from person to person, using only their necks and chins in order to do so. Careful not to drop it! The apple will return to the start should it hit the floor.

Pie eating contest

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Coming over from America is the pie eating contest! This is sure to get messy, so ensure you have someone on hand to deal with any spraying crust and cream!

Rather than attempting to eat a huge number of pies within a short period of time, contestants are given one fruit pie topped with whipped cream. Tying their hands behind their backs, the contestants then have one minute to consume as much of the pie as possible.

If you’re planning on having a drink whilst playing this game then take it easy – reduce the time by 30 seconds, or limit the amount of food available for people to eat.

Ghost stories

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A great game to play towards the end of the night (for those still standing) is try to compete with one another to tell the scariest story! Story tellers can either go for something traditional like a haunted house story, or a little more modern (and gory!).

If you’re playing this game, the atmosphere is important. Turn off all the lights and light a single candle.

Ouija board

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This adults-only game is sure to creep out even the bravest of participants. A board is really simple to make and even more simple to use, making it the perfect addition to any adult Halloween party.

Writing each letter of the alphabet on an individual scrap of paper, the letters are set out in a semi- or complete circle. Adding a smooth glass in the centre of the circle, each participant must place one finger on the glass. Ask a simple question, such as “is anybody out there?” and wait…

This game is truly not for the faint hearted! Some dispute the status of the Ouija board, with claimants from around the world suggesting that they have communicated with spirits while using the board, while others say it’s nothing short of nonsense…

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How to Make World Book Day 2013 One to Remember Comments Off

Posted on March 01, 2013 by admin

It might only be a week or so away, but there’s a chance that many of you lovers of literature won’t know that Thursday March 7th is World Book Day. It’s a great event where adults and kids celebrate their favourite reads by paying homage to famous fictional characters and authors in their own imaginative ways.

If you want to get the kids involved in this year’s World Book Day, there are a number of great things you could do with them to help them celebrate all that’s fun and exciting about getting lost in a good book. Here are just a few ideas if you’re struggling for inspiration:

Dress up like your favourite character

Most kids will have their favourites. Some will want to dress like Harry Potter (above) and cast a spell, while others might want to go back further in time and come as a Shakespearean character like Juliet. As well as being fun, they could maybe quote their favourite lines to help really get into the day in their World Book Day costumes.

 

(Click on the image above to visit the official World Book Day website.)

Read a story for the little ones

If you have kids who are, say, five or six years old, this is a great idea. Read from a book you enjoyed as a child using different voices for each character and watch them listen. You could even lay on a few snacks for the kids and their friends and make a day of it!

Play a game based on their favourite book

Some kids’ books such as the ‘Where’s Wally’ series are ideal for games. Why not play a game where you can see which one of your kids or their friends can find him the quickest – you could have hours of fun. Alternatively, you could get one of your kids to dress like Wally and play ‘hide and seek’, bringing the book to life!