Design your own environmentally-friendly Purim costume this year.
For kids, the most important part of the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim is the costume. There’s no shortage of stores trying to sell the latest superhero trend to your child. But why buy something that’s likely to end up in a landfill?
Fortunately, young kids usually don’t care how perfect the costume is—they just want to feel like they are whatever it is they want to be. So before you go shopping, ask your child what he wants. When mine asked to be a frog, it turned out that meant wearing green clothes and not much else.
Here are some tips for creating an original costume for you or your child with minimal effect on the environment.
Recycle an old costume. Some neighborhoods have “gemachim” or free loan funds for costumes. For a small deposit, you can borrow a costume. Don’t forget to donate any of your unused costumes lying around. If you don’t have a gemach, why not make your own with other families?
Make up a costume from something you have. Start with a colorful scarf, distinctive wig or absurd shirt. What does it remind you of? You or your child could be a sailor or pirate, or simply make up an unusual profession like a butterfly catcher.
Ask around for elements that you need. Before going out to buy ladybird wings, try to make them with something you own. Ask a neighbor or visit a thrift shop, or post a request on your local email list.
Make hats and other accessories from recycled materials. Use papier mache, old fabric, cardboard, old toys or whatever else you can find.
Avoid costume makeup. You never know what toxic chemicals it may contain.
Here are a few simple ideas for children’s costumes:
- Artist: Beret, “smock,” and a palette made of cardboard.
- Pirate: Cut old pants in a zigzag shape below the knee, make a hook out of an old plastic cup covered with used foil, and add a bandana, and eye patch cut from old cloth.
- Businessman: Old suit jacket, umbrella, and newspaper.
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