Many children love dressing up in costumes, and there is no reason to reserve this pleasure just for Halloween. Children can also dress up on Independence Day, especially if they are participating in or observing a parade or going to watch fireworks. A variety of options exist for choices, and many of them can be replicated at home easily and inexpensively.
Statue of Liberty
Little girls will love dressing up as the Statue of Liberty. She gets to wear a crown and carry a torch, plus the costume is immediately recognizable. The websites buycostumes.com and starcostumes.com both offer several styles of Lady Liberty costumes, but adults can easily make this costume at home too. It starts with a simple green sheath dress or a long-sleeved t-shirt and green pants. A green fabric remnant tied at the shoulder serves as Liberty's toga. Green fun foam, some glue and a few green rhinestones make a pretty crown. A square of orange tissue paper secured over the light of a green flashlight with a rubber band makes a working torch. If your little Lady Liberty wants to carry a book, green wrapping paper or a brown paper bag painted green makes an effective book cover.
Boys will enjoy dressing up as Uncle Sam on Independence Day. The website buycostumes.com offers several versions of this costume, but thrifty parents can make many of the costume pieces at home. Old white or red pants become patriotic with red or white tempera paint stripes running down the legs. Card stock painted with red and white stripes and bent into a cylinder makes the body of Uncle Sam's hat while a circle painted the same way makes the brim. A strip of card stock painted blue with white stars creates a hat band, and a white shirt with a red or blue bow tie nearly finishes the look. The only element parents may need to purchase is the jacket, although a tiny blue suit jacket with white embellishments ironed onto the sleeves and lapels will do nicely.
Both boys and girls can show their patriotic pride by dressing up as tiny soldiers. They can belong to any branch of the armed forces that they like or that parents have pieces for. Both buycostumes.com and starcostumes.com offer several variations of air force, navy and army costumes, although army surplus stores often sell child-sized costumes as well. A thrifty parent may also paint a pair of brown pants with green and black paint to make a camouflage look and top off the costume with an olive green t-shirt. A brown or green jacket painted camouflage adds a nice final touch too, as would a patriotic American flag patch sewn onto the pants or jacket.