Fancy Dress Competitions for Kids

Written by hanna lee tidd
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Fancy Dress Competitions for Kids
(Richard Lewisohn/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Fancy dress parties are fairly common for entertainment and fundraising purposes. The key to pulling off a successful children's event is to find ways to make every child feel included and keep all kids engaged. There are a wide variety of fancy dress comptition formats for children, ranging from themed clothing to prizes and awards -- but children should be reminded that taking part, not winning, is what counts.

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A common theme at fancy dress competitions is to give out awards and prizes to the winners of different titles. Some title ideas include "Most Creative Outfit," "Fanciest Dress" and "Most Original." Prizes like medallions are good awards for each title, as well as candy and chocolates for the runners up. Try to get every child involved with the competition to make sure no one feels left out.

Themed Clothing

Themed competitions work well because they are a good source of inspiration and get children excited about coming up with new ideas. The themes should be based around concepts to which children can relate, such as cartoon characters, movies and animals.


A lot of time and effort usually goes into thinking up and making fancy dress costumes, so make sure there is a big audience to help create an exciting environment. Invite siblings, parents and friends of the children to come and support the competition. The audience should help the children feel supported and confident, so encourage enthusiastic applause.


To help the children get into character, arrange for the children to put on a short performance for entertainment. Make sure this is clearly understood before the event so the kids have enough time to practice and prepare. Such live performances should not be mandatory because some children are likely to be more shy than others.

Activities and Games

A good way to get all children involved with the spirit of fancy dress is to plan games and activities as part of the competition. Fun activities that most children will enjoy include pictionary and trivia quizzes. These activities can be related to the theme of the fancy dress. For example, if the theme is princesses, all of the questions should be related to Disney princesses. Games like tag and hide-and-seek can also be tied into the theme. Tell the children that they have to walk and talk like their character while playing. This works particularly well for animal themes. Also, for a pirate theme, arrange a candy treasure hunt and give out maps, or schedule one hour in which everyone has to speak like a pirate.

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