How to make a scientist costume for a child's play

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The right costumes can help a school play go from mediocre to fabulous. It makes the performance more entertaining for the audience, helps the kids get into character and makes the production look more professional. Unfortunately, when a whole class of kids is in a performance, outfitting them can be time- and budget-consuming. One costume you can throw together easily and inexpensively is a scientist costume. Whether your little scientist is going to be very businesslike, a frazzled genius or completely mad, with a white coat and a few accessories you can create the look within an hour.

Search for a small lab coat that could fit a child. If you can't find a lab coat or if one isn't in your budget, use an oversized, white, button-down dress shirt. It should hang below the child's hips, but not the knee. Cuff and roll up the sleeves, if necessary, and secure them in place with a safety pin so they don't unravel.

Open a word processing program on your computer. Set the document size to 7.5 by 12.5 cm (3 inches by 5 inches). Make a fake badge with a scientist's name, logo of a company and clearance level.

Add a small image of the child or clip art of your choice, such as a beaker or computer, to complete the badge. Print it out on a piece of paper and trim it to the size of a 7.5 by 12.5 cm (3- by 5-inch) index card.

Slip the badge into a plastic badge holder with a clip. Clip the badge to the front of the collar or pocket.

Accessorise your costume. If it has a pocket, put in a pocket protector and some pens. Give your scientist a large pair of rubber gloves, a pen and clip board. Use eyewear, such as a pair of fake spectacles or protective goggles.

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