There's nothing more likely to strike fear into the hearts of parents and PTAs than the bedtime cries of "Muuuuuuuum, Daaaaad! I need a costume for school tomorrow!" Especially if, like me, your attempt at a pin-cushion during school needlework class was mistaken for an ashtray.
Time is of the essence, so let's crack on with some inspiration with maximum impact for minimal effort! We scoured Twitter to discover a treasure trove of dressing-up ideas from industrious, quick-thinking parents across the country.
Thing 1 & Thing 2
First up is an old fave for those parents deprived of time (and sewing skills!): Dr Seuss's mischievous double act, Thing 1 and Thing 2. The only challenging part to this outfit is finding clean red t-shirts!
[Tip: Turn inside out or simply turn wrong side round to get a plain front.]
Oh and... um... don't forget blue hair!
STEP 1. Draw two black circles on paper with a thick black marker, and write THING 1 and THING 2. Try to copy the font too.
STEP 2. Stick the labels onto the t-shirts with sticky tape, safety pins or even glue!
STEP 3. For the blue hair, you have various options, ranging for blue colour hairspray, blue hair gel, blue wigs available cheaply online.
No time? Got some blue card or blue tissue paper? Just fashion it into crazy head-gear and assemble with sticky tape.
Don a blue jumper, some brown trousers, tuck trousers into long socks, gel your hair into a quiff - and grab a fluffy toy dog under your arm as an added bonus! Behold... TinTin!
Dress up in loose blue clothing, strap a cushion underneath to pad them out. Blue face paint for a bit of extra fun, and plenty of bandaging (or even bog roll) for comedy effect.
Or do it with cardboard!
For those children who don't like to dress up, they can totally cheat by sporting one of their favourite t-shirts or PJ's - gets the message across with very little effort!
Mr (or Mrs!) Fox
Any smart outfit can be worn with these homemade Fox face masks - the kids can do those!
Or get into full foxy mode with pointy ears and all.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Super-simple to draw onto card, and make a mask that works with ordinary clothes.
Charlie and Lola
Another easy illustration to print out or draw and colour in - face masks for Charlie and Lola. Ah - dontcha just love those books?
David Walliams Extravanganza
Take a look at David Walliam's book characters below, including Mr Stink, Soot the Ghost Chimney Sweep, two Gangsta Grannies, and a couple of Billionaire Boys.
Finally, we had to include one more superbly dishevelled Mr Stink, accompanied by the witch from Room on the Broom with fantastic props!
I hope you'll agree those parents and kids deserve a round of applause! Have you got some brilliant pictures of your kids in book character costumes you'd like to share too? Get in touch via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article first appeared on the PTAsocial blog.