Animal Themed Fancy Dress Competition Ideas For Kids

Fancy dress competitions around animal themes are both fun and an opportunity to learn about animals. Here are some fun ideas and tips to dress up your little one as his favourite animal.

By Amrita Gracias

Animal Themed Fancy Dress Competition Ideas For Kids

Fancy dress competitions are always a big hit and provide a lot of fun for all. And, they are excellent opportunities to educate your child about a particular cause, subject or message.

An animal-themed fancy dress is always a popular choice in fancy dress competitions. Your child can learn so much about animals — their importance to our environment, their contribution to the ecosystem, and how some animals are endangered or on the verge of extinction. It could also motivate him to contribute to wildlife conservation and protection. So, why not let your child learn about interesting animal facts and the importance of protecting endangered species by dressing up as his favourite animal? These exciting animal-themed fancy dress ideas will help you.

Animal-themed fancy dress ideas

Peacock fancy dress

Materials required:

  • Thick coloured paper – shades of blue and green
  • Glitter
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue
  • Glue gun
  • 1/4 inch black elastic 
  • A bluish-green T-shirt and a pair of trousers

How to make a peacock fancy dress:

  • First, cut out a large oval-shaped piece from a blue sheet. This forms the base of the costume; so, measure according to your child’s size.
  • Make two small holes on either side to string the elastic.
  • Measure and cut required lengths of the elastic. Lace through the holes in such a way that the base can be worn on the shoulders.
  • Now using a template for peacock feathers, cut out several feathers of different sizes from the coloured paper.
  • Paste one feather on top of the other.
  • Once the feathers are ready, using the glue gun, paste them in layers on the blue base sheet — the biggest on top and the smallest at the bottom. Alternate each shade.
  • Decorate with glitter and sequins.
  • Using a template for a face mask, cut out the shape from the blue paper. Punch holes and tie the elastic so that the mask can be easily slipped on.
  • Decorate the mask with glitter and sequins.
  • To put together the costume, make your child wear the bluish-green T-shirt and trousers. Then, make him slip on the feathers and the mask.

Dialogue to say:

“I’m a peacock. I’m the national bird of India. I love to dance in the rain!”

Lion fancy dress

Materials required:

  • Jute rope (of medium thickness)
  • Cap or hat
  • Paint – black, white, brown
  • Brown clothes — a T-shirt and a pair of trousers

How to make a lion fancy dress:

  • Cut the rope into 10 – 12 inches long pieces. Keep one piece longer than the others. This is to make the tail of the lion.
  • Paint the pieces of rope brown.
  • Make several holes in the cap / hat. Insert one end of each piece of rope into each hole and tie a knot on the inside. Cover the entire cap with these pieces to form the mane of the lion.
  • Dress your child up in the brown clothes and the cap with the mane.
  • Fix the tail to his back.
  • Using the paint, draw whiskers on the child’s face.

Dialogue to say:

“Rooooaaaarrrrr! I’m the king of the jungle! I take pride in being a lion. After all, I belong to a pride of lions!”

Jelly fish fancy dress

Materials required:

  • A purple / indigo / blue translucent dome-shaped umbrella
  • Silver satin ribbon (one that is shiny / sparkly)
  • Silver / white plastic curling ribbon
  • Battery-operated LED string lights (2)
  • Velcro / strong tape
  • White paper
  • Black sketch pen
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Clothing to match the colour of the umbrella

How to make a jelly fish fancy dress:

  • Cut strips (30 inches) of the silver ribbon long enough to cover the edge of the canopy of the umbrella.
  • Similarly, cut equal lengths of the curling ribbon.
  • Using the glue gun, stick the pieces of ribbon on the inside edge of the canopy, alternating between the two types of ribbons.
  • Cut two oval shapes for the eyes from the white paper. Colour a portion of the inside of the canopy black.
  • Stick the eyes onto the canopy of the umbrella using the glue gun.
  • Now, line the inside of the umbrella with the LED lights. Fasten the battery packs to the umbrella using either tape or Velcro. (Make sure you avoid the lights towards the front so that they don’t blind your child’s eyes.)
  • To put together the costume, your child can wear the clothes and carry the umbrella with the lights switched on.

Dialogue to say:

“I’m a jelly fish. You can find me in the seas and oceans around the world. I use my tentacles to sting.”

Koala bear fancy dress

Materials required:

  • Felt paper – grey, white, green
  • Ball of cotton
  • Black hair band
  • Black paint
  • Glue gun
  • Clothing – grey T-shirt and track pants / leggings
  • Stick (12 – 15 inches long)

How to make a koala bear fancy dress:

  • Cut an oval-shaped patch from the white felt paper.
  • Using the glue gun, stick the patch to the centre of the T-shirt.
  • Stick a layer of cotton around the patch.
  • Cut two ear shapes from the grey felt paper. Stick them onto the hairband using the glue gun.
  • Cut leaf shapes from the green felt paper. Attach them to the stick to resemble the shoot of a Eucalyptus tree.
  • To put together the costume, make your child wear the dress and the hairband, and hold the stick with leaves.
  • Paint her nose black.

Dialogue to say:

“I come from the land down under. I’m a koala and I love to eat the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree.”

Fox fancy dress

Materials required:

  • Felt paper – orange, black, white
  • Black hairband
  • Paint – orange, black, white
  • Wool – orange, white
  • Clothing – an orange full-sleeved T-shirt and a pair of full-length trousers
  • Thick rope
  • Glue gun

How to make a fox fancy dress:

  • First, cut two fox-shaped ears from the white felt paper. Stick pieces of orange and black felt on them to resemble the ears of the fox.
  • Using the glue gun, stick the ears to the black hairband.
  • Next, cut a long strip from the white felt paper to resemble the white patch on the underbelly of the fox. (You can use a template for this, if required.)
  • Stick the white strip to the front of the T-shirt using the glue gun.
  • For the tail, cut a piece of rope long enough to hang from the waist up to the knees.
  • Cut several 15 – 20 inches long pieces from the wool (more orange than white).
  • To make the bushy tail of the fox, bunch together pieces of the wool and tie them around the rope letting enough length hang loose. Repeat until the entire rope is covered with the wool. You can use the orange wool for three fourths of the tail and white for the remaining one fourth of it.
  • To put together the costume, your child should wear the clothes and the hairband. Glue the tail to the back of the trousers.
  • Now paint the child’s face to resemble a fox. Paint the top half of the face orange (above the nose) and the bottom portion white. Paint the nose black and add whiskers from the mouth to the cheeks. (Whiskers can also be drawn using an eyebrow pencil.)
  • You can paint the hands to resemble the paws of a fox.

Dialogue to say:

“I’m a fox. I’m smart, I can run fast and I am mostly active in the night.”

Giraffe fancy dress

Materials required:

  • Yellow chart paper (2 sheets)
  • Brown paper (you can use the type used for covering books)
  • Yellowish full-sleeved tunic (knee or above knee-length)
  • A pair of yellowish full-length trousers
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue
  • Brown wool
  • Old newspaper
  • Stapler
  • Glue gun
  • Paint

How to make a giraffe fancy dress:

  • Roll the chart paper lengthwise to make a long cylinder. The mouth of the cylinder should be big enough for your child’s head to go in. Staple the ends together. This will form the neck of the giraffe.
  • Using a template for the face mask of a giraffe, cut out the shape from the other chart paper. Paint it accordingly.
  • Cut an oval-shaped hole on one end of the cylinder for your child’s face to fit in. At the other end of the cylinder, stick the mask of the giraffe using the glue.
  • Cut patches of irregular shapes of different sizes from the brown paper and glue them all over the cylinder.
  • With the glue gun, stick the patches to the tunic and trousers as well. Use patches of smaller size on the lower portion of the trousers.
  • For the tail, roll newspaper and cover with the brown wool. Attach loose threads of the wool towards the bottom of the tail to resemble the tuft of hair.
  • To put together the costume, make your child wear the clothes. Then, place the cylindrical portion with the mask over the head. Tuck in the tail at the back.

Dialogue to say:

“I’m the tallest land animal on the Earth! I’m a giraffe and I come from Africa.”

Monkey fancy dress

Materials required:

  • Thick brown paper
  • Black hairband
  • Brown clothing – a full-sleeved T-shirt and a pair of full-length trousers
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Paint – brown, black
  • Old newspaper

How to make a monkey fancy dress:

  • From the brown paper, cut two large shapes to resemble the ears of a monkey. Paint the outline dark brown.
  • Using the glue gun, stick the ears to the sides of the hairband.
  • Cut a large oval shape from the brown paper. Glue it to the front of the T-shirt.
  • Roll the newspaper lengthwise and twist it to make a tail. (Measure the length according to your child’s height.) Cover the tail with the brown paper.
  • To put together the costume, make your child wear the clothes and the hairband. Tuck the tail in at the back.
  • Now, paint your child’s nose black. Paint brown around the mouth to resemble a monkey’s face.
  • Paint the knuckles as well to resemble the monkey’s paws.

Dialogue to say:

“I’m a monkey. I like eating fruits and nuts. I love monkeying around and can be quite naughty at times!”

Crocodile fancy dress

Materials required:

  • Cardboard box (long and rectangular)
  • Cardboard sheet
  • Thick chart paper – white, dark green and light green
  • Paint – green and white
  • Ribbon – green
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue
  • Green clothing – a long-sleeved T-shirt and a pair of full-length trousers

How to make a crocodile fancy dress:

  • First, from the cardboard box, cut out flaps and shape the box such that it resembles the head of a crocodile. Paint it green. This will be placed on the child’s head like a cap.
  • From the white chart paper, cut two patches in the shape of the eyes. Paint them black. Stick them to the sides of the head.
  • Then, cut small triangular shapes from the white chart paper and stick them to the bottom of the head to resemble the teeth of the crocodile.
  • Make holes on the sides of the head of the crocodile and lace the ribbon through. It can be used to secure the crocodile mask by tying a simple knot under your child’s chin.
  • Next, for the body of the crocodile, cut a long, broad strip from the cardboard. It should taper towards the end to resemble a crocodile’s tail. (The length for this strip should measure from the child’s shoulders to a little more than his feet so that it trails on the ground.)
  • At the top end of the strip, make holes and lace the ribbon through so that it can be secured around the child’s shoulders. (The child will wear this like a cape.) Paint it green.
  • From the light green paper, cut long strips of zigzag edges. Stick them throughout the entire length of the patch on both sides.
  • Then cut several small semi-circle shapes to resemble the scales of the crocodile. Stick these to the back of the body right down to the tail. Stick only one end of each semi-circle and let the other end remain loose to give the effect of the scales.
  • From the dark green paper, cut broad hand and feet shapes to tie over the ankles and wrists. Make holes to lace the ribbon for tying.
  • From the white paper, cut long claw shapes and stick them to the hand and feet shapes.
  • Make your child wear the clothes. Place the body/tail on the back of the shoulders and secure around the shoulders with the ribbon like a cape. Then, place the head-shaped box on the head. Tie the hand and feet shapes around the wrists and ankles.

Dialogue to say:

“I’m the biggest cold-blooded reptile on the Earth and live in rivers and lakes. I’m a crocodile!”

Elephant fancy dress

Materials required:

  • White chart paper
  • Grey paint
  • A pair of scissors
  • Stapler
  • Elastic thread
  • Grey clothing – a full-sleeved T-shirt and a pair of full-length trousers
  • Glue gun

How to make an elephant fancy dress:

  • From the chart paper, cut a thick strip. This should fit like a band around your child’s face (from below the chin to the top of the head, in front of the ears). Staple the ends together.
  • Now, cut two big elephant-shaped ears from the chart paper. These should be stuck on either side of the thick strip.
  • Then, cut out the shape of the trunk. This should be stuck onto the top of the strip so that it hangs down in front of the face. Measure the length accordingly – from just above the forehead to below the chest.
  • Cut two strips for the tusks and stick them to either side of the trunk.
  • Before sticking the parts together, paint all of them grey except the tusks.
  • Make two holes on the sides of the band to pass a piece of elastic. These can be used to tie the head piece like a mask.
  • Cut big nail shapes from the chart paper. Stick them to the ends of the sleeves of the T-shirt and the bottom hems of the trousers.
  • To put together the costume, make your child wear the clothes and then tie the head piece like a mask.

Dialogue to say:

“I’m an elephant. I’m only found in some countries of Africa and Asia. And, I’m known to have an excellent memory!”

Rabbit fancy dress

Materials required:

  • White chart paper
  • White hair band
  • Cotton
  • Paint – black, white and pink
  • White clothing – a full-sleeved T-shirt and a pair of full-length trousers
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue gun

How to make a rabbit fancy dress:

  • First, cut out two large rabbit ears from the chart paper. Paint a portion of the insides pink to resemble the colour of the rabbit’s ears.
  • Stick cotton on the edge of the ears and around the pink portion.
  • Using the glue gun, attach the ears to the white hairband.
  • For the tail, cut a circle from the white chart paper. Stick cotton to cover the entire circle to make it look bushy.
  • With the glue gun, stick the tail to the back of the trousers.
  • To put together the costume, make your child wear the clothes and the hairband.
  • Then, paint the nose and cheeks pink. Paint the portion above the eyebrows and lips white. Below the chin, paint two long teeth. Then paint whiskers on the sides of the mouth using black paint. (Whiskers can also be drawn using an eyebrow pencil.)

Dialogue to say:

“I’m a rabbit. I love to eat green vegetables and carrots. I can hop and even jump quite high!”

Turtle fancy dress

Materials required:

  • Cardboard sheet
  • Chart paper
  • Paint – green, black
  • Green ribbon
  • Thick string
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Stapler
  • Clothing – a dark green full-sleeved T-shirt and a  pair of full-length trousers

How to make a turtle fancy dress:

  • On the sheet of cardboard, draw a large oval. Now, draw a larger oval around it. Cut along the larger oval.
  • Now, from the edge of the larger oval, make slits up to the border of the inner oval at equal distances.
  • Then fold in the cut edges. The smaller oval should now resemble the shape of the turtle’s shell.
  • Paint the shell green and black to resemble the pattern on a turtle’s shell.
  • On either side, make two holes – one on top and one below. Tie one end of the string to one hole and the other end to the other hole. Repeat the same on the other side. Your child can wear the shell like his schoolbag.
  • Cut a thick strip of chart paper. (The length should be enough to wear around the forehead like a band.) Staple the ends together and paint it green.
  • On the strip, draw and paint two eyes.
  • Make your child wear the clothes, shell and band. You can then paint your child’s face with a similar pattern as the shell. Paint two black dots on the nose.

Dialogue to say:

“I’m a turtle. I can live up to more than 100 years. But, my species is endangered. So please help protect me!”

By now, both you and your child would have chosen which animal's costume he should wear for the fancy dress competition. Make the fancy dress together and turn the experience into one that becomes both a joyful memory and a fun learning activity for your little one!

About the author:

Written by Amrita Gracias on 13 January 2020

Amrita Gracias holds a degree in English Literature from Stella Maris College, Chennai and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (specialising in Print Media) from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. She takes to writing and editing when she isn’t answering to the duties of motherhood!

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