Prop Box

Mother Goose Costume

You don't need a commercial sewing-pattern to create a great Mother Goose Costume. Most Mother Goose enactors simply raid their closets, get donations from friends and relatives, or search thrift stores. (One professional performer does turn into a Mother Goose riding a goose! Her own legs become the goose's and a stuffed goose-shape extends fore and aft--but that's rather more than most mothers, grandmothers, teachers, or storytellers want to get involved with. Besides, the stuffed goose makes it difficult to sit.)

The main thing to keep in mind in creating a costume is that it should be colorful and that the outfit should convey some sense of the old-fashioned that children expect, based on nursery-rhyme illustrations they've seen.

Basics of a Mother Goose Costume

Main outfit possibilities: The skirt should be either ankle or floor length (ankle-length is easier to walk in)

  • print or gingham skirt with bright top
  • print or gingham top with bright skirt
  • long, print, old-fashioned-looking dress (muu-muu?; long "at-home" gown?, etc.)

Important accessories:

  • add an apron
  • add a shawl or scarf at the neck

Head cover: Mother Goose's head is usually covered with something

  • a tall black hat (like a witch's) available at a costume shop, or widely available at Halloween; add some colorful ribbons and/or artificial flowers
  • straw hat decorated with ribbons and/or artificial flowers
  • bonnet
  • seen on one Mother Goose: an ornamented nurse's cap

Legwear: consider colored tights, leg warmers, or knee socks (though the long skirt allows somewhat more leeway)

Footwear: Leave your high heels at home

  • boots look Mother Goosey
  • walking shoes can be made to look spritely with colorful laces
  • sport shoes are available in a colorful patchwork pattern

Jewelry: Try to avoid contemporary-looking jewelry (rather go with none)

  • craft stores have "findings" (links, earring clips; etc.); all you'll need is strong tweezers or pliers; look for plain baubles, or for charms of a goose, star, sun, world-globe, etc.--anything you think applies to Mother Goose; consider having each earring different
  • if you are familiar with computer clip-art, you might even make "Mother Goose" jewelry (or cajole a friend); print out whatever size you want to make; give it body with clear press-on film; cut out the designs and attach to findings; designs to look for: Mother Goose, goose, Humpty Dumpty, etc.
  • plain colorful bracelets are okay

If you're just going to parade, you might carry a basket. However, that gets in the way if you're going to interact with kids (unless you're carrying goodies to distribute.

Use your common sense.

  • dress colorfully, preferably in a print
  • don't forget the apron, shawl, head cover, and appropriate-looking shoes

Any Mother Goose should be

  • warm and friendly
  • smile
  • and have fun herself.

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