So, you’ve had a letter home announcing there’s going to be a ‘Dress as a Scientist’ day and you’ve got no idea where to start! Of course, if you’ve got the time and your budget allows, you can pick up some great costumes from online retailers such as Amazon and Ebay. However, it’s more fun, economical and eco-friendly to make a great costume with things you’ve probably already got at home. Whether you want to go with the traditional ‘lab coat and goggles’ look or something a bit different, we’ve put together a few ideas to help.

What do people think when you say scientist? Lab coats of course! If you happen to have one great, you’re half way there! But if not, an oversized white shirt or T-shirt, perhaps from an older sibling, would do just as well. Once you have the lab coat, there are a couple of ways you can go with your scientist look. If you’re going for the professional look, wear the lab coat over a smart pair of trousers or a skirt and wear smart shoes. Add a tie or a bow tie and brush hair neatly to one side or for long hair, tie in a neat ponytail or bun. Now all you need to do is accessorise. Carry a clip board, pop a calculator and a pen and pencil in a top pocket and have your young scientist make an identity badge for themselves that you can make into a lanyard.

For a zanier looking scientist, wear bright or patterned clothes under the lab coat. Add a brightly coloured tie or bow tie and welly boots or brightly coloured trainers. You can make a wacky hair style with some hair gel or for long hair, you can tie it in high bunches with a pencil sticking out behind the ear. A pair of rubber gloves and some goggles go well with this look and depending on how frazzled or crazy they want to look, you could add some smudges of black face paint to give the impression an experiment has gone wrong! Get them to think of a crazy name for themselves and make a name badge. And lastly, have a few things sticking out of pockets; a stopwatch, some straws, a marker pen, a test tube, anything really! The great thing about a wacky scientist look is you can be as crazy as you like!

Although a lab coat is the most obvious way to identify a scientist, actually most scientists look pretty ordinary. Many go about their work in everyday clothes but that wouldn’t make for a very exciting dressing up day! However, you don’t need a lab coat to dress as a scientist; carry a cuddly dolphin to be a marine biologist, wear a boiler suit to be a forensic scientist or dress in khaki to be an archaeologist. Have a look what you have in your dressing up box already; remember astronauts are scientists and many doctors are too. Or how about having a think about some famous scientists and dressing up as one of them? Got a Victorian dress lying about after ‘Dress as a Victorian’ day? A perfect costume to be Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer! Turn them into Dian Fossey, a primatologist who studied mountain gorillas, by having them wear shorts, a shirt, walking boots, having binoculars round their neck and holding a cuddly gorilla. Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, can be created with a smart suit and either carrying a light bulb or making one out of paper mache and a balloon. For Isaac Newton, wear a long grey wig and carry an apple! For Galileo, astronomer, wear a long dark robe with a belt tied in the middle and carry a telescope. Have fun asking your friends to work out which scientist you are!

We hope we’ve given you some useful tips to make it fun and stress free to put a costume together. We’d really love to see pictures of your young scientists in their outfits, you can share with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and show us how creative you’ve been!