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School creates Carnival costume designs

On Thursday 11 March 2022 some of our Playmakers team went to Norman Gate School in Andover to deliver a carnival costume design session.

Norman Gate School are one of seven schools involved in this year’s Hat Fair Carnival, the official opening to the Hat Fair festival weekend in Winchester on Fri 1 July. Each school is allocated a theme for the carnival. Norman Gate School’s theme is Animal Conservation. Playmakers delivered two sessions to Hedgehog and Badger classes.

Hannah Jones, Engagement Producer, presented a PowerPoint to the students about what carnival is and the different costumes you may expect to see. The students had a chance to interact by spotting the different colours that they saw on the screen and guessing previous carnival themes. They also had to opportunity to look at previous carnival costumes and try some on too! To get a feel for the costume design, Hannah handed around different types of materials that could be used.

The classes were split into two groups, one group focused on lions and tigers and the other group focused on elephants and zebras. The students were then given a piece of paper with the outline of a body on it and got to work on their costume designs. Each student was different in their design, with some creating just a single animal costumes, and others combined both of their allocated animals. A few of the students designed flags and wrist shakers to go with their costumes. Carnival music was played in the background to help get them in the carnival mood.

Both classes used a variety of art mediums to create their costume designs, from felt tip pens, coloured pencils to charcoal and oil pastels.

“the students loved the workshop and were thoroughly engaged”

Teacher, Norman Gate School

The costumes designed are now with the Playmakers team, who will take inspiration from the designs to create a physical costume for the school. One this has been done, Playmakers will return to the school and give the students (and teachers!) some help in making their costumes for the Carnival.

Hat Fair 2022 will take place Fri 1 – Sun 3 July, with the Carnival opening the festival on the Friday.

If your school or community group would like to get involved in a future Carnival, please get in touch with Hannah, at