Dora the Explorer Costumes

Stephanie M. Kelley
Dora the Explorer character with Salma Hayek; copyright Sbukley | Dreamstime.com

Dora the Explorer is a popular children's television show that features Dora, who travels with her companion Boots the Monkey. Dora uses tools like the Map to help find her way across challenges and obstacles to her destination. The series mixes English, Spanish and music to get the messages across. Children love the show and little girls will enjoy dressing up as Dora, while boys may prefer emulating Dora's nature preserving cousin Diego, who often makes an appearance on the Dora the Explorer show.

Homemade Dora the Explorer Costumes

Homemade Dora the Explorer costumes can be an inexpensive way to celebrate a birthday, Halloween or other dress up event. You are likely to find the individual pieces on the kids' clothing racks at your local department or thrift store.

The base outfit for a Dora the Explorer costume is a simple pink T-shirt with orange shorts. A pair of yellow socks and white shoes complete the look.

Backpack

Dora carries a magical backpack. Purchase an authentic Dora backpack through Buy.com and other sites or use any purple backpack to complete the costume. You can dress up the purple backpack with some felt to make a face so it looks like Backpack from the show.

Supplies

  • White, red, black and yellow felt pieces
  • Glue gun or needle and thread

Instructions

  1. Cut two eyes out of white felt
  2. Cut two smaller circles out of black felt and glue into the white pieces to add eyeballs
  3. Cut two eyebrow shapes out of yellow felt
  4. Cut a red smiley mouth of the red felt
  5. Glue all the pieces to the backpack to complete the project

Accessories

Dora costumes should include some accessories.

Map

Dora also has a special map appropriately named, "Map" that can be quickly and easily made with items you probably already have in your craft box.

Supplies

  • Cream paper
  • White paper
  • Black marker
  • Red marker
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Instructions

  1. Roll cream-colored paper into a tube
  2. Glue the ends so that it won't unroll
  3. Draw eyes on white paper with black marker
  4. Cut out the eyes
  5. Glue them onto the map
  6. Draw a red mouth onto the paper
  7. Draw eyebrows onto the map to complete

Boots

A stuffed monkey is optional, but most girls would be thrilled to carry Boots. There are a couple of options for those creating a Dora costume.

  • Use a generic purple monkey to represent Dora's sidekick, "Boots"
  • Buy an authentic Boots toy such as this one offered on Amazon

Wig

Dora wears her hair in a short black bob. Child-size wigs are available, or you can make your own out of black yarn.

Supplies

  • Black yarn
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Skull or wig cap
  • Glue gun or needle and thread

Instructions

  1. Cut a piece of cardboard so it is 18 inches long.
  2. Wrap black yarn around the cardboard about 200 - 250 times for a thick wig. Remove yarn from the cardboard.
  3. Thread a piece of yarn through one end of the yarn loop.
  4. Tie a knot in the piece of yarn to secure pieces.
  5. Cut the other end of the yarn loop.
  6. Sew or glue the middle seam (where the piece of yarn was threaded and tied) to a skullcap.
  7. Arrange yarn to resemble Dora's hair and glue the pieces to the cap.

If you're planning your homemade Dora the Explorer costumes for cooler weather, swap out t-shirts for sweatshirts and shorts for pants. Just keep the colors matching and you'll be good to go.

Ready-Made Dora the Explorer Costumes

If you are short on time or creativity, there are many Dora the Explorer costumes available commercially. Dora the Explorer costumes are sold in both toddler sizes and child sizes. Many "one size" costumes are designed to fit most kids ages two to six. Your local costume store is likely to have several varieties of Dora costumes, in varying prices. The least expensive versions feature vinyl clothing, shoe covers, and nonfunctional backpacks. Higher-priced costumes consist of clothes in more durable fabrics, along with working backpacks.

Since Dora is such a popular character, stores such as Wal-Mart and Target also sell the costumes. These are usually the lower-priced vinyl or plastic versions and are typically available in the fall of the year in preparation for Halloween.

Dora Costumes Online

Dora costumes are sold at most kids' costume stores online, and at multi-purpose sites such as Amazon.com. If you are shopping for Halloween, shop early. Dora is popular, and the costumes are likely to sell out quickly. Some examples of Dora the Explorer costumes online are:

  • Halloween Costumes 4 Kids has a costume with the shirt, shorts and backpack that also includes shoe covers and a yarn wig.
  • Amazon.com has a number of Dora costumes and wigs available.

Homemade Diego Costume

The little boy who enjoys Dora the Explorer may want to dress like Dora's cousin, Diego. This costume can be easily made from simple items.

Basic Outfit

You'll need some dark blue cargo shorts (but khaki shorts will do in a pinch) and a light blue shirt. Like his cousin, Diego also carries a bag, but his is an orange tote instead of a purple backpack.

Vest

To add something extra to Diego's costume, create a vest to go with his outfit.

Supplies

  • Tan T-shirt (a full size bigger than the child's usual size)
  • Scissors
  • Rescue Center badge
  • Sticker printer paper

Instructions

  1. Carefully cut away the sleeves from the tan shirt
  2. Cut it up the center of the chest so that the tan t-shirt becomes a pull-on vest
  3. Print and attach the rescue badge sticker to the left breast area

Ideas for Groups

If your child will be trick-or-treating as part of a duo or group, there are several possibilities for complementary costumes, including:

  • Boots
  • Dora's older cousin, Daisy
  • Dora's parents, Mami and Papi
  • Benny the Bull
  • Swiper the Fox
  • Animals found in Latin America

Versatile Fun

Dora costumes are extremely popular with preschool kids for Halloween, a themed birthday party, or everyday dress-up fun. A homemade or commercially made costume is sure to please any little explorer.

Dora the Explorer Costumes