When my two daughters were 4 & 6 years old I decided to put together a dress up box for them but I quickly realised that my choices were pretty limited. I could find plenty of cheap colourful costumes but nothing that would last for more than a couple of hours before it fell apart, and as for washing and drying? Forget it. Everything seemed to be made for Halloween and designed to last for about a week.
I decided that the only thing for it was to make my own costumes, using decent, quality fabrics that could actually stand up to the rough and tumble of real play (and laundry). I started with scrubs I wanted costumes that reflected realistic role models and after years of watching me working in healthcare, my children wanted to be a Doctor, a Nurse, a Surgeon or a Vet. From then on my girls became co-designers and models, their classmates became size testers until, finally, I sent out my very first orders. The reaction was everything I could have hoped for:

The attention to detail is great it is like you took a real Doctors outfit and just shrunk it downHeather M

I would not be worried about my daughter going to a party in this, no doubt it will survive the bouncy castle and can easily go in the wash afterwardsKate D

In the evening my daughter waits for her Dad to come in the door. She asks if his back is sore and insists on examining himCatherine C

As I started to work with, and supply, Early Childhood Centres I witnessed the deeply powerful value of dramatic play in early childhood. The benefits extend far beyond imagination and I wanted to make sure my costumes reflected that. I worked with early years educators and a fabulous Irish illustrator to develop printable packs that are not only aligned with the Aistear curricular framework but also quickly and easily transform a play space into a Garda Station, a Bakery, a Doctors Surgery or a Fire Station.

These packs have proven to be incredibly popular, saving time, money and effort for parents and educators alike. Over the coming months I will continue to develop more packs and more costumes so if you would like to keep up with developments at Mermaids and Dragons then sign up to our Newsletter. As a little welcome treat, I will email you an introductory Doctor and Vets pack.


What’s in a name?

I get asked about the name Mermaids and Dragons quite a lot. It was inspired by my 2 little girls- one was born a Mermaid and she who would happily spend hours upside down in the water. The other little one is a fierce Dragon who chases birds away by roaring her little heart out. They are also testers, models, critics, packers and ever-present companions on the postal runs.

Where it all began