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Choosing Children's Halloween Costumes

Updated on August 5, 2011
BeatriceKillam@Dreamstime.com
BeatriceKillam@Dreamstime.com

One of the most enjoyable experiences for children is choosing their Halloween costume. Brainstorm with your children and find out what they want to be this Halloween. Plan together how to put together the best kid Halloween costume and make every step fun for them. Halloween time is one of the best bonding times for both parents and children.

First, decide what genre they want to belong to – would they like to be scary, funny or entertaining. Once you decide on this, you could look around for inspiration. For the best experience, have your children participate in the making of their Halloween costume. Allow them to choose the theme or pattern, cut the cloth, and glue or stitch it together -- of course depending on their age and level of skill. Just keep in mind that when it comes to a child's Halloween costume, the fun is often more in making it than buying it.

Family Fun Making Halloween Costumes

One of the best ways to enjoy Halloween is to do things together as a family. You could start a Halloween costume theme competition as an annual family tradition. Simply organize a competition at home inviting the children to come up with great ideas for their own kid Halloween costume. Have a prize announced for the best idea and consolation prizes for the rest – in this way everybody wins something and you will likely be amazed at the wonderful and creative suggestions your children come up with.

Parents and children can easily make many Halloween costumes together. Not only is working together to create a Halloween costume a great opportunity for quality family time, it is also a wonderful means of stimulating your children’s creativity.

If you're handy at sewing, consider making a trip to your local fabric store- they offer many patterns for making costumes, from baby costumes to adult costumes.

Part of your Halloween costume tradition could also include other creative and educational family activities. For example, you could have your children help you with baking some yummy Halloween cookies in the shape of bats, cats, witches, and other traditional Halloween themes. This is a great time to teach the children a lot of things because their excitement about Halloween -- and getting cookies -- will likely make them receptive and ready to learn. Children learn very quickly when they enjoy what they are doing and they are able to see the fruits of their labors.

Tips for Buying Children's Halloween Costumes

Not everyone has the time to make a costume, so buying a costume is quicker and easier. The following are a few tips for choosing a children's Halloween costume in a store:

  • Take your child with you when you go shopping for their costume, unless you know exactly what they want. Older children are influenced by their peers, and they don't want to have to wear a "lame" costume when they go out with their friends. It is easier to help guide their selection in the store than to bring home something that they won't wear.
  • Buy the right size. Always choose a costume that is slightly larger than what your child normally wears. This will allow the child to wear warmer clothing underneath their costume on Halloween.
  • Check the length of the costume before a child goes to a party or out trick-or-treating. You may need to trim sleeves or the hem of the costume if it is too long.
  • Decide whether a mask is appropriate for a child's age. Some small children don't like having their faces covered, and other children seem to enjoy sticking their fingers in another child's eyes through the mask holes. In addition, full sized masks can make breathing difficult.
  • Choose costumes that are age appropriate, even if a child is larger than most children their age. Small, adult-sized costumes can often be more suggestive, especially for young girls.
  • Don't forget to check thrift stores for used costumes or elements of a costume that you're making.


Halloween Costume Extras

There is a lot that you can do at home with your children to make their children's Halloween costume special and unique. Once the costume is complete, it is a great idea to add a few accessories and special effects to finish off the costume.

  • Choose complementary makeup to wear instead of a mask, especially if you'll be attending a party where eating is involved.
  • Choose a half mask to wear instead of a full mask - it makes breathing easier, and people will be able to hear a child say "thank you" after they receive a treat
  • Add a wig to complete a look - this works best with older children who don't mind wearing a few bobby pins in their hair to hold the wig on
  • Add a few items to accessorize - such as plastic swords, baskets, bats, spiders or even pretend cobwebs. Remember to consider the age of the child before you add an accessory to their costume.
  • If a child is wearing a costume outside, consider adding a reflective vest or a few strips of reflective tape to the back and front of the costume.

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