Besides carving pumpkins and decorating the windows with scary spiders and sticky webs, the selection of your kids’ Halloween costumes count among the activities that they look forward to the most. With a new crop of superheroes plus some old favorites popping up each year, finding the right outfit can be simple. A costume doesn’t need to be store bought to be great, though. You can make a costume that will satisfy your child’s need for adventure in your own home.
The tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween has its roots in ancient times. The ancient Celts wore costumes to celebrate their holiday, Samhain. Over the years, the influences of Christianity seeped into the tradition, and costumes were meant to represent religious symbols that warded off evil spirits. Today, the tradition survives, but instead of having religious connotations, most of the time it just means fun for kids and adults alike.
Trends in costuming change each year, depending upon which movie and book characters are getting a lot of play. Although you as the parent may be stumped about what costumes to give your kids, they’ll most definitely have some ideas of their own. Many times you can find some inexpensive character costumes online or, if you live in a larger city, at a local costume shop.
The costume shop’s version of Spider-Man or Captain America will often look more realistic because these establishments often get their clothing from professional costume designers who know exactly where the latex should go to create some superhero muscles. The only drawback for this arrangement is that these costumes are often rental only deals. If your kid wants to keep his costume, go with the store brand.
Making Your Own
While some costumes like Iron Man may be more difficult for the home costume-maker—AKA mom—other characters like Harry Potter lend themselves to a homemade touch. Putting together your family’s Halloween costumes yourself has its own rewards. In addition to saving money, these are projects that the whole family can do together. Homemade costumes also allow you to create some not-as-popular outfits like a fried egg costume or an elaborate makeup-based costume like the characters from the musical “Cats.”
Little kids love costumes in part because they allow them to literally “try on” new personalities and identities, which is an important part of their development. This may wear a costume out before Halloween Day. If you’re worried about this, there are a couple of steps you can take to get a little more life out of the costume. Either buy it later in the month, closer to Halloween, or if it’s in your budget or you can get a deal, buy a second costume. The second choice allows you to put one costume away for the special day while allowing the other one to be worn. The first one limits the time that the costume can be worn before the holiday with allowances (of course) for it to be worn hundreds of times after Halloween.
Dressing up as someone new is one of the best parts of the Halloween holiday, and getting the right costumes sets the stage—sometimes literally—for new roles and stories to be played out by your family. This ritual helps build plenty of Halloween memories and provides for some very cool photos for the family photo albums.