By Meredith McKay
YIKES! Halloween is only a few weeks away. What will your children be dressed as?
Photo courtesy of Amy McKenney
My daughter Mia has decided she wants to a Pirate, a Giraffe and most recently an Elephant. I still am not sure what she will be wearing on October 31st but I would like to share “My Personal Tips” for parents regarding Halloween Costumes.
BE FUNNY, while you still have the chance to be.
If you are the parent of an infant or young toddler, then you are lucky enough to dress your child up as anything you desire. Before long your kids will want to pick out their own costumes and you won’t have a say in what they wear! How adorable is James in his white Elvis inspired jumpsuit?
Photo courtesy of Maura Graham
For some reason, I don’t think James will be asking to dress up as “The King” in a few years. And when will you ever get the chance to dress your child as an adorable Sock Monkey?
Photo courtesy of Wendy Campbell
BE WEATHER APPROPRIATE, no jackets required!
I checked with The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the weather for October 31, 2010 in the North East Region is going to be sunny and cool. I always hated that my Mom made my sister Jen and I wear a coat under or over our costumes. I felt it ruined our whole disguise.
Case in point: all I see is our coats in these photos. Thanks Mom!
Photo courtsey of Lori McKay
Photo courtesy of Lori McKay
Luckily, costumes have come a long way since the vinyl short sleeve get-ups I wore! A lot of costumes are now made out of cozy materials such as fleece that can be worn alone.
Ben keeps nice and toasty in his Man’s Best Friend Costume!
Photo courtesy of Bryan Reynolds
And Charlie is snug as a bug in her fleece hooded bumblebee costume.
Photo courtesy of Melissa McCullough
BE JAZZY, use makeup and accessories to jazz up costumes. Add your own unique touches to personalize store bought costumes.
Malia and Leila look extra gorgeous with their purple false eyelashes, temporary hair color and plastic spider accessories!
Photo courtesy of Shannon Williams
Face makeup is a great way to make any costume really stand out. You can even make your own. Here’s a recipe from FamilyEducation.com:
1 tablespoon solid shortening
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Natural-based food coloring (you can find this at your local Whole Foods that carries all-natural, non-petroleum-based food coloring items or you can make your own natural food coloring with items you may already have stored in your kitchen!
Small jar or plastic container
In a bowl, mix shortening and cornstarch until smooth.
Add food coloring one drop at a time until you get the desired color.
Use a clean sponge or fingers to apply paint to a large area or use a small clean brush to apply thin paint- with a little water first.
Remove with soap and water.
BE FRUGAL, even if you can’t sew a homemade costume. Don’t spend outrageous amounts on $ on store costumes.
Last year my daughter Mia (the pumpkin) and my niece Madison (the ladybug) were outfitted in costumes straight from Marshalls for under $20. These costumes came with the striped long sleeve tops and leggings that both girls were able to wear again with other outfits!
Photo courtesy of Jen McKay
Photo courtesy of Jen McKay
BE AN ENFORCER of the costume rule for older kids. If you are the parent of an older child, please, please tell them to dress up or at least make an effort to wear some part of a costume, even if it’s just a mask. There is nothing worse than a group of high schoolers at your door in no costume holding out a pillowcase for candy! Explain to your tweens and teens how annoying it is to the candy givers.
Teenager Kaleigh looks cute, funky and cool in her Guitar Girl Costume. What an awesome big sister for taking adorable Adeline out trick or treating!
Photo courtesy of Erica Souza
BE A PART OF THE FUN. Make Halloween a Family Affair with theme costumes. My friend Kerry Ecklekamp loves, loves, loves Halloween and outdoes her family theme costumes every year. Her husband Curtis even joins in on the fun too!
Thank you to the Ecklekamps for allowing me to feature their family Halloween photos over the years! Kerry and Curtis dressed as The Incredibles. I think they were more excited for Halloween than their son Quinn!
As their family grew, so did their theme. Here they are as the gang from Scooby-Doo:
Doesn't Kerry make the best Velma?
And in a galaxy far, far away…
Han Solo, Obi Wan, Darth Vader and Princess Leia
Kerry is pregnant with their third child and I can only imagine what the family will be donning this year!
Do you know what your children will be wearing?
Do you have any costume tips you’d like to share?