My eldest child has outgrown Halloween. Or, more likely, he’s between the stage of trick-or-treating/dressing-up and the stage of re-discovering it in crowds of teenagers who make everyone clench their teeth as they go to door gathering free candy dressed in a garbage bag.
The other four kids are still interested. We have a loose costume policy, which is basically this: I vastly prefer they choose a costume from the bins of clearance costumes I’ve acquired over the years. But if a child earnestly and fervently wants a different and particular costume, I am willing to consider it.
What we usually do is start with the Thinking About It stage, which is where we are now: the children are considering what they might want to be, and I’m looking up costumes and going “THIRTY DOLLARS PLUS SHIPPING? For something you’ll wear ONCE??” I wish it were easier to know THE YEAR BEFORE what costume the child would want to wear the following year. I KNOW I saw Star Wars costumes on practically-giving-them-away clearances last year, but last year none of them were into Star Wars.
William would like to be Luke Skywalker (image from Amazon.com). Unfortunately, William is 5′4″, so he will probably need the adult-size costume, which is even more expensive than the kid one. Also, when he saw the image I just posted, he said, “If possible, I want to be the black costume, when he’s a Jedi.” At first I was dismayed, as we scrolled through page after page of Jedi costumes and all of them were “No, that’s Anakin.” But then we did an image search to see what LUKE’S Jedi outfit looks like…and it’s black clothes. It’s really just black clothes, plus a light saber. And William thinks he can make the wrist thing out of cardboard and tin foil. So that’s manageable: I can buy the light saber and make sure he has a black shirt and that’s it.
Elizabeth wants to be Raven from Teen Titans (image from Amazon.com). Raven is a Good Guy, despite her slightly evil appearance. She’s like Daria from that old MTV show, but also a superhero. Unfortunately, in the time it took me to write this post, the costume went out of stock. I can order it from another costume site, maybe—but it seems to me that the essence of this costume is the cloak (it looks purple to me, but Elizabeth tells me it’s blue on the show). She can wear a black shirt and grey leggings for the rest of it, but it NEEDS a cloak. My mom can sew, so we’re thinking over whether that will be any savings to make one, but I’m also considering getting a blue hooded rain poncho for five dollars and using that instead. Then if we want we can get fancy with some purple hairspray and white face paint and a jewel sticker for between her eyes.
Edward wants to be the pixely character Steve from Minecraft (photos from Amazon.com). You can pay $30-90 for a Steve mask. But as reviewers point out, how hard would this be to make out of a cardboard box? I’m not very crafty and I think even I could make this. And we have the pickaxe already, because one of the kids wanted it badly and got it for Christmas last year. The main downfall is that the school allows costumes in class on Halloween, but no masks. Without the mask, there’s no costume. But perhaps he could wear a costume from our costume box to school, and then go trick-or-treating as Steve.
Henry would like to go as Cyborg from Teen Titans (photo from Amazon.com). Like Raven, above, Cyborg is a Good Guy. The costume is $30 including shipping, but I’m pretty sure Henry only wants to be Cyborg because Elizabeth mentioned going as Raven. That doesn’t count to me as fervently wanting, so I’m hoping to persuade him to wear one of the costumes he already owns: Melissa & Doug pirate, Melissa & Doug knight, or the Incredibles costume I got at Target at 90% off (which he calls “I-Man” because there’s an I on the front).
Incidentally, if you buy costumes and you have a child in the 3-6ish age range, I heartily recommend getting a Melissa & Doug costume. The store-bought costumes I’ve bought for Halloween have mostly been extremely flimsy, often ripping after one wearing. The Melissa & Doug costumes are meant more for a dress-up box, so they’re made to last: for the same price as a store costume, you get much much better quality. Henry has worn his probably hundreds of times with no ripping. The main problem with them is they have velcro closures that catch on the fabric of the costume itself, which gives the fabric a fuzzy look in some spots after awhile. We’ve tried the pirate and knight ones, but there’s also firefighter, doctor, police officer, chef, vet, red-and-blue superhero, pink-and-purple superhero, construction worker, waitress, fairy, princess, hair stylist, and train engineer.
What do your kids want to be for Halloween?