Picking out Halloween costumes is fun for both children and parents. Children love the idea of bringing their fantasies to life by dressing as their favorite characters while parents relive old memories and enjoy seeing their children looking cute and having a blast. But not all the rules go out the window when it comes to Halloween attire. There are several things to consider when deciding on your child’s Halloween costume.
1. Child’s preference- First and foremost, Halloween is for your child. Just because you think little Billy would make a cute Aladdin doesn’t mean you should force him when he really wants to go as a ninja. You can cause unintended embarrassment and bad memories by not allowing your child to dress in a costume of his or her choosing. I’m not saying you should allow your children to dress inappropriately; but if their costume choice isn’t morally objectionable, consider it.
2. Temperature- Costumes are often made of thin material or expose more skin than a typical autumn night would allow in many locations. If you live in a place that tends to have cold Octobers, either consider costumes with more coverage, consider how the costume could be worn over warmer clothes, or expect your child’s costume to be hidden beneath a coat all night.
3. Makeup– Halloween makeup gets itchy and smears easily. If a young child has a lot of makeup on her face, chances are she’ll end up rubbing it with her hands and then smearing it on clothes, car seats and pretty much everything else. Also, if she rubs her eyes or if sweat causes the makeup to get into her eyes, it can cause some painful irritation. The headache that is Halloween makeup is important to keep in mind.
4. Maneuverability– Some of the best looking costumes are the most difficult to move around in. Long, beautiful dresses and capes that trail behind your little princess at home may cause tripping on the streets at night. Likewise, that boxy robot costume may be fine while standing, but your son may find settling down in a chair quite a challenge.
5. Color– If you’re trick-or-treating at night, you want your children to be easily seen on the street. This either means wearing bright colors, keeping a glow stick or other light on hand, or both. Children crossing the street in all black at night are in real danger. Protect them by preparing for this before trick-or-treating.
6. Price– Yes, everyone wants the best items for their children, but going all out on an authentic Edwardian dress for your daughter is unnecessary. Okay, that may have been an extreme example, but the point still stands: it’s an outfit for a few hours on one night; you don’t have to blow your budget on this.
7. Appropriateness- Six-year-olds shouldn’t be South Park characters. Babies shouldn’t be Jeff Dunham puppets. Kids should never be used to push your political agendas. Stuff like this should be avoided! Also, consider historical and religious significance of costumes. A zombie nun may seem cool to your teenager, but there are many Catholics who wouldn’t appreciate it.