6 Easy & Affordable Book-Inspired Halloween Costumes for Kids

halloween-costumes

By Mary Stanton, M.S., CCC-SLP

Halloween will be here before we know it – time to get your kid ready! A fun way to celebrate literacy is to encourage your child to dress as his or her favorite book character. We’ve rounded up a few DIY costume ideas that won’t break the bank. In fact, many of the necessary items may already be in your child’s closet – or can become wardrobe staples beyond the holiday.

Encourage your child to think about his or her favorite books and come up with some creative ideas together! You can include even more language practice by re-reading books, drawing and discussing pictures of characters together, and planning the materials and steps that will be necessary to make a costume.

  1. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy ButtonsMake it a groovy Halloween by decorating a yellow long-sleeved T-shirt with four giant, brightly-colored buttons from the craft store. Glue or wrap pipe cleaners to each side of a pair of yellow-tinted sunglasses to form Pete’s whiskers. Cat ears and a tail can be fashioned from a headband, felt, and a hot glue gun. Dark blue jeans or pants are conveniently the same color as Pete!
  2. The Rainbow Fish Scare up some cute under-the-sea fun starting with a plain sweatshirt and sweatpants. Cut “scales” out of felt and hot-glue them to the outfit. Glitter glue and iridescent face make-up give this costume extra flair and help match the book!
  3. Have you seen our next costume idea? Oh right, it’s a simple red-and-white striped sweater, hat, and jeans! If you’d rather not commit to buying a new sweater, a white sweatshirt and stripes made of red fabric paint or duct tape will get the job done. Don’t forget Waldo’s glasses and walking cane!
  4. Thing 1 and Thing 2 Dress your little ones in red onesies or sweatsuits, add Dr. Seuss’ famous “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” circles using white paper or felt and a black permanent marker, and top it off with some crazy blue hair! “Hair” can consist of some blue spray-on color, a headband with blue feathers hot-glued on, or, of course, a wig.
  5. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree Sneak in some extra alphabet practice by dressing your child as the coconut tree from this classic book! A brown sweatsuit forms the tree trunk, and the treetop can be made out of a green baseball cap with green poster board leaves hot-glued on. Letters cut from felt or poster board are then attached to the costume as they race up the tree.
  6. Arthur Create everyone’s favorite aardvark with a white collared oxford or polo, yellow V-neck sweater, blue jeans, and red sneakers. Plastic glasses and a headband with felt or paper ears attached complete the look.

 

After Halloween, your little reader may get a kick out of wearing the costume to the library for story hour. You can also practice narrative retell with your child by asking him or her to tell others what happens in the book that inspired the costume, or even tell the story from the character’s point of view. Activities like these help kids step “outside of the book” and think creatively!

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