Thursday, September 10, 2009

thinking about halloween

I found these little costumes while thrifting on Saturday and scooped them up. (And ran them through the washer and dryer and hand sewed the lining of the green one, which was in disrepair).

I've been having many thoughts about Halloween costumes this year and I find myself shifting away from the model (which I think is most typical) where the parent is highly involved in orchestrating an elaborate costume for the child while the child is mostly passive except to pick what they want to "be." I took a lot of pleasure and pride in sewing complete costumes from patterns during the years that Jacob and Faith were little (and oh how I wish I had saved them!) but that kind of costume making is time consuming and actually pretty expensive once you buy a commercial pattern and fabric and notions for 3 or 4 garments that make up the costume.

So here's what I'm thinking now: why not let the children get more involved in putting together their own costumes from things around the house and from their existing costume suitcase? I might buy them some face paints to make the experience extra-special. I like this because it gives the child more of a sense of being able to mange for themselves and makes the costume selection and creation process a much more creative one. Obviously, they can do more as they grow older, but for now it's mostly a shift in mindset.
And they love these funny thrifted costumes!

Anyone else thinking about Halloween yet?

19 comments:

trinsch said...

we don't do halloween here. purim is the dress-up festival here in israel, and in denmark it's fastelavn, both of these falling around february.

so, not thinking about that yet ;), but i totally agree with your approach: as soon as the kids are old enough to appreciate it, i think it's much more fun if they get involved. older kids can even do some sewing and facepainting themselves.

an early happy halloween to you and your little cute guys!

Inoureyes said...

We don't do Halloween here either, but i wish we did. The kids look so adorable!

Hannah said...

Halloween isn't such a big deal here in the UK as in the US, I think. I have been thinking about it a bit though. There's nothing halloweeny in the shops here yet which is pretty odd because I saw someone stacking shelves with Christmas items earlier today!
The costumes you thrifted are fantastic, I love the tails!

pilgrimama said...

Great costumes! Even though we don't "do" Halloween, we did do costumes for our community center's fall fest last year. Thankfully,I've built up the cosume tote quite a bit since last year,in case we do it again!
I really agree with your line of thinking in allowing the child to manage for himself-it's just how I've been approaching things recently and liking it. You've put it into words better than I've been able to though! I'll have to remember that line. Thanks!
You have a lovely writing voice!

Jess said...

We are thinking about Halloween here, I hope to convince my younger that he should be a dinosaur to fit the costume that my mom made for my brother in 1985. It still looks great!
I love your little dragon!

Beth- the mama bee said...

We do halloween.... if for nothing else, the costumes! I will be making the kids costumes. I look forward to it all year :)

Lisa said...

My 4 year old has decided that we are ALL being "Star Wars". For him this means Luke and he already has several pieces- pants, tunic, perhaps jacket (he has another guys jacket, but they are similar). I've been making those over the summer and he wears them constantly. He wants my husband and I and the baby in on the action and I will probably oblige. Hans, Leia, and Yoda to round us out.

AndieF said...

For the past few years, we have either thrifted costumes or put a costume together using existing clothing.

We are not into the "spookiness" of Halloween either. We try to look at it as a chance to have fun dressing up and celebrating fall.

Sarah said...

We are always thinking about Halloween here!

Last year I bought several costumes at the thrift and just let Jack choose one. The year before I made one. I like making them, there are more choices that way, but Jack is really indecisive which makes the crafting of a costume difficult.

The boys look SO sweet together in that last photo.

Shawn said...

Great finds!!! Love both. I'm thinking of thrifting from the house and putting together a scarecrow outfit. Since my wee is little he can't express his creativity yet with dress up, but I like your ideas.

Hilary said...

I love Hallowwen and so does my daughter.Just the other night we sat outside in the chill and had a long conversation about costume ideas.

I will be making one for her but I don't think her role is passive.I will be helping her carry out her design.And it will be my pleasure to make her something that makes her so happy.

I do think it's a great to see the kids come up with a costume from stuff around the house.But my daughter has a vision(like the year she was positive she should dress up as a broccoli).Costumes are her thing.And it makes me so happy to be able to help her out!

Yay!for dressing up!

Meg said...

We are only thinking about Halloween now because one of those catalogs made its way into our house and the kids started in already.

I love your idea about involving the children in the costume process. I've been thinking about trying to make the costumes this year, but I balked at the fabric store once I started adding up the costs. I was trying to make it a less expensive endeavor.

Once again, you've given me some good things to consider!

Andrea said...

Oh no!!! Not ready to face another one (last year it was up till midnight two nights in a row sewing giant felt butterfly wings...and waking up Halloween morning so sick I had to have a friend bring lunch to my kids!) I definitely like the idea of putting together costumes from what is on hand (this is how we did it when I was a kid).

Mountain Mama (Wesley Jeanne) said...

Last year my daughter (4 at the time) wanted me to make her a red bird costume. As it turned out, she and my mom and I made it all together. Owen even made the hat all by herself. It was fun to work on it together and fun to see her joy in it. And made even sweeter when she won the costume contest at our church.

Here's the link to my blog post about it: http://blueridgedreams.typepad.com/mountain_mama/2008/10/red-bird.html

I am trying to get her to think about what she wants to do now, so we can try to work on something together again.

Nicole said...

Cute finds! My 3-year-old uses his dress-up stuff for Halloween costumes. Last year he wore his fire fighter jacket; I think this year he wants to wear his pirate stuff. I wish I'd thought of this when my older kids were littles!

Shana said...

I'm already busy at work as Ms. Frizzle's seamstress! I'm an elementary school teacher, and every year I get a bit of a sore throat just as Halloween is approaching . . . and Ms. Frizzle has to step in as my substitute. Of course, she never wears the same dress twice AND off-the-rack just won't do . . . :)

Kristine said...

My 9yo has decided to be a coelacanth. And he found some fabric to get him started. He's the one I call ICONOCLASTIC. My 6yo wants to be a black cape guy and my 3yo wants to be A Little Muffy Girl (I don't now either). I love my kids!

Michelle said...

I've been thinking about it a little, but I force myself to stop. 3 of my 4 boys have their birthdays between now and Halloween, so I need to stay focussed on crafting their gifts before I start the costumes. I think I'm leaning in your direction, though, with them becoming part of the process much more this year.

Tava said...

I am all over Halloween. It has always been a favorite for me- very whimsical and fun. My first little guy is finally 2 years old and he is excited too which sent me into an excited tail spin! Now I am planning a toddler Halloween party! I love your idea too. He has dress up and he can choose the day before ;)