With Halloween quickly approaching, here are some of our favorite ideas for costumes and pumpkin decorating, along with ways to incorporate dress-up and imaginative play into your play time throughout the year. Pretend play, a crucial part of early child development, encourages kids to expand their minds, communicate, practice empathy, and work together.
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I think making a costume is much more fun than buying a pre-made costume, especially if you do it with your kids. You get to go on a scavenger hunt, solve problems, use your imaginations, and make your own work(s) of art. And you get to do it together. It’s an excellent exercise in team work and all things creative that can be incorporated into pretend play any time of year.
C.A.R.E. Actor Dramatic Kids students and teacher prepare for a final presentation.
When I needed to make a costume for Westley/Man in Black (The Princess Bride), I looked up expensive options online before finding almost everything at home. But what about that cool black head wrap? Oh, wait, it’s really just a black bandanna, which I then created from an old black t-shirt in five minutes.
Here are some items to keep on hand that can be part of costumes and props year-round. Remember that this list could go on for pages, because kids with open minds can use their imaginations to turn anything into something else.
C.A.R.E. Actor Dramatic Kids students celebrate their final performance
Pumpkins pumpkins everywhere
If you haven’t carved your jack-o-lantern yet, consider thinking outside the traditional pumpkin face. Carve or paint a sheep, owl, pick-up truck, or even paint it black to look like the night sky. Try a favorite character like Harry Potter, Kermit the Frog, or create this adorable pumpkin-man of Olaf from Frozen.
Encourage your kids to think of what they love and what part of themselves they want to share with the neighborhood (once you put your pumpkin outside on a stoop or balcony). If carving seems too daunting, painting is also fun. You can even use stickers, glitter, and any other art supplies you can think of to switch up pumpkin decorating year after year.
Happy Creating! Happy Halloween!
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