I love playing dress up. My daughter, Emma, was five months old when she experienced her first Halloween. She was round and plump and made the perfect little pumpkin. Our neighborhood held a contest for the best dress up costume and guess who came first in the category 0-12 months? My Emma! Since then I’ve loved Halloween and my child has hated vegetables.
Whether it’s toddlers donning superhero capes and princess gowns or a couple attending a party as Bacon and Egg, I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy playing dress up. It’s not only fun for your little ones, it’s essential. What seems like child’s play to us is developing your child’s imagination, their vocabulary, plus a whole lot of other important academic and emotional muscles. And for a little while they can become anything; a doctor, an astronaut, a nurse, a racing car driver, a mom or dad, a teacher or a ‘baddie’.
Role playing, especially with other children, encourages taking turns, cooperation, and socialization and children that allow their imaginations to run wild become great problem solvers as adults. Why? Because creative thinking grows with use and while trying to figure out how to rescue dolls from the bad guys doesn’t seem like a pressing issue to us, to the Super Underpants Man, it’s a quandary that has to be figured out immediately.
We have a dress up box at home and it’s filled to the brim with clothes, costumes, props, and accessories. Over the holidays or on weekends our children, along with their friends, literally lose themselves in a world of make-believe. With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect opportunity to dress up with the family and go trick or treating. Remember, the family who tricks and treats together… gets the most candy.
Our Best Dress Up Costumes and Outfits
Feeling under the weather? Let your little doctor take care of you with this medical kit from Fisher-Price. The dress up play set includes a ‘sick-to-well’ thermometer and a stethoscope that really works. There’s even a spring-loaded syringe, but that’s only for the seriously ill patients. Playing ‘doctor doctor’ with them is also a good way of preparing children for a real visit to the doc, should they be a little nervous. While playing they’re also developing fine motor skills and finger dexterity and increasing their vocabulary.
Our dress up box at home is for everyone; there isn’t a girl or boy’s one, allowing them to be whatever they want to be. The Melissa & Doug Fire Chief Role Play Costume Set is an absolute winner, and if you don’t want to ‘waste’ money on a Halloween outfit that might never be worn again, rather get this fire-fighting dress up kit. It includes a bright red jacket, helmet, fire extinguisher, bullhorn with sound effects, badge, and name tag for you to personalize. The colorful design, fun accessories and quality construction will have your little ones enthusiastically saving day.
Superman, Iron man, Batman and Spiderman… They’re all here! Except the Hulk. Although he doesn’t really do capes so I guess the story checks out. This colorful cape and mask costume set is a very simple but effective all inclusive kit. With capes, superhero masks, stickers and temporary tattoos, the set is perfect for kids saving the world together. Halloween trick or treating, playdates, birthday parties or just for the child who cannot make up their mind, there is something here for every peewee Peter parker.
I’m sorry. Is it legal yet to gobble up a child, or a gnome? This lil’ garden gnome dress up outfit for Halloween has got to to be the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Especially made for baby’s comfort it’s a onesie with a zipper up the back and crotch snaps for easy changing. It’s lined so it will be warmer should you be in colder parts. The only thing, and it’s got nothing to do with the costume, is the beard and hat might not be worn for very long, if at all…you know that saying, never work with kids or dogs.
Have them guessing who’s their father with this Darth Vader dress up costume for Halloween. The costume includes a 3/4 mask, cape, jumpsuit with attached shoe covers and a belt. Tweens and teens won’t mind trick or treating dressed as their favorite Star Wars character.
For something a little more interactive and requiring a touch more creative effort, the Animal Masks Book has a heap realistic animal faces to dress up with. A fox, a tiger, a pig… And plenty more, these detailed animal faces pop right out from the book pages, ready to go on excited faces. The premade masks are also a great place to start encouraging your kids to take a step further and create their own masks from paper, card and anything else they can get their hands on.
This pediatric-nurse dress up set has everything a little nurse in training needs to take care of newborn babies. The cheerful gender-neutral uniform, with the included stethoscope, ear scope, thermometer, and syringe will help make sure all is well with the cuddly newborn(also included), or help patch up any imaginary boo boos. The plush baby doll has a removable cloth diaper with self-stick closures for easy changes before or after the checkup, and a sweet smiling face to encourage emotional connection and communication.
Your baby will be the cutest crustacean in the sea in this Lil Lobster dress up costume. You’ll be getting more treats than tricks with this matching body suit with lobster claws and legs attached, a pair of skid resistant booties and a red hood with eyes and antennae. Just don’t be ‘shellfish’ with your loot.
This level of cuteness illegal should be! Your baby and Yoda have a lot in common; they’re both short, wrinkly, like mucky places and no one understands much of what they say. Perfect for your baby girl or boy, this licensed Star Wars dress up costume comes with a headpiece and robe modelled after the enigmatic little Jedi Master.
How I tried to avoid anything Frozen because we still haven’t let it go in our house. But there’s no denying the charm of Disney’s Frozen Olaf Deluxe Toddler Halloween Costume. The dress up outfit comes complete and it’s lightweight, comfortable, and easy to put on. Your little ones, or you, are going to definitely want to be a snowman!
This official licensed PAW Patrol Marshall dress up costume will have your little pup wagging his tail. We recently got one for our four-year-old and trying to get him to take it off at night is near impossible. In fact, there was a time he wouldn’t take it off at all; we’d have to wait for him to fall asleep so we could give it a wash. In the end we bought a second one, for those in-between days.
I’m not sure what I want more. The baby or the baby in the dragon dress up suit. InCharacter have thought of absolutely everything. From its soft, “spiny” tail to its magical wings, this Halloween dragon costume is cozy and warm, with a back zipper, three-dimensional, stuffed tail, and snap legs for easy diaper changes. Padded wings snap on and off easily, making them car-seat friendly.
I did say the family that tricks and treats together…gets more candy and so this year my husband and I will be joining in the fun. There is one problem though: I’m not big on dress up. It’s just too much trouble finding the costume, putting on matching makeup and being uncomfortable the entire night. But this Bacon and Eggs couple costume is perfect. With very little effort, and still in my comfort zone we’re going to ‘win’ this Halloween thing. Sunnyside up!
Have any outfits you want to share? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, jonrawlinson.