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The Ultimate Guide to Intentional Halloween Costumes

Rooney’s told me that for Halloween this year she wants to be a purple ghost, a ballerina, and Darth Vadar. All of them.

She’s two years old, guys. She doesn’t get Halloween. Where do I even begin to piece that wardrobe debacle together?

Halloween can be a touchy subject, am I right? What’s okay for the kids to wear? What’s not okay, and how do we decide? Is it okay to be scary, and what constitutes “over the top”? Every mom’s got her method for coaxing little bodies into a costume or just letting go (Elsa, anyone?) and allowing the kids to choose their own outfits with little or no guidance or input.

Instead of fussing over what your little belle will wear when the ghosts and ghouls (and Elsas and Captain Americas) come out to play, we’ve got a fun and easy solution. Why not give her the chance to choose a costume that celebrates a quality that you want her to possess? Why not choose a costume that celebrates something that we all want our girls to be? The solution?

Dress her up BRAVE!

You can go Merida, if you want, but let’s think outside the box for a second. Help her choose a costume that can point toward a hero, a woman of strength, who wasn’t afraid to stand up and do something important, something needed, something that had to be done (Or maybe she was afraid and she did it anyway)? What if instead of Elsa, your daughter dressed up like Eleanor Roosevelt, Zora Neal Hurston, Ida B. Wells, or Amelia Earhart? What if instead of a pretty princess, your daughter dressed up like a courageous warrior? What if instead of choosing to emulate a cartoon character, she chose to emulate a defender, a protector, a vanquisher of evil? We’ve got chills just thinking about it.

Here are three ways to brainstorm an intentional Halloween costume with your girl that won’t make you feel like you had to give up the good fight.

1. Pick a character trait (We like bravery!)

Trying to brainstorm a costume with so many options can be overwhelming, especially if you have more than one small human to think about. Narrow it down by choosing a trait or virtue. Some ideas: kindness, strength, ahem...bravery. :D Spend some time brainstorming the people your kids know (or have heard of or learned about) that possess that quality. If they can’t name someone that fits the theme, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce them to a few of your real-life heroes. Win-win, right?

2. Pick an event

Maybe choosing costumes based on a trait proved to be a little bit more work than you’d hoped. Not to worry. Try choosing an event instead. You and your family can dress up as the Israelites leaving Egypt, or the first astronaut team launched into space, or even those who marched with Dr. King on Washington. Events can help you pinpoint a moment in history that’s important for reasons that matter.

3. Pick a cause

Okay, so maybe you can’t think of anything clever for either of those things, or maybe you’ve been totally captivated by a cause or a problem in the world and you and your girl want to bring attention to it. Well, Halloween is the perfect opportunity! Choose someone or something relevant to the work being done to solve that problem. When people ask your daughter who she is, she has a chance to explain (Sally Doe lives in Africa and is currently fighting for elephant preservation).

You’re ready. Go! This as another opportunity to talk to your girl about what really matters, to talk to her about the values that you think are the most important, to get her excited about real beauty. Have fun swimming together against the current of culture (Oh my gosh, you should totally dress up as fish!)

Kudos, Mama. You got this.

1 comment

  • Boo!! Great ideas Erin!! Xo

    Vicki Ritter

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