Buy or DIY: The Perfect Kids’ Halloween Costumes

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Fall is here, which means it’s time for your kids to start thinking about what they want to be for Halloween. Right now they’re probably weighing their options. Do they want to be the dinosaur wrangler from Jurassic World, or their favourite Minion? (Stuart, obviously.) Do they want to go with a more classic approach, as a ninja warrior or a princess? Over the coming weeks, they will probably offer a wide assortment of answers to the question “What do you want to be for Halloween?”

Once they do decide, it will be time for you to make a choice. Do you simply buy their costumes at the store or do you devote the time and energy to making it yourself? Here are just a few tips for deciding when to hit the store for a costume and when to DIY.

When to Buy

Without a doubt, the ease and accessibility of buying a costume can make it a lot less stressful than making one. There aren’t any raw materials to purchase or directions to follow, and you don’t have to worry about sinking hours into constructing a fully operational Transformers suit only to find out that it doesn’t fit. You also can’t beat the selection. Parents used to have to handmake their kids’ costume because it was impossible to find exactly what they wanted at the store, but not anymore.

In recent years, pop-up Halloween stores and online costume retailers have made it extremely easy to find a costume for just about anything, whether it’s a popular comic book character, a zombie doctor or even a taco. If they can imagine it, there’s likely a retailer who sells a costume for it. Of course, buying a costume can cost more, but that mostly depends on how elaborate the idea is. If the idea is simple, Morphsuits can make a great base costume for whatever idea your creative little one can dream up. For instance, the basic green Morphsuit can easily be transformed into a toy soldier, a lizard, a Power Ranger or even the Hulk himself. It’s the perfect way to buy a costume in a pinch while still giving your indecisive kid some options.

When to DIY

Helping your child make his own costume can be a great way to explore his imagination and think outside of the box. Have your kids take the time to brainstorm a list of their favorite things and use this to decide if a DIY approach is best. They might start by listing the Hulk and Super Mario, but what if they also list spaghetti and meatballs?

This can be a great DIY costume that can be easily made from items around the house. Start with a red-checkered table cloth, some thick off-white yarn and a colander. Cut a hole in the middle of the tablecloth so they can wear it like a poncho. Hot glue the yarn into the tablecloth and wear the colander as a hat. Finally, take some styrofoam balls painted with red and brown acrylic paint and superglue them to the tablecloth. They’ll be the meatballs on top of the perfect DIY costume.

If your kid is dead set on being her favorite cartoon character, give her the challenge of making it from scratch. Not only is it more fun and rewarding, but you’ll also avoid paying a premium for popular costumes that would otherwise be very easy to make. Take the Minions, for example. Those odd and adorable yellow creatures are sure to be one of the most popular costumes for kids this year. It’s also very easy to make this costume yourself. If you have a pair of overalls, a yellow toy hard hat, and a yellow hooded sweatshirt, you’re already 90 percent finished. Just hot-glue a few canning lids or round plastic cookie cutters together to make those iconic goggles. And while you’re putting it all together, have your little minion work on the final touch — the perfect Stuart impression.

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