Halloween. We start to see displays of skeletons, pumpkins and ghosts as soon as school is back, reminding us that fall is coming and with it, the search for the perfect costume. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of dressing up for Halloween, sprinting around the neighborhood with my friends and coming home to count how many Snickers and Twix bars were in my bag. It’s a holiday where everyone gets to be a kid, to become something or someone else.
But as our kids get older, Halloween gets trickier (see what I did there?). When my boys became pre-teens, they started to feel like they were outgrowing the holiday. They weren’t sure if they should still dress up and to be honest, I wasn’t either. Would they get turned away by a grouchy neighbor who thought they were too big to trick-or-treat? Would their friends make fun of them if they dressed up? And it made me sad. I loved dressing them up when they were little. When my twins were 2, they dressed up as little referees, with my husband as the coach. My oldest son was the cutest little clown you’ve ever seen. Halloween in my house saw ninjas, cowboys, football players and every Harry Potter character you can imagine.
They are some of our favorite memories. So why shouldn’t we get to make more of them?
The trick to having our pre-teens and teenagers participate in Halloween is finding the right costume. If they have no costume or don’t put any thought into it, they’re probably going to get turned away at the door. So here are a few costume ideas for your 11- 16 year old to get your creative juices flowing:
- YA novels. If your kids are big readers, there are tons of great characters in today’s novels.
- Katniss from the Hunger Games, Tris from Divergent or Thomas from The Maze Runner, to name just a few.
- TV Shows – Shows like Once Upon a Time, Stranger Things, The Flash have a wealth of characters that kids love.
- Morph Suits – These spandex suits come in every color and shape you can think of. I think they’re crazy looking, but teenagers seem to love them!
- Movies – I mentioned Harry Potter, which can really span from 8 – 18, but other movie characters that make great costumes for pre-teens include:
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Lord of the Rings (my son was Legolas), Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, Wonder Woman
- Sports stars are still ‘cool’. Let them be their favorite gymnast, baseball or football player or their favorite Olympian.
- And if all else fails, keep it SIMPLE.
- Have them wear a trash bag and say they’re taking out the garbage.
- Wear a shirt that says ceiling with a #1fan sign = ceiling fan
- A white shirt with 3 black dots and they’re a 3 hole punch
Below is our crew of pre-teens and teenagers from our last Halloween. They got very creative! And the neighbors all loved their costumes!
When my oldest son was 14, he dressed up as a Cereal Killer. He glued small boxes of cereal to a shirt, spattered fake blood on it and walked around with a large plastic knife. It was hilarious and so him!
Just because our kids are growing up doesn’t mean they have to grow out of the holidays we hold so dear. So encourage them to dress up for Halloween. And if you want to get really crazy, pick a costume and dress up with them!
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