Oh October. It really puts my creativity (or lack thereof) to the test. Who ever thought Halloween could take so much out of you?
I remember growing up it was just one costume per year. And my mom would usually have me make mine myself, with whatever materials and clothes I had at home. I remember one year I was a dalmatian because I had a white shirt and a pair of white pants and I had to cut out black spots from paper and stick it on. My headband, we dressed with black droopy paper ears. I don’t remember much after that one.
With my kids though, it seems as if we have more than one round of costume per Halloween season. For Sam’s first year she just had one. After that, it sort of compounded. I think Summer Camp added to the growing props and make-shift costumes, so Jamie was born into a home full of dress-up fun.
Now both girls still love playing dress-up, and they play it on a regular basis. In fact that’s probably why we’ve accumulated so many little trinkets here and there apart from the Halloween costumes that Sam has worn in the past. Thank goodness I have two girls, as those costumes get more wear out of them than I’d initially thought they would!
Jamie’s school is fairly creative. They find all sorts of occasions for the kids to be animals or fairies and give them some role to play. I think that’s why Jamie is great at pretend play at such a young age.
The week before Halloween, the teachers send the parents a memo for Let’s Pretend week, where they coat their curriculum around different themes from Monday – Thursday. On Friday for their culmination they let the kids wear whatever it is they want and they have a true trick-or-treat session in the nearby area.
Last year when I saw the list I panicked. Jamie’s teacher saw the look on my face and assured me that they weren’t expecting us to buy anything new, but to just be creative.
Man. I had images of my black paper spots falling off with my creativity years ago (or lack thereof).
I think the most that I actually had to make was Jamie’s blue hair as Thing 2.
We survived last year’s themes, and I’d forgotten about the panicked feeling until I saw the memo again this year. To be fair, the school gives the parents ample time to digest Let’s Pretend Week and prepare for it. As my friend Trina says, there are some parents who will just slap on a princess costume and be done with it (And what do the kids know right? You just tell them a story to justify the same costume everyday and it’ll still work). Now while I can’t bring myself to buy five different costumes that will be worn only once (it’s not like Jamie can hand-me-down to Sam…), I also cannot do that to my child (this is just me – no judgements please!). Hence, the challenge to think of something new to wear everyday. And besides, Jamie gets excited. She sees her pictures and we talk about what she’ll wear, I think she’d know if I was putting her in the same costume but giving her a different story.
For this year’s let’s pretend week, Jamie had a theme. Three out of her five costumes were insect-based.
She was a bumblebee for Animal Day.
And then the Eency Weensy Spider for Storybook day.
Are you noticing a trend?
For Peter Pan Day, Jamie wanted to go as a fairy. I had purple butterfly wings and I figured I could put her in a tutu dress with glitter. But then again when she watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates she said she wanted to be a pirate. And thankfully, Ate was a pirate two years ago too! 😉
Jamie said she was “Mistah Smeeee!”, and she was happy to be so, on a pirate ship. So even if the costume wasn’t exactly like Mr. Smee, I figured this one I could let slide because her imagination was bigger than that.
Last year and this year, there was a Superhero theme. No other Superwomen come to mind than Wonderwoman, Batgirl and Elastigirl… none of whom Jamie could relate to because she didn’t know them. The one superhero she did know was Spiderman (thanks to my brother’s collection maybe). Maybe Spiderman was the easiest to remember because of her interest in animals and insects.
And thankfully, The Fatherland and Missus Big bought a spidey costume for their son. He refused to wear it because he wanted to be a rainbow instead (and MY GOD. That rainbow costume is a true labor of love and an absolute WINNER in my eyes!), and so Jamie was happy to borrow it.
Complete with the mask too! I have to say, I was surprised at her willingness to wear even the mask. I suppose that’s Jamie for you though — she really is full of surprises.
So as you can see, if it’s not a hand-me-down, it’s a borrow-me-please type of costume. And why not? The kids have fun and the costume’s value improves with every person’s wear.
That was most of Let’s Pretend week for us, and again I made it through alive. Jamie in fact wanted to stay in her costumes the whole day. I just had to convince they were dirty so that they could get washed. The last day is a “wear any costume” kind of day. Since we’d exhausted most of the artillery of costumes already, it was just about that time to think of something new for Jamie. How we got to her costume of choice this year deserves another blog post in itself. 😉
What are your kids’ costumes this Halloween season?