Children with sensory integration problems are notoriously picky about clothing. They may need soft fabrics, tag-free shirts, non-binding wastebands, nothing scratchy or tickly. So standard, store-bought Halloween costumes, with their flimsy fabrics and mismatched parts and unfinished hems and inexact fit are pretty much of a no-go. Here's a quick way to make your child a costume out of a pair of nice, comfy sweats. Make them as simple or spectacular as your craft abilities allow.
Time Required: Depends on how crafty you are
- Start with a hooded sweatshirt: brown for a dog, black for a cat, red for a devil. Your child can pair this with matching sweatpants, or any other legwear he or she feels comfortable in.
- Decorate the sweatshirt using felt or construction paper. Cut out contrasting spots for the dog, a white tummy for the cat, maybe some orange flames or a pitchfork for the devil. Attach these to the costume depending on whether you want to use the sweatshirt again: with staples, tape, safety pins, fabric glue, stitches. You can even use fabric paint if you want the costume to live forever.
- Decorate the hood with felt or construction paper. Make little ears for the cat, floppy ears for the dog, horns for the devil. Attach them as indicated in Step 2.
- Attach a tail to the seat of the pants. Cut out a black tail from felt or construction paper for the cat, a brown one for the dog, a red one for the devil. Attach it as indicated in Step 2.
- Put the costume on your child. If he or she will tolerate it, add a felt or construction paper collar to the dog or cat. Let your devil hold a pitchfork. Face makeup is also a possibility if your child doesn't mind it.
- Now take a picture! If the costume reverts back to its normal sweatshirt state after Halloween night, you'll want to have a record it existed.
- The material you use for the add-ons and the way you fasten them can be determined by how active your child will be in the outfit. If it's just for a quick round of trick or treating, you can probably get away with paper and staples. If it's for a party or a day at school, felt and glue might be a better bet.
- If your child finds a weighted vest helpful, he or she can wear it under the sweatshirt, or load up the pockets of the sweatshirt with curtain weights and sew them shut.
- If your child prefers tight clothing, have him or her wear a tight shirt under the sweatshirt. Any favorite piece of comfort clothing can likely ride under there; determine sweatshirt size accordingly.
What You Need
- Hooded sweatshirt
- Matching sweatpants (optional)
- Felt or construction paper
- Fabric paint (optional)
- Staples, tape, safety pins, glue, and/or needle and thread