How to Put Together a Costume Box for Boys
Playing dress-up isn’t just for girls: Boys need some character clothes as well. Dressing up as someone (or something) real or pretend is a wonderful tool for young children’s social/emotional development and imaginary play. Setting aside a variety of clothes that can be used for special outfits also comes in handy for Halloween costumes, school and church programs, and events at school. Costumes can be kept in a big box, an old trunk, or in the bottom drawer of a dresser. Pull those items for rainy days and snow days and bring on the fun.
Collect accessories. Keep disjointed sunglasses and old neckties. Offer to take Grandpa’s old boots. Grab a couple pairs of adult shoes from consignment sales, and for goodness’ sake, keep all the hats. These kinds of generic odds and ends provide endless options for mixing and matching. Creativity will come alive, and the memories will be magic, as when your son inadvertently dresses up like Magnum P.I.
Make sure you have capes. Make these from a simple pattern, purchase some secondhand, or use an old blanket: it doesn’t matter. What matters is that your ratio of capes to kids is always one-to-one.
Don’t neglect classic superheroes. If you would prefer not to buy the full costumes, you can get away with a few key pieces of the superhero look. That way, siblings can take turns with outfits, children avoid the uncomfortable mechanics of costumes, and you save a little money (not to mention frustration when they have to use the restroom).
Accept donations from others. Shortly after the Halloween overwhelm—and again during the spring-cleaning season—you might find yourself with the option to accept hand-me-downs. When another mama thrusts a bag at you and asks if you want their old clothes and costumes, the answer is always, “yes.” You can sort through the pile later and pay forward any donations you do not want.
Keep those uniforms and sports jerseys. You never know when little brother will want to dress up as a football player in big brother’s gear. You probably paid a pretty penny for everything from karate clothes to soccer socks: get as much wear out of those as you can.
Toss in some adult-sized street clothes. Before you drop off your donation box at the charity center, go through and select a few items to add to the mix: shirts that don’t fit anymore, neckties from two decades ago, vests. Children can pretend they are adults. Or at least dress up as a character from a Charles Dickens novel.
Rhea Lana Blog Contributor Rhonda Franz is a freelance writer, licensed teacher, home operations specialist, and domestic chef. She combines her professional background and mommyhood experiences to write on family, parenting, cooking, and education. Rhonda’s work has been featured on the MSNBC Today Show mom blog, AmericaSaves.org, and NWAMotherlode, and in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She is a contributor to Arkansas Gardener magazine, Peekaboo magazine, and parenting publications around the country. A city girl at heart, Rhonda is raising three lively boys in the woods of northwest Arkansas with her husband. You can read more about her at captainmom.net and rhondafranz.com.