This Halloween we are combining two of our favorite things: dressing up and reading. Dressing up as a book character is always a good idea. It’s great for school Halloween parties when you need costumes that are cute but not-too-scary. When kids dress up as book characters it allows them to interpret the characters in their own way to create personal connections to the characters, interpret deeper meaning into the material and get excited about reading books.
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One of Teddy’s favorite books has always been Chris Haughton’s book Shh! We Have a Plan. It’s about three little minion-ish characters with a plan to catch a bird but things don’t go as planned. The book has bright graphic illustrations and a catchy, cadence that makes the text easy for little ones to remember.
The Shh! We Have a Plan character costumes were really simple to make with solid-colored clothes and a few details and accessories. I love Primary.com for solid-colored kids clothes because they are cute and they have pretty much any shade you could want. I used double-sided duct tape to secure all of the details so that the kids can still wear the clothing after Halloween, but if you are a millionaire than by all means go crazy with the hot glue.
TEDDY’S BLUE CHARACTER COSTUME
- Blue pants (Primary baby pant in slate blue)
- Blue shirt (Primary crew neck sweatshirt in slate blue)
- Blue winter hat
- Blue butterfly net
- Craft foam or felt
- Double-sided duct tape or hot glue
- Optional vest (Primary puffer vest in navy)
- Cut 2-3 wavy lines out of blue craft foam or felt. Choose a shade of blue different from the blue of the hat so the design pops.
- Attach wavy lines of foam to the winter hat using double sided duct tape or hot glue.
- Cut two large white circles out of craft foam or felt. The circles must be large enough to cover the lens of the sunglasses.
- Cut a small hole in the white circles.
- Attach the circles to the sunglass lenses so that the hole in the white circles look like a black pupil.
- Cut a rectangular/triangular shape out of blue craft foam and attach to the bridge of the sunglasses using double-sided tape or hot glue.
- If you don’t want to buy a blue butterfly net, you can spray paint an existing net blue, or DIY a net. To DIY a net use a dowel rod and paint it blue (I wrapped mine in blue tape instead).
- Attach a blue scarf or even a blue grocery store bag to the end of the stick.
SCOTTIE’S BIRD COSTUME
- Pink hooded sweatshirt (Primary baby zip hoodie in raspberry)
- Purple dress or skirt (Primary long sleeve baby dress)
- Pink, purple or black leggings or tights (Primary leggings in raspberry)
- Craft foam or felt
- Double-sided tape or hot glue
- Cut two small black circles out of craft foam.
- Attach the black circles to a piece of pink craft foam.
- Cut around the black circle so that you are left with a think pink border around the black circle.
- Attach the black/pink circle to a sheet of yellow craft foam.
- Cut around the circle to make a thin border.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 one final time with a sheet of purple craft foam.
- Attach your black/pink/yellow/purple circles to the hood of the sweatshirt on either side where a bird’s eyes would go.
- Cut a black triangle out of foam and attach to the hood between the two eyes for a beak.
- Cut some wavy lines, triangles, and rectangles out of pink and purple craft foam.
- Attach the lines and shapes to the skirt of the dress.
- Optional: Cut and attach wing shapes to the sleeves.
Instead of making more work for yourself, turn the costume making into a collaborative learning experience. Introduce the concept of straight vs. wavy lines, circles, geometric shapes and/or pattern. Older children can practice scissor skills. Chris Haughton’s illustrations in Shh! We Have A Plan have imperfect edges so the shapes don’t have to be perfect at all!
Look at the book together and create a list with your little one of what they need to create their costume. As they identify key features like a hat and a net, ask about colors and shapes and add any details they may have missed. This promotes critical thinking skills in your child.
Have children act out the book while you read. Teddy decided to do this without prompting as you can see in the picture he “caught” his sister in his net… Haha!