Homemade Halloween Costumes with a Twist

I can’t tell you how many times my kids went looking for the perfect Halloween costume…it seemed to be endless. We had the Halloween costume box to go through every year, but that didn’t always do the trick. Sometimes we had to get even more creative by combining costume pieces from different costumes to come up with something uniquely different.

One year I suggested to the kids that they could make their costumes out of paper bags. They could use spray paint, markers, yarn, string, staplers, and tape, but the main part of the costume had to be out of a paper bag.

It seems to me that my daughter was in the second grade. (She had recently gotten braces on her lower teeth; she had an unusual mouth so she needed them much earlier than most kids.) So, teeth were on her mind, a lot! She decided to be a tooth for Halloween. Using the paper bag, she cut a hole in the top for her head to come out, a slit in the back for ease in putting the bag on, and arm holes. She painted the paper bag with white spray paint. Then she added scallops at the bottom of the bag…all around it and painted them red…for the gums. She wore red tights and ‘voila’ she was a tooth!

Homemade Halloween Costumes with a Twist
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Foiled…Homemade Halloween Costumes

Another year we decided the costume had to be made out of foil. All of her friends did the same thing too. You could use cardboard, but it would have to be wrapped in foil. You could also use markers, tape, staplers, etc, but the bulk of the costume had to be foil. The most amazing costumes came out of that! They had so much fun putting their costumes together. Watching all the girls go trick or treating in foil made costumes was quite a site!

Homemade Halloween Costumes Improve Learning Skills

The whole point of sharing this Halloween story is to encourage your kids to be creative and have fun. Learning skills improve with creative efforts. Deeper thinking happens when you allow time for brainstorming and creation. Problem solving, spatial thinking, synthesis of information, combining ideas, and divergent thinking happens.

Research supports this!

Lubart (2000) summarizes the research efforts on cognitive sub-processes that are seen as crucial to creativity potential:

  • Problem finding, formulation and redefinition

    Homemade Halloween Costumes with a Twist

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  • Divergent thinking
  • Synthesis and combination of information (bisociation, Janusian thinking, homospatial thinking, articulation, analogy and metaphor, remote association, emotional resonance, and feature mapping)
  • Idea combinations through random or chance-based processes

Think about how this family activity of making costumes together can improve all of your kids’s learning skills. Even if they have dyslexia, ADHD, learning disabilities, or are in the autistic spectrum, they can all make costumes. These activities can all improve their creative thinking abilities, as well.

Parent’s and Educator’s Mission…Homemade Halloween Costumes – One at a Time

What we as parents and educators spend our life doing is teaching our kids to be deeper thinkers. Our children are our future, so we need their problem solving abilities to be developed to create a wonderful future for all of us. We can do this, one step at a time, one costume at a time!

Another way to encourage deep and creative thinking is to encourage your kids to write. Writing is the doing part of thinking. You can’t write without thinking. The easiest way I have found to encourage this writing is to have my kids use Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills .

Its graphic organizers are specifically designed to help improve writing skills, especially for kids with learning challenges.

Bonnie Terry

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed.


Bonnie Terry

Board Certified Educational Therapist and Founder of Bonnie Terry Learning

Bonnie, a mom of three, has been a learning disability specialist for over 30 years. She is author of best-selling books, games, and guides including Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills. She is the host of Learning Made Easy Talk Radio and is a frequent TV guest giving tips to parents on how to help their kids improve their learning skills.



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Homemade Halloween Costumes with a Twist

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