Halloween is supposed to be a fun time for everyone. For kids with certain special needs, though, it can be a struggle, especially when it comes to wearing costumes.
Sensory-sensitive kids have an especially tough go of it, because they often can't tolerate wearing masks, make-up, paint, or scratchy store-bought costumes.
Still, wearing a costume isn't out of the question, it just requires a bit of planning and channeling your inner creative self. Here's a few great ideas for children with all types of special needs.
The best way to make sure your child's wheelchair doesn't overshadow his or her costume is to make the chair a part of the get-up! For instance, maybe your son wants to be Superman or another superhero with flying capabilities. Why not use poster board and colored construction paper to create a city and sky scene to hang on the sides of your son's wheelchair? Use blue posterboard as the background and cut city buildings and clouds out of construction paper to glue onto the board. Voila! Superman is flying high over Metropolis.
Perhaps your daughter wants to be a princess. You can use posterboards, hula hoops or large circle styrofoam, ribbon or fabric to create a Cinderella-style carriage on her wheelchair. Another great idea for a girl? Take a large piece of posterboard or cardboard and cut a hole in the center large enough for your child to fit through and have plenty of wiggle room. Cover the board with green felt, then make paper flowers out of pipecleaners and construction paper. Attach the flowers upright to the board using tape or superglue, then cover the tape or glue with green glitter. Make a flower crown for your daughter and dress her in the colors of her favorite flower to turn her into a field of flowers.
Other awesome costumes ideas for the wheelchair-bound include a drummer, using the wheelchair as the drum set; a farmer, using the chair as a tractor; and another princess costume idea, taking large pieces of gossamer material and wrapping it around the chair to create a ballgown.
As mentioned earlier, most sensitive children can't bear the usual store-bought costumes and make-up. Instead, parents often have to create homemade costumes using their child's own clothing as part of the outfit.
You can easily create fun animal costumes using felt and pipe-cleaners and your child's clothes. Let's say your child wants to be a tiger. Take a long, thin piece of orange felt and draw black stripes across it to create the tail. Then, take two pipe cleaners and form them into two triangle shaped cat ears. Cover the pipe cleaners in the same felt you used for for the tail(don't forget the stripes). Then, take a plain, store-bought headband and cover it with felt, as well. Using craft or super glue, attach the ears to the headband and the tail to your child's pants. Just like that, he or she is a wild tiger.
Most sensitive kids can't wear make-up or face paint, nor can they stand the feel of a mask around their heads. Instead, parents can take large craft sticks and construction paper to create handheld masks of their child's character of choice.
Have you ever flown with your disabled child?