Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Halloween Fun

Can you believe that it's almost October? We have a busy month so I've already thought ahead to Halloween. It is a favorite holiday for my daughter. She loves to pretend so I made sure to get her costume early so she could dress up as her favorite animal: a tiger! We try to keep a theme going each year while they are young so my daughter will be a tiger, my son is going to be a zebra, and daddy and I are going to be zookeepers (that's a pretty literal translation of most days here!). We chose to purchase from OneStepAhead.com since we got some super deals on the costumes and I've been very happy with their quality and customer service! The costumes are super cute, great quality, and will keep the kids warm on a chilly trick-or-treat night! And I love that the costumes include everything you need - in our case even tiger-paw and zebra-hoof gloves!

NOTE posted 9/29/11: OneStepAhead.com is offering $5 Flat Rate Shipping through 10/2/11(no code needed)!

Here's some great advice that I found on their site:

*Don't take for granted that costume size matches clothing size. (It varies widely by manufacturer.) Look at the company's weight and height details to pick your size.

*Plan for the weather. If you live in a cooler climate like we do, think about buying a larger size costume so you can layer clothing beneath it or choose a costume that covers more of body.

*Take your child's needs into consideration. If they don't like to wear hats, don't buy a costume that requires any type of mask, wig, or hat. If they don't like certain fabrics, stay away from costumes made from them. You want your child to be comfortable in order to have fun.

*Find out exactly what you're buying. Are the accessories included? What's the fabric content? Is it machine washable?

*If buying online or from a catalog, know the return policy; they vary.

*Last minute purchase? Be sure to check the shipping deadlines to avoid a Halloween nightmare!

*Better yet, order early. No one knows what costumes will be the hot sellers any given year, and once they're gone, they're gone. So when you spot that perfect costume, order it. Once it arrives, inspect it, have your child try it on, and then tuck it away for the big day. Now you're ready!

In addition, don't forget about safety!

*According to the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of accidental injuries on Halloween. Shorten overly-long skirts, capes, tails, and anything else that trails on the ground and choose safe, sturdy shoes. Forgo high heels or grown-up shoes. They may look terrific, but they're tripping hazards (and uncomfortable, too!)

*Make sure your little goblin is highly visible, especially if trick-or-treating at dusk. Fix reflective striping to his costume or treat bag, or make sure he's carrying a flashlight or light stick. (Using a flashlight? Don't forget to check those batteries!)

*Beware of masks that limit visibility. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure it offers good ventilation and that the peepholes line up with your child's eyes.
Face paint is a great alternative to masks, provided it's gentle and child-safe. Choose non-toxic, lab-tested makeup that meets all federal standards for cosmetics.

And when Halloween is over, don't toss the costume - use it for dress up and roll play! Roll-play encourages learning and "engages emotion, cognition, language, and sensory motor skills, scientists theorize it actually creates synaptic connections between parts of the brain. And the more synapses, the greater a child's intelligence!"

If it is time to get rid of your costumes, consider being "green" and participating in a costume swap. National Costume Swap day is October 8th. See if your area is hosting a swap. Get details at GreenHalloween.org. Swap.com is also a great resource for Costume Swap Day so check them out, too.

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