Dressing For A Sensory Friendly Halloween

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Halloween Costume Basics

For kids with sensory sensitivities, engaging in all the fun that comes with the costumes and dressing up can be a little more tricky. 

Conventional Halloween costumes are typically made from scratchy, synthetic fabrics and are often plastered with rough sequins or sharp plastic components. All of these elements do not lend themselves to creating a sensory friendly outfit.

Here’s some ideas to get started on building a more sensory-friendly Halloween costume –

Start With A Soft, Comfortable Base the base layer is the most important element for any Halloween costume. Whether your child has sensory sensitivities or not, starting with a comfortable layer can make a world of difference, and allow them to enjoy more of the fun. We recommend using our Organic Pajama Sets as a base, as they come in all the colors of the rainbow.

Material Is Key– the majority of Halloween costumes feature fabrics that are scratchy, rough and uncomfortable. Get creative with costume ideas, while using soft cotton fabrics. These will not only be softer on the skin, they will also be more breathable, helping regulate your kids’ body temperatures. If you have a headpiece as a part of the outfit, a hat is usually better than something that covers the entire face. Also, try not to have the head or face covering be the only part of the costume that represents the character, as it usually doesn’t stay on very long. 

Use What You Already Have – maybe your child has garments they already feel comfortable in? Find the pieces from their wardrobe that match the colors for their costume idea, and build off of that. This will allow your child to feel extra comfortable in the clothes they already know and love.

Do A Practice Run With The Costume – before the big night, do a test run with the costume. Have your child wear it around the house to see how it feels. If there are areas in the outfit that don’t feel good for them, you can then try to find solutions to adjust those parts before the actual Halloween evening arrives.

Holidays have often become aligned with BIG expectations. Remember to slow down, enjoy the moments, and try not to get too caught up in all the things you think you *have to do* on Halloween. This will make it more fun and less stressful for not only your kids, but also the entire family. 

Written by: City Threads Cofounders Shayna Samuels & Joe Willis, and Kestrel Jenkins, responsibility consultant & host of the Conscious Chatter podcast.