That’s right! 4smartypants is hosting our very own, first annual costume contest! To enter, post a pic and we’ll select and announce a winner next Wednesday, November 2nd. The picture can be of yourself in costume, your kids, pet or, my personal fav, a group theme. Get creative and show us your smartypants!
To help inspire you, I have included a portion of a post from one of my blogs last Halloween. I hope it helps to launch you into your own zone made up of equal parts creativity and whimsy!
Let me start this entry with a confession. I am one of those parents who tend to get a
little particular about what my children wear for Halloween. Make no mistake, however. Over the years, I have learned to reel myself
in and remind myself that Halloween is about the kids and not about how absurdly
creative I can be. I know that I am not
alone in this as I have seen other parents lose their heads when it comes to
kids in costume. I guess confession
number two would be that I justify my obsessing over the perfect Halloween garb
by telling myself that “at least I’m not as bad as some.” Realizing the error in this thinking, I have
decided this year to set aside this poor excuse for justification and write
down some helpful suggestions.
Many parents think that they need to purchase the latest and
greatest costumes available online or in stores in order properly capture the
Halloween spirit. There is nothing wrong
with this. I have certainly been known
to scour the net and the greater Seattle area for the perfect frock for my
little ones. One of the lessons I
learned as a foster parent was that whatever I perceived as the cutest “must have” costume may not be along the
same lines as what my children wanted to wear.
For this reason, I changed my tactics a bit and still use these simple
self-imposed rules today with my biological children. Now that my eldest is old enough to choose
for herself, I always consult her first and then, without fail, make my first
stop our dress-up boxes which hold dozens of costumes ready for the picking. I am always surprised at the time and money
that I save in altering something that we already own. My daughter gets a thrill out of helping me
create her one-of-a-kind costume and shows a certain pride in wearing it for
Okay. So here comes
confession number three… I am one of
those parents to look for a theme in dressing my kids for Halloween. I’m sure this will be something they roll
their eyes at later, but for now, I indulge.
Because my youngest is still too young to have an opinion, I try to
avoid making her an accessory while trying to match her costume to whatever
theme my eldest thinks up. Last year, my
eldest wanted to be Sleeping Beauty. We
were lucky in that we already had the costume leftover from a recent family
vacation. I was then able to use my
limited hand-stitching skills to convert a pea costume and matching hat from a
mermaid tail that had been handed down from an older cousin. This year, my daughter has chosen to be
“Awice-in-Wondawand”. Naturally, I was
able to make some additions to a bunny costume we already owned and have our
youngest go as the “White Rabbit” from that story.
Once the perfect costume has been selected, many parents
lose their minds and become anxious about actually letting their children enjoy
their costumes. I have seen some parents
make their children take off their costumes before enjoying certain Halloween
treats, or even scold them for getting messy during Halloween events. I know that it is fun to keep costumes for
dress-up later, but I do wonder what the problem would be with a little
spillage or even a stain if the costume is just intended for play anyway. To avoid the worry, I recommend setting aside
a time to get the cute, keepsake pictures done ahead of time. Some parents opt to get professional shots
but pictures taken at a park, a local garden center with fall color or even at
events with cute Halloween scenes can be just as perfect for capturing the
memories. Once the perfect pictures are
taken, parents should let their children enjoy their costumes, messes and
all. Chances are it is those memories
and not the costumes themselves that they will cherish.
Okay, so clearly the above post was meant for parents, but if you can use costumes or clothes for something else to create a unique look for this Halloween, I say go for it! I am all for everyone bringing out the whimsy of Halloween and enjoy seeing adults and pest all dressed up for the occasion. This year, my family is going as the cast of principals from The Wizard of Oz. My eldest is going as Dorothy, my two year old as Toto and my baby as the Lion. My husband and I have been left with the task of creating Scarecrow and Tin Man costumes. I have yet to create these last two costumes so I am just as curious as everyone else to see how they will turn out.
The 4smartypants agree that there is probably no better way to celebrate costume creativity than to host a costume contest on our very own website. Hint: If you need a little help, Martha Stewart has some fun hints that you can link to from her blog www.themarthablog.com. So whip out that whimsy and let’s see what you all can come up with!