Editor's note: This article was originally published on Hilary Erickson's blog, Pulling Curls. It has been republished here with permission.
Having a Family Theme can be a REALLY fun way to celebrate Halloween. I should know, we have done it since 2004. We've done cowboys and Indians, Star Wars, Super Heroes, Calvin and Hobbes (a cop-out pregnancy year), Peter Pan and Flintstones. It turns a holiday into something that could be awfully creepy (HATE the spirit store) into a fun family event that builds unity. Here are my 10 tips for family theme costumes.
1. Use Media
Think of shows or books that your family enjoys together. Make a list of them and you'll brainstorm plenty of ideas.
2. Think about your skills
If you don't want to sew, you don't have to. There are plenty of costumes that can be done with very little or no sewing (HURRAY!).
3. Think about the weather
This is always important at Halloween with little kids. You don't need them sweltering (which is what mine do - pull that Yoda hat off and you have a liter of fluid under there in sweat) or not be able to bulk-up for warmth underneath it.
4. Think about characters
Could each family member find someone in that theme to be that they are OK with? Sure, there will be fights over who gets to be Luke Skywalker. It will just happen. Let it go. With so many boys, we need something that has a few boys. The cast of Annie is out, what a shame.
Browse your local thrift store. There are LOTS of great costume ideas from dresses or T-shirts. Start there and see what ideas come to you!
6. Think of a time period
My brother and I once went as a flapper and a gangster. It was really fun, and we learned some history along the way (and my brother got to carry a gun).
7. Think of your activities
Are you going to have parties to attend, as well as trick or treating? What would be appropriate for that? Can your kids go separately to their events in just their own costume?
8. Can you make it with fleece?
I love fleece because you don't have to hem the edges because it doesn't fray. Thank you to the makers of fleece!
9. Let kids have input
It's FUN for them to come to the store to pick out fabric and then see you create a costume! I take my kids opinion very seriously. How long do they want the pants, what colors do they like for it? Which picture do they want it to look like? It's a time for creativity.
10. Have fun with it
I often made a CD that I'd play in the car to go with our costume themes. Seriously. Mock if you will. But it just made it FUN. I'm not normally that mom, but for 12 Halloweens I WAS that mom. Let's see if we do it this year.