Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book and Treat: Make Halloween A Hoot With Storybook Costumes

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The weather cools. Comfy sweaters are back in fashion. It's socially acceptable to drink hot cocoa with marshmallows everyday, especially if it's a REALLY cold. And Halloween is right around the corner.

Now some of you, especially the moms who follow the blog, may be saying, "Ugh! All that candy! I just can't handle my kids hopped up on all that sugar."

And in that regard, I agree with you. Halloween definitely provides a few, minor battles in regards to candy consumption.

But have you considered this advantage of the holiday? Halloween is actually a really great time to get your kids excited about reading again.

"Say what?" you ask. "Halloween is going to get my kids to read?"

You heard me right. Halloween is a great time to get your kids reading again. Not only are all the books about witches, goblins, monsters, and ghosts back in rotation at all the stores and libraries again. But you can also turn the first two weeks of October into a read-a-thon in which your child chooses a storybook costume to wear at the end of the month. So not only are they getting different types of books to read, but they're also getting to choose a cool prize at the end. A prize that you were probably going to give them anyway because of the holiday, and without having read all those wonderful, mind enriching, vocabulary building books.

And if you want to make the read-a-thon even more exciting and creative, you and your child/children could take it a step further and make the storybook costume together using household items like make-up, yarn, boxes, spray paint, and duct tape. It's a perfect activity for teaching to your child/children to use their imagination. Not to mention, you could throw in some math skills like measurment, just for good measure( hahahahah...get it?), if they are a little older in age.

Costume making was a yearly tradition in my household when we were younger-mainly because we didn't have the money for costumes-but I still treasure that tradition to this day. It was one of my happiest childhood memories, and I intend to continue it with my children when they are old enough to fully partcipate.

Below are some store bought and homemade, storybook character costume ideas. Please add comments if you decide to try an idea. Better yet, send in pics to I'd love to post pics of the kiddos, if you feel comfortable having your little guy or gal posted on the blog.

Book-I Love You Dear Dragon (Any Dragon series)
Age Group-Toddlers and Kindergarten

Book-Alice In Wonderland
Age group-teens and preteens

Book-Little Red Riding Hood
Age Group-toddlers to teens

Great article from Scholastic on making your own costume.


  1. Most of the schools around where I used to live would have the kids dress up as a book character if they wanted to do the costume thing (I haven't lived here long enough to know if Austin schools do the same!). Such a good idea. And the read-a-thon at the beginning of October is even more brilliant.

  2. YES! This is a fantastic idea! I really, really like it.

    I haven't dressed up in so long but this makes me want to. Badly!

    I love you ideas to get kids reading again - if I had any kids (which I don't and won't for a while because I'm only 21!) I'd definitely use this.

  3. It is a really good idea to use Halloween to encourage children to read. I love your costume ideas. Have you got any pictures of the ones you make?

    I'm a new Crusader coming by to say hello.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Jenny,
    Family Fun magazine had a great story on homemade costumes. I'll try to find it and post the link.

    Do you have boys? Girls? Or both? I have a ton of suggestions for all of the above, but no pics, unfortunately.

    I'd kill to have the pics of my little brother(32) dressed as the Tin Man. It took funnels, poster board, silver spray paint and a lot of glue to make that one,but I'll never forget
    the fun that me, my mom, and brother had making it. I hope everyone has that much fun on Halloween!

    Glad you stopped by:)Hope to see you again!

  6. I'm gonna be a chef for Halloween, specifically a baker. Know any cooks in a children's book, besides Amelia Bedelia? I'm thinking A Baker's Dozen by Aaron Shepard. Any others?

  7. Christie,
    There are couple of different Ratatouille books out now. There are tons of cooks in those. Not sure about bakers, though.