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Are Your Ballerinas and Superheroes Ready for Halloween?

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Walk into any Duane Reade and you can’t help but notice that Halloween is around the corner. The candy and decorations are in full display. Ricky’s NYC , the go-to place for costumes, has been opening specialty “pop up” stores solely dedicated to Halloween costumes. Halloween is a fun holiday for kids, but can stressful for parents. What costume is your child going to wear and should you buy it or make it? We have compiled a list of some of the most popular Halloween costumes for 2009 and resources on where to buy or how to make them.

Buying Costumes

Buying costumes for your child is a more expensive, but easy way to outfit your child for the holiday. There are many costumes to choose from and listed below are some popular costumes that are sure to be big sellers this year, as well as some tips for choosing them.

lamb-with-pumpkinBabies and Toddlers: Any costume is adorable on a baby and some of the popular ones from year to year are the pea-in-a-pod, all Disney characters, lambs, kittens, butterflies and bumblebees.

The most important thing to look for in your baby’s costume is that it is breathable. Many of these costumes are quite heavy, so dress the baby appropriately underneath so they are not in a sweat when it comes time for their first Halloween party. Most baby’s don’t like things on their head or around their faces, so if getting the perfect photo is important, wait until the last minute before putting on the headgear.

Grade School: The characters from High School Musical top the list of popular costumes for kids five to 10 years old. Kids this age also love the Superheroes (Superman, Batman, Spiderman, etc), characters from Shrek and Michael Jackson. Choosing costumes for this group is all about comfort. Make sure the costumes aren’t itchy, don’t have tags in the back that chafe and are easy to get into and out of. If it is chilly, kids like to wear their costumes without jackets, something that may be a problem if the weather is cold. Solve this by buying the costumes one size bigger and layering clothing underneath.

kid-draculaMiddle Schoolers: This group tends to be most creative when it comes to costumes. Many put together their own using wigs and sunglasses (rock stars, movie stars, TV personalities). But some popular costumes to buy this year include everything from Star Wars (Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Obi Wan Kenobi), Hannah Montana, and Vampires a la the Twilight book series. The most challenging part of choosing costumes for kids 11 to 14 is making sure they are appropriate–especially for girls. So many costumes are super short, tight and low-cut–not how parents envision their sixth grader trick-or-treating. Have your child try on the costume before you purchase it, or if ordering online make sure that there is an adequate return policy.

Make Your Own

For those creative parents and kids, there is nothing more fun than making your own costume. My son was never a fan of masks or store-bought costumes so we “made” our own each year. I can’t sew, so we made his costumes from items we had in the house, or could borrow. Last year he and his friends dressed as different professional basketball players and wore jerseys, sweatpants and basketball sneakers. The year before, he was a hippie and wore a tie-dye t-shirt, jeans and a headband. Check out the websites below for some ideas on how to make your own costumes at home.

http://diyfashion.about.com/od/costumes/Costumes.htm
http://www.ehow.com/halloween/costumelist.html
http://www.quickandsimple.com/how-to/make-decorate/halloween-costumes

Places to Shop

Ricky’s NYC: (many locations in NYC) www.rickyshalloween.com
State News (three locations in NYC on the Upper East and West Sides) 212-831-8010
Halloween Adventure Shop: 104 4th Avenue 212-673-4546 www.newyorkcostumes.com
Creative Costume Company: 242 W. 36th Street 212-564-5552

Halloween Websites

www.halloweenmagazine.com
www.Extremehalloween.com
www.purecostumes.com
www.buycostumes.com - Free party planner help forum including invites and tips!
http://kids-holiday-activities.suite101.com

Pamela Weinberg is the co-author of City Baby: a resource guide to having a baby in New York. She blogs at NYCMomsblog.com and speaks frequently to new and expectant moms about parenting related issue.

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