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Storybook Costumes

For Halloween or any time of year, bring books alive with these cute outfits.
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Imagination
Dramatic Play
Following Directions

Fairy princesses, fearless rescue heroes, dancing insects, and giant, talking mice — these are the delights of childhood imagination and the beloved stars of storybooks. Young children are the kings and queens of make-believe and the demanding directors of quick-change fantasy play. Halloween is a natural stage for little ones to act out and explore important themes. If your child will be celebrating Halloween this year, let his favorite stories be your costume guide. Our recommended books and easy homemade costume ideas can help you magically make the characters leap off the page! After October 31, keep the costumes handy for more pretend play. Also try these simple ideas for more costume inspiration. 


Sweet Little Mouse
Silly Spider
Pretty Pink Princess
Fireman to the Rescue

Sweet Little Mouse

What you need:

  • Gray sweatpants and hooded sweatshirt
  • 1/2 yard of pink felt
  • 8" of gray yarn
  • 12" x 12" square of yellow felt
  • glue gun or fabric glue 

What to do:

  1. Cut the pink felt into an oval shape (10" x 7") and glue to the sweatshirt to create the tummy. 
  2. Cut out two mouse ears (3" wide x 4" long) in the shape of a mouse hole (round on the top and flat on the bottom) from the pink felt. 
  3. Make a 1" vertical cut in the bottom center of the ear, and pinch the sides together to give it an ear shape. 
  4. Glue the ears to the top of the sweatshirt hood. 
  5. Gather a few lengths of the yarn for the tail. Braid the yarn and glue to the pants. Be sure to trim the yarn if you think your child might trip.
  6. Cut the yellow felt into a triangle, complete with holes, to make a cheese accessory.

What to read:

  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • Little Mouse, Biddle Mouse, by David Kirk
  • Mouse Count, by Ellen Stoll Walsh 
  • Mouse Mess, by Linnea Asplind Riley

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Silly Spider

What you need:

  • bright yellow T-shirt
  • black, long-sleeved turtleneck
  • black pants or leggings
  • black shoes
  • two pairs of black tights
  • two pieces of black elastic (about 2 yards long)
  • 2" Styrofoam ball
  • batting
  • black craft paper
  • pair of barrettes
  • glue gun
  • black and green paint

What to do:

  1. To create the legs, cut off the tops of each pair of tights. 
  2. Knot one end of each leg and stuff with batting. Sew the open end to the t-shirt (a whipstitch is best).
  3. Tie the black elastic cord to the bottom leg and wrap it around the middle leg, making sure to leave some space between the two (about 4" or 5" between each arm, depending on your child's size). Finally, tie a loop for your child's wrist at the top to create a "third leg." 
  4. Cut the Styrofoam ball in half (a serrated knife works well) and paint it green and blue to make eyes. Use black craft paper to cut out eyelash shapes. 
  5. Using a glue gun, glue the eyes to the barrettes and the eyelashes onto the back of the eyes. 

What to read:

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Pretty Pink Princess

What you need: 

  • lots of pink clothes
  • roll of white easel paper
  • one sheet of stiff, bright yellow or gold craft felt (12" x 12")
  • one sheet of pink felt (12" x 12")
  • ribbon
  • decorative materials (buttons, stickers, sequins)
  • scissors

What to do:

  1. Gather all the pink clothing — tights, socks, dresses, and shoes, for example. Invite your child to put them on.
  2. To create an Elizabethan collar, cut the white easel paper into strips (4" wide x 50" long). Fold the paper accordion-style. Punch holes in one end, and string a piece of ribbon through the holes. Stretch it out a bit. (We trimmed the corners so they didn't irritate our model.) 
  3. Using the yellow craft felt, cut out the shape of a crown — triangles on top, flat on the bottom. Punch a hole at each end and tie closed with two pieces of ribbon. Glue decorations to the front. 

What to read:

  • Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? by Carmela Lavigna Coyle
  • The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch
  • The Paper Princess, by Elisa Kleven
  • The Princess and the Pea, by Harriet Ziefert
  • Princess Penelope, by Todd Mack 

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Fireman to the Rescue

What you need: 

  • dark pants
  • dark coat
  • roll of glow-in-the-dark tape
  • roll of metallic tape
  • fireman's hat
  • boots
  • scissors

What to do:

  1. Use the dark pants and coat as the basic costume.
  2. To add reflector decorations, alternate strips of glow-in-the-dark tape and metallic tape around each sleeve and pant cuff. Do the same around the coat bottom.
  3. Add boots and a fireman's hat. 

What to read:

  • A Day with Firefighters, by Jan Kottke
  • Big Red Fire Truck, by Ken Wilson-Max
  • Clifford, the Firehouse Dog, by Norman Bridwell
  • Firefighter, by Michael Rex

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