Halloween is just around the corner, and while the holiday can pose some challenges for kids with disabilities, having extra equipment can make costumes even more fun.
Two years ago, Lily had just started using her walker when Halloween rolled around. I found a really cute pirate costume, and then got super excited about using her walker to hold a parrot over her shoulder. At the last minute, we also added a pirate flag on the back (made out of leftover material & felt I had on hand), and a treasure chest to collect her candy.
We latched the dowel stick to the walker with tape and velcro. To attach the parrot to the dowel stick, we simply cut a little hole on the underside of the parrot and pushed the stick inside. For the flag, I looped the fabric over at the top and sewed it to make a pocket. I used a chopstick inside the pocket like a curtain rod, and we used sticky backed velcro to attach it to the walker.
Last year Lily wanted to be a rocket ship, which inspired us to develop her own personal superhero character … Rocket Girl! We created a jetpack backpack for her, and attached a wing with rocket boosters to the back of her walker. With these plus the battery powered LED lights strung around the base of her walker, she was all set to zoom around and proclaim, “Three, Two, One … BLAST OFF!”
Because I’m a little over the top (having a graphic design background can be a blessing AND a curse), I designed a “Rocket Girl” logo to accessorize her walker and clothes. The logos on her shirt and jacket are cut out of felt, and I used a combo of fabric glue and hand sewing to attach them.
The jetpack backpack was mostly the brain child of my husband. He spray painted the cardboard and 20 oz soda bottles with silver, and assembled the strapping for the backpack. The bottles are attached to the cardboard with heavy duty sticky backed velcro. The flames are made out of felt and hot glued inside the drinking spout of the bottles. The strapping material was available at Michaels, along with the metal hardware rings for adjusting the straps.
The rocket boosters on the walker were made similarly to the backpack, except the cardboard was cut into a wing shape, and we used 2-liter bottles. The rivets are scrapbooking embellishments I found at Michaels, and the flames are made out of felt (same process as backpack). The Rocket Girl logo is made out of card stock (also from the scrapbooking section of Michaels). I used an exacto knife to cut out the shapes before gluing them down. The bottles were originally attached to the cardboard with hot glue, but we learned quickly that was not sufficient. Heavy duty sticky backed velcro worked much better to attach the bottles to the wing. We also used the same type of velcro to attach the wing to the walker (it had to be removable for transport).
This year Lily is testing our creativity again. She wants to be Ned the Brachiosaurus from Dinosaur Train. We have tried to sway her to one of the other, more common dinosaurs from that show (who have costumes that can be bought off the shelf), but she will have none of it! So… stay tuned for our solution to turning a 4 year old girl and her walker into an orange long necked dinosaur. I think we had a breakthrough this morning on how to make it work… so now I’m getting excited.
What creative costumes have you come up with?