Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Witching Hour

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Witching Hour

Article excerpt

Inexpensive, Creative Adaptive Halloween Costumes

As we do each year, EP has asked readers to share their answers to that age-old question, "What are you going to be for Halloween?" This year's submissions feature costumes that consider cost, safety, and suitability to children with a variety of disabilities. Check our Web site:, for more costume ideas. We thank all the parents for relating the joy these costumes brought to their children. Have a ghoulishly good time!

The Haunted House by Lauri Kaplan


* One large and one small cardboard box

* Long, miscellaneous pieces of cardboard

* Wide paper tape--available in paint or hardware stores

* Spray paint, markers, glow-in-the-dark paint

* A "spooky music" tape and tape player

Jake Kaplan, who has corticallblindness and receives nourishment from a g-tube at night, uses a wheelchair that has a tray fitted to the front. To make the house, his mother took a large square cardboard box that could "sit" on his tray and would he tall enough so it would not touch her son's head as he was inside the box. To make the attic, or second floor, she taped another, smaller box to the top, and the roof was made by taping more cardboard (as flaps) to the front and back of the big box. Holes were cut out for windows, and black and dark purple spray paint was used to decorate the house to make the doors and shutters and to give it a "haunted" feel. Ghosts, bats, etc., can be painted on with flourescent paints. Make this costume extra eery by having your child play the spooky music from a tape player that rests on his/her lap or tray under the house. Spooky music tapes can be found at the library or in novelty stores.

The Ghost by Bev Sargeant


* a tricycle

* a white sheet and stocking cap

* a hula hoop

* strong string or small rope

* 2-sided tape

* scissor

Erik (who was 3 years old when he wore this costume) has cerebral palsy. His parents decided to use his adapted tricycle to create the illusion of a ghost whisking through the air! (To adapt his tricycle, specially manufactured foot plates with straps to keep his feet in place were attached to the bike pedals. An engineer at Erik's therapy center came up with the idea of a wooden seat with a back for stability and a belt for his torso.) The sheet is kept away from the tricycle by attaching a hula hoop to the center bar of the bike frame with ropes. Use the on the front and sides of the hoop where the sheet touches so that only the back of the sheet will fly around when your child pedals. The hood is simply a stocking cap that can be bought at a department store. Cut out a hole for the face to make seeing easier when your child turns his/her head side to side. The tricycle can be any kind at all, adapted or not, as long as the hula hoop fits around it.

The Jack-in-the-Box by Bev Sargeant


* A stocking cap

* Many colored fabric remnants

* Glue

* Pieces of colored yarn

* Small bells

* Small string

* 1 paper towel roll and 2 toilet paper rolls

* Spray paint

* Tape

* Scissors

* A clothes hanger (optional)

Decorate a stocking cap and any other old clothes with fabric remnants. Decorate the rest of the costume by spray-painting the box and cutting more remnants into diamond shapes and folding them in half to form triangles. Put hells on short pieces of yarn and glue the yarn into the points of the triangles. Glue down the sides of the triangles. To make the crank on the side of the box, tape together the paper towel and toilet paper rolls and spray-paint them black. …

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