Written By Bethany Harper Roth, MFHD
There are two kinds of parents in this world. The kind that started hand sewing their child’s Halloween costume back in April, and the kind who just googled “quick and easy halloween costumes” because your kid needs a book character costume for school. By tomorrow morning.
Yeah, I see you. This post is for the latter.
I tend to specialize in these Quick & Easy Guides because my family is a real throw-it-together-at-the-last-minute kind of family, too. So fear not. We can work with whatever’s in your child’s closet.
Pete the Cat
Dark denim blue jeans, yellow tshirt, and some blue cutout cat ears. Draw and cut some oversized buttons on some construction paper and hot glue them to the shirt.
Draw a nose and whiskers on with mom’s eyeliner. Bonus points if you’ve got white converse!
The Mouse, from If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
Gray long sleeved shirt and blue overalls. Mouse ears. Tennis shoes.
Draw a nose and whiskers on with mom’s eyeliner.
Print and cut a clip art chocolate chip cookie for the overalls pocket, and boom, you’re done.
Spookley the Square Pumpkin
I always keep the Amazon boxes that my purchases come in. They typically come in really handy around Christmastime, when I always need extra boxes for wrapping.
A couple of years ago, I was teaching kindergarten when Spookley the Square Pumpkin was all the rage on Netflix. Little did my students know, that Spookley originally came from a book.
So I ripped out one of those large amazon boxes, spray painted it orange, and drew a face on it. I wore it around all day with my pumpkin headband and won first place at the teacher luncheon costume contest!
Crayons, from The Day The Crayons Quit
Pick a color! Any color. Pick a tshirt and leggings in the same color, print and glue a crayola logo on the front, and top with a pointy hat in the same color. If you don’t have a hat, you can fold some construction paper into a party hat shape and call it a day.
Got 2 days? You can literally have the whole costume delivered from Amazon for under $20.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Green stripey shirt. Dark green leggings or jeans. Red beanie, with yellow circles cut and glued for eyes. Bonus points if you add antennae. (His are purple.)
Wilbur, Charlotte’s Web
Fully pink ensemble, plus a pig nose and some ears. Easy peasy.
Junie B. Jones
Junie B. is a sassy, sarcastic, and somewhat sloppy grade-schooler, so any slouchy looking girly ensemble will do. But if you’re looking to nail her classic look, she can be found in a pink sweater, a purple skirt, white knee high socks, and mary janes. Top it off with an oversized bow headband, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Clifford or Emily Elizabeth, from Clifford
Clifford is super easy. Fully red ensemble, plus a red beanie with some red droopy ears cut and glued from construction paper.
For Emily Elizabeth, leave your daughter’s hair down, clothe her in a white shirt, pink cardigan, and a black skirt. Give her some striped knee socks and black ballet flats. Let her carry her stuffed Clifford to school for bonus points.
The key to this outfit is teal. Get a teal shirt and some kind of teal or purple leggings or skirt. Cut some scale shapes out of teal, green, pink, or purple construction paper and glue them to the shirt.
Llama Llama’s outfit itself is quite simple. Get a red pajama set or some green overalls with an orange undershirt.
The llama part is a little trickier. I’m in love with this alpaca hat that creates the llama look.
This is the easiest costume! Brown shirt, green overalls, and bear ears.
Draw on a nose and some whisker dots with mom’s eyeliner and you’re good to go.
Cat in the Hat
Black pants or leggings. White tshirt. Black cardigan.
Add a red scarf or a red bow tie. Use that eyeliner for a nose and whiskers. Then, top it off with the classic hat.
If your kids are a little older, bust out your old black graduation gown. Pair it with a scarf that matches the color of their favorite house, give them a wand, and they’re set.
Matilda is an easy costume because she’s basically just a school girl. Her classic ensemble consists of a blue dress (sometimes a blazer and a pleated skirt), white tights or knee high socks, and mary janes. She’s also always seen with a red bow headband, and several books in hand. That’s what makes her such a great choice for book character day!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
The key to this is brown. Brown leggings and a brown shirt. Cut some bubble letters out of many different colors of construction paper and glue it to the ensemble.
Add a green hat, headband, or scrunchie to top the coconut tree, and you’re done!
As parents, we’re well versed in last-minute day saving. And the night before Halloween at school is no exception.
Share with us what’s worked for you last minute on Halloween, or if you use something from this list, be sure to send us a pic!
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Bethany Harper Roth, MFHD
Bethany Harper Roth is a Child & Family Specialist based out of Nashville, TN. She holds 2 degrees in Child & Family Development and Early Childhood Education from Missouri State University. Bethany has research published in social & emotional development, has spoken at numerous Childhood Mental & Emotional Health Conferences, and is a licensed educator who has worked with children for over 15 years.
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In this article, the author discusses quick and easy Halloween costume ideas for children based on popular book characters. The author suggests various costume ideas and provides simple instructions on how to create them using items that may already be in a child's closet. Some of the costume ideas mentioned include Pete the Cat, The Mouse from "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Crayons from "The Day the Crayons Quit," The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Wilbur from "Charlotte's Web," Junie B. Jones, Clifford or Emily Elizabeth from "Clifford," Rainbow Fish, Llama Llama, Corduroy, Cat in the Hat, Harry Potter, Matilda, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
Each costume idea is described with the necessary clothing items and accessories, such as shirts, pants, hats, and props, to create the desired book character look. The author also suggests using construction paper, glue, and mom's eyeliner for additional details like drawing noses, whiskers, and other features on the costumes.
Remember, these are just costume ideas provided by the author, and you can modify or adapt them based on your preferences and available resources. Have fun creating your child's Halloween costume!