As a child I always enjoyed making my own Halloween costume. It was always fun and exciting. And, of course once I became a mother it was even more exciting because I was able to transform my child into whatever she or I could imagine. However, the past two years I have taken a backseat into her costume creation. I realize there is something very important for her in taking on the challenge of making her own costume, creativity, ingenuity, and inventiveness, things I want to very much encourage.
Children need creativity. They need to use their imaginations. It’s necessary for a healthy childhood. This is why I love Halloween for my daughter. This is the one time of year where she can imagine herself to be anything, not just something you select from a store. This year’s costume? A vending machine. (Last year she was a gumball machine. She’s on a machine thing, I don’t know…).
At first she was upset about having to make her costume with just my assistance instead of mommy creating the whole costume as I did in previous years. However, I have taken a backseat to the costume creation for a reason. I want her to learn the skills needed to stimulate her imagination. And, those skills are not easy. There are times when she is frustrated when the creation doesn’t look the way she wants it to. That frustration and how she deals with it is a life skill. There will be times when things don’t go exactly as planned, just like in real life.
That is when ingenuity comes into play. She needs to learn how to combine different materials to create the look she wants. This takes critical thinking and problem solving skills, skills I want to encourage. I want her to be able to think about a problem she is facing and solve it.
She will also need to be inventive, especially when it comes to creating a costume that is from her imagination. It also needs to be wearable. Again, these are critical thinking and problem solving skills that she is using simply to create a Halloween costume.
On top of all the skills she is gaining from imagining, creating, and building her own costume, she is also gaining confidence and a sense of pride in her work. I love when I see her go through the frustration of building a costume to the end results and seeing how happy she is with her own creation. Not only has she created something for herself, she is unique among all the others. Her creation will stand out. She will enjoy a sense of pride, uniqueness, and individuality, more of the attributes I want to encourage in her.
I know that buying costumes is easier, especially with the busy lives we lead. It’s also easier especially with younger children who do not possess the skills needed to create a costume. However, there is something very special and great when we encourage children to make their own costumes. You are able to see a child’s imagination come to life. That’s why I make sure I help my child to create her own.