Opening our basement storage closest can feel like stepping into another world. Moby Dick takes up the most space, but there’s also Bat Girl, a Minion, Jabba the Hutt and a host of random woodland creatures. With each passing year as my girls grow a bit older and gain a wider view of the world (not to mention greater DIY ambitions), Halloween becomes a whole new adventure.
This time of year has actually become a great opportunity to introduce my girls to different perspectives, stories and characters that go well beyond the generic stereotypes (thankfully, the princess phase ran its course fairly quickly in our house).
Together, my girls and I have pored over new possibilities that help show them and the world that they should feel no limits – not in their potential in life OR in this year’s Halloween get up.
Here are five ideas to inspire you and the little ones in your world this Halloween!
1. For your little bookworm
So, I know this is not a new idea. Hermione Granger has already come and gone to our house. But the great thing about this character – beyond the fact that Hermione is fiercely intelligent, widely capable and keeps Ron and Harry from getting themselves killed (or even worse expelled) over and over – is that kids have such a great time putting this costume together. Some more formal school clothes, a painted takeout chop stick, a DIY two-tone scarf and a hand-me-down skirt and your little one is more or less ready to roll!
2. For your little ceiling-shatterer
Do you know a little one who is always interested in rules, rights and ensuring the system works well for everyone? Share the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who graduated at the top of her law class in university, despite being one of the few women there. Rejected from many positions early in her career due to her gender, she went on to teach law, co-found the Women’s Rights Project with the American Civil Liberties Union, and most famously, to a seat on the Supreme Court.
3. For your little artist
If you’re looking for costumes with a bit more colour, do some searches on Frida Kahlo or Emily Carr and see who's story, and artwork inspires you. Kahlo overcame many challenges in her life, including polio and a life-threatening traffic accident, teaching herself to paint and defying gender stereotypes everywhere she went. Born in western Canada, Carr spent years studying around the world, before achieving critical success as portraying an inclusive spirit of Canada. Though she collaborated with The Group of Seven, she was well-known for her originality and resilience.
4. For your athlete
Does someone in your house have more sneakers than underwear? Why not dress them up as a record-breaking athlete? Serena Williams holds the most Grand Slam titles among active players and does it all in her own style with a new look each time she hits the court. Looking to represent Canada? Don some soccer cleats, a red shirt and paint a C on your chest to represent Captain Christine Sinclair’s legacy as a top goal scorer and most successful soccer player ever to compete for Canada.
5. For your storyteller
How much time do you spend lauding the numerous stories and songs created by the little ones in your life? Let them know that writing can help change the world and share the works of Lin-Manuel Miranda to inspire even more creative genius. Miranda is a composer, lyricist, playwright and, as demonstrated in the Broadway hit Hamilton, a rapper. Not only has he scored major works like Moana, but he is a social activist who has launched campaigns to raise funds and aid for the people of Puerto Rico after a 2017 hurricane devastated the island.
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