As Halloween approaches, anticipation about costumes, parties and candy builds. Creating or buying an inventive, safe Halloween costume needn’t be overwhelming—there are countless options. You might choose to create your own costumes by sewing, gluing or grabbing vintage items. Or, you might be looking for ready-made costumes that are non-toxic and safe. Likewise, Halloween treats don’t need to be loaded with sugar to be delicious. Check out our ideas for natural costumes and delicious, low-calorie Halloween goodies that make for a night that is both safe and enjoyable.

DIY Halloween Costumes
Pinterest users are posting images of a huge variety of costumes you can easily make yourself. Outfit your baby like a popcorn box, or dress your son like Peter Pan. Whether you sew or prefer to cut and glue, it should be easy to get inspired and to execute on a creative idea. Be sure to keep these tips in mind to save you time and effort:

  • Keep costumes simple for younger children, thus allowing them to change their minds without driving you nuts. Simpler costumes are also easier for them to carry around.
  • A Superman t-shirt and a homemade cape, or train conductor overalls and a cap with a bandanna is really all you need for a toddler.
  • Take an old dress and create a fairy costume with the addition of homemade wings and a wand, or glam it up with a store-bought tiara to turn your little one into a shimmering princess.
  • Non-toxic makeup, glitter or face paint can create all kinds of effects.
  • The ballet shoes your daughter has been wearing every week might become Strawberry Shortcake’s shoes, or the fireman raincoat your parents sent your son might end up being the cornerstone of his Halloween ensemble.

Letting children guide their costume creation process can be a great bonding experience for your family. Your kids may very well surprise you with their original ideas.

Costume Safety
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the most common Halloween injuries include pokes in the eyes from sharp objects, burns from flammable costumes and injuries from collisions with vehicles, so it’s important to consider safety as you plan your family’s costumes.

  • Whether you make or buy a Halloween costume, make sure the entire ensemble—the main part of the costume and all accessories like wigs and wings—is flame-resistant.
  • Check to see that the costume and accouterments meet federal flammability and breathability standards.
  • Natural fibers such as cotton and wool, are both flame-resistant and non-toxic, not to mention eco-friendly and sometimes even organic.
  • Keep props, like swords, canes and wands, soft and flexible, so that a fall or an accidental poke in the eye doesn’t result in a trip to the emergency room.
  • Encourage kids to wear hats and non-toxic makeup instead of masks, which make it harder to see and aren’t necessarily free of chemicals.

Additional Halloween Safety Tips

  • To ensure that drivers easily see your young ghouls and goblins, put reflective tape on costumes or trick-or-treat bags, and send the crew out with flashlights and at least one adult chaperone.
  • Sticking to familiar routes and obeying traffic laws—using sidewalks and crosswalks, and walking carefully—keeps pedestrians safe at all times of the year, especially Halloween.

Natural Halloween Treats
Candy isn’t the only tasty item trick-or-treaters will enjoy. Pumpkin, the healthy food of the season, makes an array of great homemade Halloween treats  (just include a note to parents if you are passing these out instead of store-bought candy). Or, consider giving out an entertaining non-food item like plastic spy telescopes, spider rings, other small toys or even toothbrushes.

If you host a Halloween party, bobbing for apples—with a bowl of apples available for spectators—is a great way to incorporate fruit into the celebration. Consider serving a sweet or savory pumpkin dish, or both, to revelers.

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