31 October 2011

Special Costumes for special children


Gone are the days when Halloween was not an event in the Philippines. Today, families and friends throw elaborate parties, go trick or treating, and don on costumes to complete the funfare.
Picking the right Halloween costume for children with special needs can be tricky. Parents need to consider many things before they buy or make these costumes.
Students and Campuses Bulletin lists down the most creative Halloween costume ideas for children with special needs. Remember that creativity can go a long way, and it is something your child will never forget. These simple ideas are found at parentingsquad.com and bridgeschool.org.
COSTUME ON WHEELS
For children with limited mobility, specifically those who use crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs, parents may create costumes that incorporate their child’s mobility aid equipment. But parents should remember that the costume should not interfere with the wheelchair or walker of their child.
There are a lot of costume ideas for children who are bound in their wheelchairs. One example is a bulldozer, where cardboard cut-outs are assembled on the wheelchair to create the bulldozer look. This can be created with cardboards, paints and adhesive tapes.
Parents may choose from an array of vehicle design that can transform the wheelchair into a moving costume like a fire truck, a car, even a tank! Just make sure your child can move freely and his/her view is unobstructed.
PAINT IT
Store-bought costumes are below quality. It is usually made with itchy and uncomfortable fabrics. For children with autism or for those with sensory processing disorder, these costumes can be irritating. These children are sensitive to fabrics that are new to them, even a mask pose a problem. This can cause unwanted tantrums and they might just take it off.
Instead of buying new costumes, use the clothes that they already own and are comfortable with. And instead of a mask you can use paint on his/her face to achieve the look you are aiming for.
A simple black paint on the tip of the nose and few streaks of whiskers would make a cute dog or cat look. Make sure to pick the hypo-allergenic face paint.
TEXTURE, TEXTURE, TEXTURE
For visually-impaired children, on the other hand, texture is the key. Since they are not sensitive like children with autism, you can create or buy costumes with lots of textures like fur and layers of fabric.
Animal costumes are perfect for the blind child. He/she might not see the costume but he can definitely feel it.
CUT-OUTS
Cut-outs are easy and can create a lot of fun costumes. Simply create costumes from a cardboard box like an airplane or a car. This can be held using a suspender.
One way is the sandwich cut out. Two flat boards are held together by strings or strips of fabric and can be worn on the shoulders. The design on the cardboards on the front and the back depends on the concept. You can paint your design like a playing card or make it to look like bread to make it into a literal sandwich.
Instead of cardboard, you can also use flat foam or thin rubber foam (used in rubber play mats available in local markets) to cut out your design. Both materials are soft and light thus safe to use by your special child.
HEAD-ON
Hats or headdresses are the easiest costume you can make. This accessory can create a lot of difference with your simple costume design.
Your child can wear his everyday clothes and just finish it with a hat or a head gear. You can use existing hats of your special child that he/she usually wears and create a design around it.
This is as simple as it gets. A fireman’s hat can be accompanied by only a plain white shirt, jeans, boots and suspenders. A hard hat can be accompanied by a denim overall. Your child’s Sunday dress can be transformed into a royal costume. Create a crown for your king or queen and add a simple cape to make it more regal.
You can buy hats or make them yourself. Remember to use safe materials like cardboard, foam or thin rubber foam. Avoid putting too much detail like sequins and feathers because your child can easily pull them off. The key here is keeping it simple.
CAPES AND GOWNS
Speaking of capes, it can also be the main part of the costume. A simple dress can be instantly turned into a beautiful costume. A red cape with a hood can turn your little girl as red riding hood. A black cape can turn a white button down and black paints into a scary vampire costume. You can paint the blood stains!
A black gown, similar to those used by famous wizards can turn your child into one of those students from Hogwarts. You can use a graduation toga for this costume. You child can easily wear and remove it as he/she pleases.
LET YOUR CHILD CREATE
Finally, let your special child create his/her own unique costume. In this way you allow him to be more creative. Just make sure that you guide your child during the process and provide him/her all the necessary and safe materials. In the end, he/she can be proud of what he/she has made.

By ANGELO G. GARCIA
Manila Bulletin

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1 comments:

Rachel Saquido Barol November 4, 2011 at 3:30 PM  

lyhello...good day
Special children, according to others are no uses to our living,but in contracy, they are the people who is so free and no problems, and sometimes they are the humans that make us realize that life should be handled easily.
It's so nice to feel that there are people who care for others specially to those who needs more attention..(special children). Helping them is one way to share the essense of being normal..so that they will accept that they are belong to this world.
Your article can encourage people to put some help for those who need some efforts,..
You have a nice article . .

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