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Tip of the Week
As the leaves turn, children of all ages begin their quest for this year's “it” Halloween costume. If you're like most parents, this typically requires thinking ahead and spending an average of $26.52 for each costume, according to the National Retail Federation's 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
The same study says seven out of 10 Americans planned to celebrate Halloween, and $1 billion was spent on children's costumes alone. With many families continuing to feel the economic pinch, an average of 18.9 percent of consumers will make costumes instead of purchasing them this year. What to do if you're not an expert sewer or crafter? Milva Di Lorenzo of Miami International University of Art & Design and Kate Campbell of The Art Institute of Tampa have these costume ideas:
- Robot costume
Needed: Gray sweat suit, one long aluminum dryer hose, two rectangular disposable foil pans, baseball cap, foil, colored markers, ribbon.
1. The foundation is a long-sleeve sweatshirt or undershirt and grey sweatpants.
2. Cut aluminum dryer hose in four parts. Place one on each leg over sweatpants for the legs. For arms, use ribbon attached to the hose with a stapler to connect the other two pieces across the child's back. Put on like a coat, one arm at a time.
3. Attach the two disposable foil pans with ribbons close to the corners, making sure there's enough space so it can go over the child's head like a sandwich sign.
4. Have your child use markers to create “robot” buttons and knobs on the foil pans.
5. Wrap a baseball cap with foil and use as the robot's hat.
- Butterfly costume
Needed: long-sleeved T-shirt and leggings in pink or any favorite color, poster or foam board in matching color, ribbon, tissue paper in coordinating colors, assorted embellishments, such as beads, glitter pens, rhinestones, hair band, pipe cleaners, hot glue gun or other adhesive.
1. The foundation is the T-shirt and leggings.
2. Draw (find an easy stencil online or free-hand it) large wing shapes on poster or foam board and cut them out.
3. Involve your child in decorating the wings. Make sure you plan the design before you start gluing.
4. Use ribbon to tie the wings together and to create backpack-style straps to hold them on the child's shoulders.
5. Use additional poster board to create a belt to go around your child's waist. Cut tissue paper in triangles and staple to the belt, overlapping at the top and with pointed ends down, to create a skirt. Decorate the head band and attach the pipe cleaners.
Family Movie Night
This month we’re counting down our favorite family-friendly Halloween movies.
Length: 105 minutes
Why we love it: This is one of our favorite 1980s movies and a great Halloween flick for any year. It does get a little scary for young kids, which is the only reason it’s not higher on our list.
7. “Hocus Pocus”
Length: 96 minutes
Why we love it: This is a true Halloween movie in that it takes place on Halloween night, and it mixes comedy with witches – what could be better!
“The Halloween Tree,” by Ray Bradbury
Synopsis: A fast-moving, eerie ... tale set on Halloween night. Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin's. Enhanced by appropriately haunting black-and-white drawings. - Booklist
Did You Know
A study published in Pediatrics found that children 1-8 are exposed to about four hours of background television a day.
GateHouse News Service