I just read a great post from Common Sense Media on Halloween, and had to share:
1. Foster creativity. If kids want to dress up like a character from a TV show or movie, ask them to create the costume out of stuff in the house. My Big Bird costume was no more than a paper grocery bag and some leftover yellow party streamers.
3. Think thrift. Thrift stores are great resources for costumes and a way to sidestep consumerism in a quick and easy way. Many shops are filled with almost-new costumes you can buy off the rack or embellish with a few special touches. What used to be a giant yellow M&M becomes a cute bumblebee with some black stripes and fairy wings.
4. Let go. Just like my son's fireman-ballerina costume, Halloween is about letting kids experiment with dressing up. Kids don’t need to look perfect -- if they like their costume that's all that matters.
5. Be brainy. Here's something you won't see at the costume store: puns. Two people tied together = A PEAR. A big "P" on a shirt and a blackened eye = A BLACK-EYED PEA. Kids love the looks on people's faces when they reveal their puns -- and this approach challenges kids' imaginations more than your wallet.