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4 Family costume ideas

Selena Dehne is a marketing and public relations manager for JIST Publishing, freelance writer and life-long Hoosier. She covers home, entertaining, and holiday topics for SheKnows.com and FabulousLiving.com. Selena has also published do...

Getting multiple people to agree on a group costume theme for Halloween isn’t easy—particularly when children are involved. To avoid arguments, disappointment, and indecision that can leave you and your kids scrambling for costumes at the last minute, consider the following themes. Not only are they appropriate for kids and adults, they also include several character options to suit the size of your family.

4 Family costume ideas

A sports team

This costume ensemble can be easily created with clothes and sporting equipment you and your kids already own. You can create jerseys using iron-on letters and numbers or you can simply wear jerseys already hanging inside your closets. Enhance your costumes with helmets, baseball caps, sweat bands, and anything else you're bound to see players wearing during game time.

For a complete "team look," assign different roles to each member of your family. Kids can dress as team players; dads can wear a polo shirt, hang a whistle around their necks and carry a clipboard to become the coach; and moms can tote pom poms and a megaphone to become team cheerleaders.

Mario, Luigi, and friends

This theme is ideal for kids who love gaming and parents who don't have time to fuss with complicated costumes. To create a Mario and Luigi, dress two members of your family in blue jean overalls, white gloves, long-sleeved shirts (one in red and one in green), and hats (one in red with an "M" above the bill and one in green with an "L" above the bill). Complete the look with fake mustaches.

Next, decide who will be Princess Peach and Toad. Dress Princess Peach in a fluffy pink dress, sparkly crown and wig (if the person wearing the costume doesn't already have blond hair). To create a Toad costume, cover a white lampshade with large red polka dots. Place this lampshade on the head of whoever will be dressed as Toad. This person should also wear a blue or red vest and white pants.

For a new spin on this theme, consider dressing your family up as Mario-Cart. Construct cardboard go-carts in a variety of colors that each character can wear around their waist.

"Toy Story"

This theme is ideal for large families because there are a handful of characters to choose from, which helps prevent kids from feeling disappointed if a sibling snags their first choice costume. The key costumes for this theme will, of course, be Buzz Lightyear and Woody, but there are plenty of other great characters to dress up as, such as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Annie, Barbie, Hamm, and even the toy soldiers.

Because the clothing for Buzz, Woody, and Annie can be pretty elaborate, you may want to opt for store bought costumes to save yourself some time and frustration. Save your craftiness for simpler characters such as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Hamm, and the toy soldiers.

Nursery rhyme characters

Great for young children, this theme celebrates a cast of characters children sing and read about year after year. To dress as the Three Blind Mice wear gray sweats, sunglasses, and mouse ears. Consider giving each "mouse" a walking stick.

A similar idea is to dress up as the Three Little Pigs. You can each wear pink or peach-colored sweats; a pig nose; and a headband, hat or hood with pig ears. If a fourth member of your family wants in on the fun, he or she can dress as the Big Bad Wolf.

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