These days it seems you can’t throw a stake without hitting a teen Vampire or, at least, a film about one. They’re everywhere and have certainly proved to be the fictional character that refuses to die. Come Halloween the streets are positively littered with mini-me versions of the Count and his entourage. OK, so the costume is pretty easy to knock together when your little darlings are demanding a night (or at least a very early and accompanied evening) out on the town, but isn’t the Count a bit last year, last century or, heck, last millennia? Besides, for smaller kids who’ve yet to start reading and obsessing over the variations on the vampire theme, Halloween ought to be more about dressing up and sweets; creating a costume that they’ll love doesn’t have to be a matter of blood and guts, especially if their favorite toy happens to be LEGO.
Items for the costume
While a sulky, teen goth probably won’t thank you for all the time and effort (not much actually) spent on creating a LEGO costume, ardent younger enthusiasts will almost certainly love the idea. It’s fairly straightforward, with the right equipment, and is likely to be one of those messy processes that will also appeal to the kids themselves. You’ll need:
- Space; preferably a garage or an outbuilding with a floor that’s resistant to spilled glue. If you’ve not got one of these to hand a kitchen will do, ensure delicate floors, tables and surfaces are covered with paper or plastic.
- Glue: The PVA variety beloved of all sticky activities for kids. Usually sourced in toy stores and activity shops for kids, you can buy it in large bucket loads and it can be used up on a variety of activities suitable for rainy days. It’s also one of the less harmful glues and doesn’t leave you, the kids or the cat stuck to the ceiling requiring assistance from the emergency services.
- A box (or several depending on the number or required costumes). These need to be big enough to fit around the child’s torso, from the neck to the legs. Normally your local corner shop will have a few available and if not they’ll be happy to put a couple kid-sized ones aside for you when they next have a delivery.
- Bright, primary colored paint. Again, toy stores are the best source, although the chances are if you have kids you’ll have this in stock yourself. If you’re using grey cardboard have plenty of plain white paint to hand for an undercoat.
- Round ice-cream tubs, margarine or food tubs. You’ll need to empty these first, so to avoid stomach ache and weight gain it’s worth storing used ones up in advance. You’ll need six for each costume, so if you need an excuse to get through masses of ice-cream you can use the phrase “I’m only doing it for the kids” at will.
From the ‘ingredients’ above I’m guessing you’re not going to need much in the way of instruction, but here are some tips.
Cut a hole in the top of the box large enough to fit a head through and remove the bottom of the box to allow for clambering into the costume, you’ll also need arm holes each side as hands will be required for receiving treats from willing neighbors, or dispensing tricks to unwilling ones. Paint the box with a white undercoat and leave until dry, then paint the required color, garish red seems to go with the Halloween theme, but if you’re dressing several kids a variety of colors is ideal. The empty health food tubs (as you’ll be calling them when asked by other parents) should also be painted, and when they’ve dried they can be stuck to the box in a regular pattern to form the LEGO connectors. Once completed and ready to go it’s a great idea to pre-prepare the child in clothing of the same color as the costume to finish off the effect.
Guest post written by Carlo Pandian, Freelance Web Writer.
Carlo is a freelance web writer on craft, LEGO and free time activities covering everything from things to do with kids at LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Chicago to the best theme parks in US. When he’s not online, he likes cycling, gardening and helping his local community center.
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