1. Toys and Miniatures – Lots of cool creepy stuff available. Good places to shop for toys include dollar stores, craft stores, Halloween stores and party stores. Some of my favorite finds:
- The photo above is of some Zombies and a Coffin I found last week at the dollar store. I also like the seasonal eraser packs at the dollar store, stones and gems, and pretend spiders and spiderwebs.
- At Michaels craft store they have a Halloween “village.” (Think winter village without the snow and a lot more skeletons). In the past I have found gravestones and fall trees (without the leaves).
2. Dress-Up Clothes/Costumes – This is the BEST time of year to buy costumes and dress-up clothes. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Look for costumes that can easily be thrown on over the child’s clothes and that the child can put on themselves.
- Look for costumes that won’t restrict the size/age of the child who can wear it. For example, I found this pretty princess dress for my playroom. The downside I soon learned was several of my clients were too tall to wear it. This caused a lot of needless disappointment and frustration.
- I prefer hats that are plastic and can be wiped down (no head lice!) I like masks even better than hats. I found a batman mask at Target a couple of years ago and it gets used a lot.
- Dollar stores have fun and inexpensive options. Typical things you can find include pirate gear, weapons and fairy wings. You sacrifice quality for price, but definitely a good option if you’re on a budget.
- If you want to save money (and you’re not too picky), you can get great markdowns on costumes the day AFTER Halloween.
3. Feeling books for Halloween – While Halloween is on the brain, pull out those spooky books. This is a great opportunity to talk about feeling scared, sad or mad and ways to cope with these feelings. Some of my favorite books: (Click the book titles to link to them).
- “There’s a Nightmare in My Closet” by Mercer Mayer. This is a classic story about how a child learns to befriend the monster in his closet.
- “The I’m Not Scared Book” by Todd Parr. I love Todd Parr books. This one does a great job of normalizing that we all have things that make us feel scared.
- “Glad Monster, Sad Monster” by Ed Emberley. In this fun interactive book, kids get to try on masks of the different feelings as they read along.
What are you adding to your playroom this Halloween? Feel free to comment below!