For many children, Halloween is a popular holiday because it gives them the chance to play dress up in public. Costumes and festive clothing is not just for Halloween night. Kids can enjoy wearing Halloween-themed clothing all month. However, you may feel uncomfortable dressing a young child in some of the more scary or gory apparel. Here is a breakdown of age-appropriate clothing ideas:

Birth to Age 5

Small princess, fairy and cowboy costumes look adorable on children in this age group. Cute T-shirts with clever sayings and the classic Halloween items, pumpkins, witches and bats, are also great for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Accessories such as animal tails and ears are also fun for this group. Some of the infant costumes are so cute that you may have difficulty buying only one or two for your baby.

6 to 9

Halloween-BabySchool-age kids are more self-conscious of their clothing. Most appropriate at this age are items with cartoon depictions of pumpkins, cats, witches, ghosts and other common Halloween themes. Bring the child with you when you shop to make sure you get something they will actually wear.

Some boys and girls in this age group may express a desire for clothing that you may feel is too gory, such as T-shirts depicting bloody skulls or the very popular zombies. Use your own judgment, but try to steer them to clothing that is clever, rather than gory at this age.

10 to 12

Preteen kids can be fussier. Many, but not all, will start shying away from cutesy, cartoonish Halloween apparel, especially when they are around 11 or 12 — and especially boys this age. Many boys prefer super hero t-shirts, such as batman or superman, or mildly scary clothing such as shirts with skeletons, skulls and werewolves.

Girls this age often prefer funny or clever Halloween t-shirts, along with accessories such as Halloween fingernail art, hair adornments and jewelry.

13 and Up

Scary T shirts are very popular with teens. Horror movie themes, zombies, and gothic T-shirts may thrill your teen, even if you have misgivings about the shirts. Keep in mind that letting an otherwise good kid let his or her hair down on Halloween is rarely a bad idea. This is the time of a kid’s life when he or she gets a kick out of shocking people — and Halloween is, after all, a night for spooky ghost tales, horrifying movies, and things that go bump in the night.

If you find your teen’s costume preference too disturbing or perculiar, have him pick alternatives for you to look over. You should be able to find something that is less gory or disturbing.

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