Sensory Friendly Costumes

10 Sensory Friendly Costumes

Sensory Friendly CostumesWhat do you want to be for Halloween this year? This is a question that most parents get to ask their kids every year. Unfortunately, some of us parents have kids that can’t give us an answer. For instance, my son doesn’t really understand this question. He understands Halloween and trick or treating, but he can’t make the connection between this question and what he wants be. Additionally, there are limitations to what he will wear. My son, Ethan, has autism, and he also has sensory issues that prevent him from wearing most traditional Halloween costumes. Similarly, other special needs kiddos may understand the question completely and be able to communicate exactly what they want to be. Unfortunately, those dog gone sensory problems get in the way. This year, I sat and brainstormed some ideas that my son could be. I think I came up with several good ideas for him, and I thought I would share those ideas. Here are my 10 Sensory Friendly Costumes.

For our family any costume that includes a hat, mask, fleece, jeans, sports-jersey, jacket, or anything bulky, is not an option. Even pajamas spark anxiety these days. My list is composed of what I think Ethan would wear without a fight and without adding unnecessary stress or anxiety to his Halloween fun. All of my top 10 Sensory Friendly Costumes at most require a t-shirt, pants and maybe an accessory to carry.

My Top 10 Sensory Friendly Costumes

1- Painter

This is what I’ve decided to let my son dress up as this year.Sensory Friendly Costumes He loves to paint, so it’s not just a random costume. It is one that he will get, and I think he’ll like it. I have not made it yet, so I don’t have a picture to share. If you follow me on Instagram, I will post a picture when we are done. I’m talking about a professional painter, not an artist. My plan is simply to get a white t-shirt and pants and throw some paint on them, literally. Not only is it an easy sensory friendly costume, but it gives us a nice craft to do too. He may resist the pants though, so he may have to be a painter that wears shorts. We’re going for a stress-free Halloween, so shorts it will be.

2- Superhero

For this sensory friendly costume all you need is a t-shirt and pants. There are tons of superhero t-shirts available now. All you need to do is pick up a Superman tee and blue pants and boom you’re kid is Superman (or Super Woman). This will be our backup costume idea. Yes, we autism parents need a backup sensory friendly costume. We may suddenly decide we don’t like the painter outfit or we hate the way the dried paint feels on the shirt. We may even have an accident (of the #1 variety) while trick or treating. It’s a good idea to have a backup to ensure a stress-free Halloween. Ethan was a super hero last year. He simply wore a Batman t-shirt (like this one) and black pants. Easy Peasy! Maybe this year, we will get a Captain America shirt and blue pants for our back up. 

Sensory friendly costumes3- Athlete

Here’s another really easy one. Depending on the sport you’re going for, you again just need a pair of pants and a shirt. Two years ago, we were Dallas Cowboys. A simple jersey and pants was all that was needed. I opened a capsule of activated charcoal and mixed in a teaspoon of water for the natural eye black. To complete the look, you can have a young sibling or pet be your ball. Our 2-month-old baby sister was our football that year.


4- Pajamas

The Life Saver for Many Parents
Sensory Friendly Costumes

Pajamas Make great Sensory Friendly Costumes

3 years ago is the first time we started to have problems with costumes. Before that we had no problems getting Ethan to wear costumes. He has been Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Spiderman, Mr. Incredible. All of which, were really bulky outfits. When he was 7 though, he absolutely hated the Kermit the Frog outfit his Grandma made him. I struggled with him for a half hour before giving up. This is when mom pulled out the pajamas. He went as Iron Man that year. Yes, I know I already said super hero, but there are loads of different options with pajamas. For instance, see the Buzz and Woody. 

5- Olympian

For this costume, you need a USA t-shirt and track pants. Complete the look with a DIY Gold Medal to wear or buy this one from Amazon. If you think your kiddo will not wear a medal, as I suspect mine would not, then get a small American flag for them to carry and wave around while trick-or-treating.

6- Surfer Dude (or Dudette)

If you live in a warmer area or your kiddo likes to run around without a shirt on, then this might be the outfit for you. Swim trunks and a surfboard. Boom! Surfer! You can use a boogie board in place of a real surfboard if you don’t live next to the ocean like most of us.

7- Lifeguard

Similar to the surfer, you just need a swimsuit and maybe a whistle to complete this sensory friendly ensemble. There are plenty of t-shirts available that say lifeguard on them too, so no need to go shirtless on this one.

8- Ghost

Most kids like to run around the house with blankets or sheets. My son will grab our king sized sheet from our bed and drag it all throughout the house. Basement, bathroom, kitchen… doesn’t matter where he goes, lately, he likes to cover his head and walk around underneath the sheet. I’ve even joked about it and pretended he was a ghost when he walked into the room. So, use this to your advantage. Get a really thin white sheet, so they can see out of it. Draw a couple of eyes on it or cut holes for the eyes, and there ya go. He’s a ghost!

9- Rock Star

This one will allow you to let your creativity run. Put some stars down one leg of the pants, apply tons of temporary tattoos on their arms, and make their hair look crazy. Let them have a guitar, drum sticks, or microphone to carry around. Rock stars don’t have a traditional outfit, so have fun with it.

10- Crayon

Grab a pair of green pants and this green tee shirt and your kid is a green crayon for Halloween. Don’t like green just pick another color of course. If you’d rather not buy a crayon tee, then here is a DIY version you could make.

 Need More Inspiration?

Here are 10 more ideas. Sensory Friendly Costumes

Honorable Mention:Sensory Friendly Costumes

Check out my “Sensory Friendly Halloween” board on my Pinterest Page for more info on these ideas.

  1.    Skeleton (pillowcase and felt is all that’s needed)
  2.    Charlie brown (yellow polo and a zigzag)
  3.    Harry Potter
  4.    Minion (yellow shirt & overalls)
  5.    Pokemon Trainer (LOVE THIS ONE)
  6.    Coach (simple team polo and pants)
  7.    Referee (DIY stripes and pants) 
  8.    iPad (our kids love their iPads)
  9.    Cowboy
  10.  Pumpkin



What are your kids going to be for Halloween? Do you have any tips for a sensory friendly Halloween? Leave a comment. 



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