Costume Ideas for Children with Sensory Needs

Choosing the right Halloween costume can make a big difference in your child’s Halloween experience. When thinking about a costume for your child, it is very important to take into account his/her sensory needs. Costumes can be awkwardly fitting, itchy, bulky, tight, smelly and overall uncomfortable to wear. These sensations can be magnified if your child has an overactive sensory system.

You can create many costumes using everyday t-shirts, skirts, pants and pajamas. Take advantage of chain clothing stores that sell t-shirts with popular characters/character logos already printed on them! Does your child have a favorite item of clothing? Maybe incorporate the item into a costume. Remember, it’s all about comfort so don’t worry about face paint, masks or hats. Need some easy costume ideas? Here you go: Soccer, Basketball or Baseball Player; Train Conductor; Superheroes; Mario or Luigi; Toy Story’s Jessie or Woody; Lumberjack; Princess; Charlie Brown; Security Guard or Bodyguard; Sleepy Child (PJs and favorite stuffed animal); Pete the Cat; and a Doctor or Nurse.

If your child is sensitive to certain environmental sounds and benefits from wearing noise cancelling headphones, incorporate them into a costume! Create a costume of an Olympic Athlete preparing for a race with a USA shirt, warm-up clothes and headphones. Get wild with funky clothes, crazy hair and headphones to turn your child into a Disc Jockey. Select a white t-shirt, flannel, jeans and headphones to transform into a Construction Worker. Find a blue jacket or button down shirt, blue pants, gold airline pins and headphones for an Airline Pilot costume.

Does deep pressure help regulate your child’s body? Morphsuits and wetsuits can provide the same helpful pressure. Add a towel, sunglasses, bodyboard and/or shark toy to a wetsuit and you’ve just put together a cool AND accommodating Surfer costume.


Costumes that are purchased may give off an unfamiliar scent that can irritate some children. Wash the clothing your child will wear in your typical soap/softeners a couple times before Halloween. This will remove any undesired fragrances and provide a familiar scent to keep your child at ease.

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Melissa Ames
Melissa Ames

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2 Responses

Melissa Ames
Melissa Ames

October 26, 2016

Thank you for your comment Chris. Here are some costume ideas for children that benefit from a weighted or pressure vest:: Sheriff; SWAT Team; Cowboy; Fisherman; Marty from Back to the Future; Construction Worker; Woody from Toy Story; Han Solo from Star Wars; and a Pirate. Happy Halloween!

Chris Hanson
Chris Hanson

October 26, 2016

Thank you. Great ideas. My child wears a weighted vest to help him stay calm. Do you have any ideas on costumes that can incorporate a vest?

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