Archive for June 2008


3 Best Costume Ideas for Toddlers

When your child reaches the age of 2-3 years old, they start to recognize many of the things that they have been encountering in the world. Their personal preferences are developing and individual tastes are maturing from simple enjoyment of anything you happen to give them.

This should be kept in mind when you are thinking of costume ideas for a toddler. Generic costumes are not always the best choice as your toddler is now old enough to recognize their friends’ characters and wonder why they too are not dressed as someone or something that they like.

At the same time, your child is still young enough that, as a parent, taking hundreds of pictures of him or her in an adorable costume is a great thrill. While your child may like Bob the Builder, if they do not look cute in a Bob the Builder outfit, your photographic memories may suffer as a result.

That is why some of the best costumes for toddlers are those that incorporate things that they like into something that you want to see your child in.

1. Sesame Street
Various characters on Sesame Street are one way to satisfy both of these needs. If your child is a fan of Sesame Street then they will be overjoyed to dress like Elmo or Cookie Monster.
This works out for you as well, because an Elmo costume can be one of the most adorable apparel items on the planet as it covers your child from head to toe in a giant suit that resembles footsie pajamas.

2. Winnie the Pooh
Several characters from the popular children’s series Winnie the Pooh make for perfect toddler costumes. Having your child wear an Eeyore outfit is a great way to keep them happy and seeing your child adorably dressed as the giant plush donkey is sure to bring a smile to your face as well. Similarly, the giant round head of Winnie the Pooh himself is sure to make some phenomenal pictures and may even prevent your toddler from hurting themselves thanks to all that additional honey fat padding.

3. Super Heroes
In addition to creating a spectacular costume look, super hero outfits will allow your child to role play with friends or by themselves. There are numerous Spider-Man, Superman, and Batgirl costumes available that are not just photogenic, but also make fun and functional clothes to wear when your child insists on dressing up with friends at home.

Dressing your toddler up in a costume can satisfy both you and the child, if the right outfit is chosen. Finding a character costume that your child chooses and enjoys does not mean that you have to sacrifice precious photographs. Best of all, when your child gets older you can show the photos of them in the Elmo suit, no matter how embarrassing, because you’re able to honestly say that your child wanted it. When you choose an ideal toddler costume, it’s guaranteed to be a win-win situation for years to come.

10 Ideas for a Festive Fourth of July

Independence Day is a holiday celebrated annually in America on July 4th to commemorate our freedom from British rule. It is a joyful summer day filled with parties, picnics, barbecues, carnivals, and fireworks. This holiday’s festivities are commonly held outdoors with family, friends, and neighbors. Fourth of July parties are often celebrated using different themes that focus on specific elements of United States history and tradition.

Make this year’s Independence Day celebration the best one yet with the help of these ten ideas for a festive 4th of July:

1. Plan your activities in advance for the celebration of Independence Day. Decide whether you want it to be an intimate family affair or a party with friends and neighbors as well.

2. If it’s a family event, share all the activities you will be doing with the group. This may include attending parades, going to the park to watch fireworks, and visiting different parties in town that you’ve been invited to. If everyone is aware of the day’s schedule, they can prepare accordingly for the fun.

3. To make the day even more special, plan to dress up with a red, white, and blue costume theme and bring along Independence Day accessories such as flags, balloons, or hats.

4. If you plan to host a party, prepare at least a week before the celebration. Jot down in advance everything that you’ll need including food, decorations, and other details such as whether you’ll have a costume party and if the party will be held indoors or outdoors.

5. Prepare and send out invitations to make your July 4th party more special. Indicate whether the party is potluck and whether they should BYOB (bring your own BBQ/beer).

6. Decorate your home with flags, lights, and balloons. Party tables can be covered in red, white, and blue tablecloths. Floral centerpieces and decorative appetizers also add to the party. Prepare safe fireworks like sparklers that you can light in the evening to make your celebration more festive.

7. If you plan to have a barbecue, prepare a menu that follows your party’s theme or rely on the traditional all-American menu. This includes grilled chicken, beef, pork, hot dogs, and hamburgers. You can also serve fried chicken, salad, pasta, and, of course, apple pie for dessert. Cakes or other sweet treats can be decorated with red, white, and blue colors, the American flag, or Uncle Sam’s hat.

8. You can also try to be creative by using red, white, and blue candles, light bulbs or colored lamps at different spots around the party. Strobe lights can also be an add-on for a lively party or even a disco ball for a 1970s July 4th celebration.

9. Music that fits your theme and mood can contribute greatly to the enjoyment of your celebration. Choose songs that can be appreciated by adults and kids alike. Patriotic music can also help set the tone for America’s holiday.

10. Prepare games and activities for everyone to enjoy such as ball tosses, trivia contests, and singing. Don’t forget to give everyone something to take home with them as a remembrance of your festive Fourth of July celebration such small flags or pins.

The Secret Power of Masks

Masks are more than just a colorful piece of plastic you put over your head or face. Masks have the ability to change you into a different character with a new identity. They allow you to take on a personality that you may not have previously explored or experienced. Masks can transform you both visually and mentally into another person, allowing you to temporarily venture into a new world until the night is over and the mask is removed.

The Mask Effect
The secret power of masks comes across through two different benefits. The first is its ability to transform you physically into a different character, and the second is the ability to alter your personality into the character you are taking on.

1. Visual Differences
For those around you, the mask allows them to see you as someone other than yourself. Whether it is a scary mask (like one that has flesh melting off bone) or a character mask like Napoleon Dynamite or Frankenstein, you are viewed by others as a different person or creature, because the only remaining thing that reminds them of you will be your eyes.
This will allow you to enjoy the event more, and it will get people to treat you differently than they do on any other day of the year. The reaction you receive depends on the mask. If you are wearing a scary or particularly gruesome mask, it may be hard for others to look at you. Regardless, it will be a different reaction and to some that may be just what they are looking for.

2. Personality
In addition to your outward appearance, a mask has the ability to allow you to take on the personality from a character of your choice.
It starts with the perceived personality of the mask you are wearing. With a scary mask, people may think you are going to attack people throughout the night and you can heighten that fear by acting accordingly. If you are wearing a Bill Clinton mask, you can jokingly flirt with women all night for a bit of political humor. Whatever mask you decide to wear, it will allow you the opportunity to change the way you act, at least for one night.
No matter which character’s face is on the mask, the mask itself has a certain magic. When your face is hidden, you can have the confidence to act out without the worry of embarrassment and having it directly associated with yourself. People that wear masks tend to have more confidence when it is on because, if they want, any mistakes they make while wearing the mask are negated once the mask comes off.

A mask clearly has its own unique function. Whether it is a temporary change of other people’s perception of you or to change your own personality and create a new identity, a mask definitely has its own special powers.

Most Comfortable Costume Ideas

Costumes are far and away one of the greatest ways to bring life to a party. They’re an instant conversation starter for people to talk, bond, and connect simply because they happen to be wearing something that someone else finds interesting or humorous.

Costumes can also be some of the most uncomfortable pieces of apparel on the planet. Draping yourself in black spandex, leather, or plastic and covering your face in paint-like makeup can turn enjoyment of a costume party into a chore, as no matter how interesting the conversation of another individual may be, it’s unlikely to overpower the irritation caused by wearing the costume for several hours.

One way to avoid this inconvenience is to wear a costume that is comfortable. Comfortable costumes can be just as impressive as gaudy plastic ones, but they’re unlikely to be as much of a distraction while you try to enjoy the party, and they’re not going to make you wish you were elsewhere throughout most of the celebration.

The definition of “comfortable” can vary for men and women. For men, some costumes go over an individual’s entire body, but for women, many costumes these days are designed to be sexy and attractive, often showing a great deal of skin without using very much fabric. That is why, in general, as long as she is comfortable wearing a revealing costume, most women’s costumes will end up being very comfortable because there is very little irritating fabric touching the body.

But for men looking for comfortable costumes or women that are uncomfortable wearing revealing costumes, here are several of the most comfortable costume ideas available:

1. Stuffed Animal Costumes
If you can find a teddy bear costume or another type of stuffed animal costume, these suits are designed for comfort and the fabric is often made of the same materials that actual stuffed animals are made from. The costumes may be too warm for some people, especially if the event takes place during a summer day, but in general these costumes are able to be worn all day without the risk of significant discomfort.

2. Pimp Costumes
If you are a pimp, nothing touches your body but silk, and silk is, of course, incredibly comfortable. There are several ways to dress up as a pimp that will make a big impression at the party or event while allowing you to enjoy a comfortable material.

3. Pirate Costumes
There are several pirate outfits that are made from materials that breathe easily and are comfortable to move in. Pirate outfits do not require a great deal of makeup or other inconveniences and although you may need to sift through some outfits that are made from uncomfortable plastic, you should be able to find a costume that you can move in throughout the day and still feel fine.

4. Comic Book Character Costumes
Many of the comic character outfits are made of soft materials that cover your entire body. Much like the pajamas you had as a child, these outfits are designed in such a way that the purpose is to look like the comic character from top to bottom, but the end result is also a snug and warm costume that you can easily wear throughout the entire day.

5 Favorite Superhero Disguises and Costumes

“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”

Superhero costumes have always been popular. Not only are they a way to pretend to be someone heroic, but they are also full body costumes – ones that cover you from head to toe so that you can easily take on the hero persona. Here are several of the best superhero costumes and disguises:

1. Superman / Supergirl
Still the most famous superhero costumes, they remain everyone’s favorite. Superman costumes appear to be unchanged throughout the years, though many people change the center symbol from an “S” to any letter or symbol they want, so that they can pretend to be a different character. Still, in essence, they are always Superman.
Supergirl is the Superman spinoff for women, except over the years these outfits appear to have lost quite a bit of fabric. Originally Superman’s spandex underwear was over his tights. For many of these Supergirl costumes, they seem to have simply done away with the tights.

2. Iron Man
Thanks to the recent movie the Iron Man costume is incredibly popular, and for good reason. Iron Man’s outfit is powerful and equipped with all the latest gadgets, making it a prime candidate for a great costume, provided you can think of ways to create the high-tech gadgets.

3. Captain Planet
Blue skin, green hair, short red shirt and red spandex underwear. In this era of environmental activism, there is no way this costume can fail.

4. Captain America
The Captain America costume is brimming with patriotism, and provides you with not only an outfit to wear, but a sweet shield as well. This costume works just as well if you are not that patriotic, because an ironic costume is a humorous costume.

5. Batman / Batgirl
Batman costumes are still popular these days, but Batgirl costumes are gaining ground. Like Supergirl, these costumes appear to have lost a lot of their fabric, but the black cape and knee-high black leather boots make this costume a real winner. You also get to wear a mask.

The popularity of superhero costumes is not likely to die out anytime soon. But new Superheroes are popping up every year as more movies are released, thrusting several comic book characters into popular culture. Who knows what characters will be on this list next year? Perhaps Will Smith’s rebellious superhero Hancock? Only time will tell.