Falling leaves, pumpkin carving, crisp breezes, plaid shirts, and apple cider—all indications that autumn has arrived. October 31st is just around the corner, and many kids will be dressing up as zombies, bumblebees, princesses, favorite characters, ghosts, and other Halloween favorites. It’s fun to pretend to be someone (or something) else and let the imagination run wild, all in the name of exploring the community and returning home with a pillowcase full of snacks. Many kids with Cerebral Palsy or other mobility conditions will be trick-or-treating from house to house by wheelchair, and we would like to offer this short but helpful list of tips and reminders that will help maximize the fun for those in wheelchairs this Halloween!
- Navigating the Route: Remember to travel routes that are familiar so that it can be known whether they are wheelchair friendly. Some terrains can be difficult to traverse by wheelchair, and if trick-or-treating is done in the evening or at sundown, it can become an especially tricky situation due to low visibility. Bring a flashlight or two to brighten up the path, make sure battery powered wheelchairs are fully charged, and keep an eye out for vehicles.
- Costume Ideas: Wheelchairs can offer more material for creative Halloween costume ideas! The website Pinterest has many ideas to look through, and some of our favorites include:
- Vehicles: RC from the movie Toy Story, construction excavators, space ships, airplanes, trains, sleighs, and racecars.
- Characters: Wall-E from the movie Wall-E, Mario in his go-kart from the video game Mario Kart, a police officer in his/her police car, Batman, a DJ, a news anchor, a mermaid, an ice cream truck driver, and R2D2 from Star Wars.
This is just the tip of the iceberg—there are so many amazing costume ideas that utilize wheelchairs to their full creative potentials! Creating a custom costume is an exciting project for kids, giving them a great excuse to work in tandem with parents and friends toward a fun goal. Just Google “wheelchair costumes” in Google Images, or click here, to browse other ideas. Keep in mind the costume need not cost much to make, or demand much time, in order to be effective come Halloween!
- Costume Tips: While creating or purchasing a Halloween costume for someone in a wheelchair is a spook-tacular idea, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- If creating a costume is on the to-do list, be sure to collect as much cardboard as possible. Cardboard is a great material to work with—it’s sturdy, able to be manipulated, cut, colored, and offers endless possibilities. Just be careful cutting and working with it! No cardboard at home? Try collecting scrap cardboard from local grocery stores, movie theaters, or other outlets where frequent incoming shipments regularly occur. Click here to be redirected to tips on how to concoct some cool wheelchair costumes.
- Safety first! To make Halloween as enjoyable as possible, be sure to fit or station the costume (like fabrics or props) in a way that is free from hazards, including falling into the wheels or restricting user movement. If creating a costume, be mindful about using sharp objects like box-cutters—never cut toward hands or body parts. Also, it is important to ensure that the costume can be easily put on and taken off. These things are easy to forget during all the fun!
- Get noticed! Don’t be afraid to let creativity lead the way to a unique costume that expresses who’s wearing it for a memorable Halloween experience. After all, it never hurts to earn a few more snacks because of a catchy costume. Most importantly, be safe and have fun—that’s what it’s all about.
We want to hear from you! What are your costume ideas?