hulk-baby-costume

As Halloween approaches, my job as a parent of a two-year-old girl is to begin the search for an age-appropriate and affordable costume. Some toddlers of today are very commercial savvy and have a strong preference for a particular character or a subject that appeals to them. My daughter doesn’t verbalize a favorite, so it’s up to me to sort through the myriad of offerings and choose something by my own standards that is cute yet responsible and that might interest her enough to wear it for more than five minutes.

My difficulty with buying most commercially made costumes is the toxicity of the synthetic materials they are usually made of. The non-recyclable vinyl fabrics and accessories just make me cringe and the fear of my child catching fire from an unattended flaming Jack-O-Lantern keeps me on high alert all the while running around the neighborhood, essentially not being able to enjoy myself because I’m so pre-occupied with safety.

The most popular costumes change and cycle through the years, but there are a few timeless favorites that can be homemade or modified to be more eco-friendly. Any versions or modifications made with 100% cotton gauze or muslin instead of nylon or rayon is a safer and much more comfortable choice for active toddlers.

1. Princesses and fairy costumes are usually adorned with glitter and plastic jewels on the bodice, wings, tiaras, wand or shoes. I’m convinced it’s the sparkle that appeals to young girls and they will wear uncomfortable or itchy outfits despite themselves.

2. Any Sesame Street character is another timeless genre for young boys or girls. If you have a creative streak and a sewing machine, the likeness of these old-school buddies can be crafted with colored fabric, yarn, or other easily obtainable recyclable materials.

3. Knights and Dragons maintain their appeal to young boys primarily.

4. Super Heroes of all kinds will again show up on the doorstep for 2012 parties and trick-or-treating.

5. The tried-and-true Halloween staples will always be in the Top 5 list, whether it’s a witch, a ghost, a skeleton or a black cat or spider. Somehow the scare factor decreases when a frightful costume is wrapped around a cute baby face and adorning a mini-body.

Happy Halloween!

girls superhero costume

Classics seems to be the theme for The top 5 halloween costumes for kids this year. Some of the most popular timeless characters will be making an appearance on doorsteps across America this Halloween, along with a few of the newer, more popular characters.

Superheroes
Boys, young and old, never seem to tire of playing the superhero. Luckily this year these good guys can be brought to life with the help of a new superhero costume. Some of the more popular heroes will be walking around this Halloween, and don’t be surprised to see Spider Man, Captain America, and yes, even the most popular Ranger of all, the Gold Power Ranger, will be Trick or Treating until night falls. Girls have their own classic superheroes and villains and this year they will be coming out in full force. The more popular costumes that will be seen on girls this year include Cat Woman, and even the female take on the ever popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Princesses
The years may go by but for little girls the fairy tale never ends. For 2012 the most popular girls Halloween costumes are the classic Princesses. From Disney Aurora to Brave Merida, little girls will feel like the bell of the ball when they adorn one of these beautiful classics.

Monster High
The Monster High fashion dolls, as well as the novels, made their big debut in 2010, and little girls have been eating them up ever since. Since their debut these little creatures have made their way to their own TV specials, video games, and even apps for the iPhone. This year Monster High fanatics can dress up as their favorite character with the new Monster High costumes that are hitting the shelves.

Soldiers
For 2012 one of the more popular Halloween costumes for boys are soldiers. These are not just any soldiers, they are all from G.I. Joe. Snake Eyes, one of the more popular Joes, will be out ringing doorbells this year. There is more than just Joe this year on the Halloween front, costumes for boys that follow this popular dress up fantasy include Navy Seals, Special Ops, and even Fighter Jet Pilots.

Work-a-holics
Boys, and girls alike will be delighted that they get to play a grown up for a day. Kids can be transformed into their future dream careers with the help of Police guy or gal costumes, doctor costumes, nurse costumes, firefighter costumes, and even famous chef costumes.

Top 5 Halloween 2012 Costumes for Babies

baby pumpkin costume

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I look forward to it every year and enjoy dressing up. When I had kids, this holiday became even better. I love seeing personalities come alive through costumes. Even the shyest little one has an easier time expressing their identity during Halloween. Here are the top five costumes for your baby.

Minnie Mouse

If you have a baby girl, you might enjoy dressing her up as Minnie Mouse. There are several adorable Minnie costumes for little girls. You can take the costume to the next level and draw some whiskers on her face as well. Finish this look with some cute black shoes and she will look perfect.

Superman

If you have a boy, you might want to dress him up as a superhero. It’s never to young for boys to get involved with action figures. There are several cute superman costumes that will look adorable on your little man. They might even give you a glimpse at what the future holds.

Pumpkin

All babies can be dressed up as pumpkins. This is one of the best costumes for your little baby. Both boys and girls look adorable in a large pumpkin. It compliments the chubby baby cheeks and will also keep your baby warm during cold Halloween nights.

Lion

At Halloween it is very fitting to see little babies dressed up as animals. One of the cutest animal costumes is a Lion. The headpiece on this costume is unique and fun. This costume can also work on both sexes. However, it is more common for baby boys. It’s a cute costume option that can also be reused when you have another baby.

Ghost

Finally, consider dressing your baby up as a ghost. This costume is very fitting for the holiday season. It’s easy too. It’s a great costume to choose if you are on a budget. You can even create the ghostly look with a pillowcase. There are also several ghost costumes available for your baby. It’s a great option for both girls and boys.

Have fun dressing your baby on Halloween. Try one of these top-rated costumes that will make your baby look perfect this Halloween.

My Review of the Plaid Squirrel Fuzzyheads

Plaid Squirrel Fuzzyheads

I’m the father of two beautiful twins, both a boy and a girl. They recently turned three years old and have started to form their own opinions about what they like and dislike. You’d think that since both children are the same age, they’d have similar interests, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, my daughter is very into dinosaurs and monsters right now while my son can’t stand them. He’s more a fan of superheroes and animals. They’ve been like this all their life. I never would have thought the two of them would like the same toy, but that’s exactly what happened when they received two Plaid Squirrel fuzzyheads for their birthday.

The fuzzyheads are a cross between a doll and a pillow. The company, Plaid Squirrel, makes a lot of offbeat toys, but they must be doing something right because both my children fell in love with them. The fuzzyheads get their name because of the fuzzy hair they have on top of their cylinder-shaped body. There are dozens of fuzzyheads to collect, but my son has the has the orange and black doll named L’Range while my daughter has the green and purple doll called Lime Larry.

The character pillows are extremely soft and almost silk like. I’m not sure what the exact fabric is, but it has stayed soft and cuddly through several washings so far. That, plus the goofy design of the pillow, has made the toy very appealing to my children.

The pillow wouldn’t be very doll like without a face, which is why eyes, eyebrows, and a goofy grin has been embroidered on. This means that there are no small parts to choke on.

Since the fuzzyhead pillows are cylinder shaped, they’re also great for car rides. I don’t know about other children, but nothing puts mine to sleep faster than a trip in the car. Unfortunately, car seats aren’t designed for sleeping children and their heads use to always plop forward or to the side. It made my neck hurt just looking at them, but the fuzzyhead dolls have solved that. The kids love to take them in the car because it keeps them entertained as I drive, but this also means that the pillow is positioned next to their head when they doze off. The support of the pillow means that they can sleep comfortably without having to worry about their head slumping over.

We’ve only had the fuzzyheads for a few months, so I can’t say how well they hold up long-term. What I can say is that both my children play with their dolls constantly and take them everywhere. The pillows have held up perfectly fine so far and show no signs of wearing down anytime soon.

trampoline safety

Trampolines can be dangerous. In 2006, the Consumer Product Safety Review reported that trampolines caused almost 110,000 injuries, with the majority of those injuries being suffered by children five to fourteen years old, with almost five thousand resulted in hospitalization. There have been six trampoline-related deaths as of 1990. Fortunately there are ways to keep injuries from happening. Here’s a recent report from the AAOS on the subject.

Making sure that there is only one person the trampoline at a time is paramount. Collisions between people is the greatest source of accidents, especially as each person’s trajectory is not easily predictable. Allowing for roughhousing and the encouragement of posting videos of collisions online, discouraging children from multiple people jumping around at the same time will not be easy, but it is necessary to avoid accidents.

Putting an enclosure around the trampoline is also advised. Another source of injuries is missing the trampoline. Although accidents do happen, it is best to have some sort of safeguard against the possibility of a child accidentally jumping off of the trampoline and unto a hard surface; an enclosure around the trampoline will help avoid this from happening. Of course this also means that children, especially older one, must be discouraged from purposely jumping on it and sliding down it, which can be a further source of injury.

Also make sure that there is nothing in the vicinity that may be used to jump onto the trampoline. An obvious example is a ladder or a shed. Although it may be tempting to put a ladder up so that younger children can get on the trampoline themselves, not allowing them easy access may actually be a good thing.

It always pays to make sure that your insurance is paid up, and that your insurance will pay for trampoline accidents. It also helps to make sure that you are allowed to have one in the first place; some homeowner associations do not allow them, and that renters may not be able to have one, despite any precautions that may have been taken. In this regard it pays to make sure that you can set it up before you even really consider buying one. However, as long as you have made certain as well as you can that your children are protected from injury, the trampoline can be a great toy.