Guest Author - Julixa Newman
For many families, October represents many things, including the beginning of the fall season. Leaves are changing, jackets are coming out of the closet, nights are getting chilly, and last but not least, the holiday season is rapidly approaching. Before the major holidays approach, with all the shopping and cooking and planning required, we are faced with what should be easy by comparison, Halloween.
As a parent of twins, the project of costume preparation becomes a task similar to planning the big holidays. Finding "matching" or "complimentary" costumes can be overwhelming at first; the ideas must not only satisfy both children, but must also complement the other-i.e., like Raggedy Ann and Andy, or Woody and Buzz from Toy Story.
Each age has its own advantages and disadvantages with the costume choices. When the children are young, you won't get much resistance to costume choices. On the other hand, cuteness is a must, and the weather must be accounted for by you instead of the child. If it's cold, some costume choices are out, so check a decent semi-long term weather forecast for your area, or find a local facility that caters to little kids in an enclosed facility. They can be found on local websites, chamber of commerce sites, or even around the neighborhood-at schools, parks, and local community centers or extra curricular facilities (dancing schools, your day care facility, etc.).
When the children grow to ages 4-10 or 11, things change up a little. They have a say in what they want to be, so go for costumes that reflect the latest favorite movie. You can even make a short trip out of going to a local Halloween store to let them look around. Please keep in mind that some of these places have scary or even gory display areas, so keep an eye on them and don't let them wander to those areas. There are large enough areas with Disney fairies, princes and princesses, and all sorts of animal costumes to keep them busy. Make sure you are still checking the weather-some of these costumes can be really light. During these years (and infant/toddler stages), there are several furry animal costumes that keep your twins warm if you can talk them into how fun it would be to go as a dog or a lion.
It is a wonderful idea to bring a stroller or wagon along if your neighborhood walk is worthy of it. My twins fall asleep at some pretty inconvenient times, but if you have a toddler that cannot head home without another cubic foot of candy in their bag, you're going to have to carry onward regardless. Sometimes the kids can also get tired and cranky from the walking, stumble on concrete, or even get too into sampling their candy on the walk if you are talking to a friend or if the distance between the houses is long (plus, they shouldn't be sampling until you've looked over everything). Plus, when your toddler gets their bag of candy so full that they can't move it without dragging it, you can lighten the load and have somewhere to put it.
After the age of 11 or 12, it might be best to let the twins choose whether or not they want to make a costume as a team, or go out separately with friends. There's nothing wrong with this, just accept that they are searching for their own identities at this point and try to understand. They have different preferences, different friends, and different priorities now. Just make sure they know you will be having the last word to make sure everything chosen is in good taste.
Finally, I have listed below a few ideas for twin-themed costumes. It took a good amount of surveys and brainstorming, so I hope this list puts everyone in a holiday mood.
-Dora and Diego
-Pink and Blue Bunnies
-Baby Einstein Lion and Baby Einstein Duck
-Nemo and Dora
-Elmo and Zoe
-Barney and Baby Bop
-Matching Peas in the Pod (one green and one yellow)
-M&M's in different colors
-MIckey and Minnie Mouse/Goofy/Donald
-Princess Leia and Yoda/Darth Vader/Luke
-Pooh and Tigger
-Dalmation and a hound dog
-Tortoise and Hare
-R2D2 and Darth Vader
-Shrek and Donkey or Fiona
-2 different Disney Princesses
-Cheerleaders/Athletes of your choice