Choosing a Halloween costume is a huge deal for most kids; it’s the one day a year they can go out in public dressed as anything they want (well… almost anything). Dress up should be fun, but picking out a costume can be frustrating for kids with physical disabilities that require a wheelchair or sensory differences that make them sensitive to tags, seams, and itchy fabrics. Creating adaptive Halloween costumes for kids used to be a largely DIY job, and while it can be rewarding to create something one-of-a-kind for your child, it requires a lot of time, materials, and craft skills (and some inevitable Pinterest fails).
Fortunately, retailers are starting to meet the need for a more inclusive costume selection. Earlier this year, Target released a line of adaptive Halloween costumes which came after the success of the retailer’s 2017 release of adaptive clothing for kids (think flat seams, shirts with abdominal access, and elastic-waist joggers that looks like jeans).
School’s back in session, and with that comes the endless reminders that Halloween is just around the corner. There are plastic jack-o-lanterns everywhere, pumpkin spice lattes in hand, and I bet your kid is talking about what they’re going to be for the spooky holiday (and changing their mind every hour, sigh.) Check out these 14 fun adaptive Halloween costumes, because every kid deserves to be exactly what they want to be for one silly, sugar-filled night each year.
1. Kids Plush Adaptive Unicorn Halloween Costume
This cozy unicorn costume is tag-free and comes with flat, non-irritating seams. The shiny horn, glittery wings and ears, and rainbow tail can all be removed as needed. This costume comes with convenient hidden abdominal access which accommodates feeding tubes and other devices.
2. Ice Cream Truck Wheelchair Costume
I scream, you scream for this adorable ice cream truck costume. This wheelchair wrap is "compatible with most pediatric and young adult manual and automatic wheelchairs" per the Spirit Halloween website. It comes equipped with four blinking LED lights for an ultra-realistic feel.
3. Adaptive Pirate Ship Halloween Costume Wheelchair Cover
Arrr you ready for this adaptive pirate ship costume? All terrible puns aside, this wheelchair cover costume uses hook-and-loop closures to fit safely around most wheelchairs. There's also a pirate costume available to fully complete the look, but hurry because this one's going fast.
4. Fighter Jet Wheelchair Costume
Who wouldn't want to be in the cockpit of a fighter jet for the night? Rolling Buddies costumes can be "attached with simple peel and stick plastic hardware and Velcro" per the website. Best of all they can be washed off with soap and water (trick-or-treating gets messy) and rolled up and stored in their original packaging for whenever you need it next.
5. Toddler Adaptive Plush Shark Halloween Costume
Now your toddler can finally be a baby shark. This sweet, sensory-friendly costume includes removable hood and fins, plus it has easy abdominal access. It's super soft with flat seams and no tags; they may just want to wear this every night.
6. Mystery Machine Children's Wheelchair Costume
Nostalgic for Scooby Doo? This Mystery Machine wheelchair cover attaches to most wheelchairs and is made of flexible yet sturdy plastic for easy maneuvering. Just be sure to show your kids the magic that is Scooby Doo before they head out because they'll be sure to hear a lot of "Ruh-Rohs!" from well-meaning, equally nostalgic parents.
7. Princess Carriage Wheelchair Costume
I was never a princess for Halloween but that's only because I dressed up as one almost every other day of the year. Your child will feel like royalty in this chariot that comes with four blinking LED lights. Just add a tiara and some glitter and you're set for a glamorous night.
8. Nintendo Mario Costume Hoodie
Hoodies are a cozy choice for children with autism or other sensory sensitivities, as suggested by Erika, mother of four and author of The Living Well blog, which offers tips for parents of autistic children. They can dress like their favorite character while avoiding itchy fabrics. Plus they can decide if they want to wear the hood or not or to wear the sweatshirt zipped or open, which may make them feel more in control of their hectic surroundings.
9. Adaptive Princess Halloween Costume
This princess costume has an opening in the back, which makes it easy to get in and out of. It includes a crown for that must-have royal finishing touch. A princess chariot wheelchair cover is sold separately.
10. Witch Flying Broom Wheelchair Costume
I loved being a witch for Halloween because it was a perfect blend between spooky and glam, plus I got to wear black lipstick. This wheelchair cover is the perfect complement to a witch costume. Just add black clothes, a pointy hat, and maybe even a plush cat.
11. Sensory Sack
This sensory sack offers all the benefits of a weighted blanket, plus kids can move around in it easily without it falling off. While not technically billed as a costume, I can see this making a great Genie from Aladdin, Dory from Nemo, a Smurf (just add a white hat), or Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch). The four snaps are non-irritating and it's easy to step in and out of.
12. Rocketship Wheelchair Cover
This rocket ship wheelchair cover costume is sure to be a blast. Your child will be psyched to show their friends the inside panel, which looks like a real control board. Plus each wing comes with three blinking red LED lights (batteries included).
13. Deluxe Children's Dragon Cloak
A cloak is awesome for kids who want to dress up but are easily bothered by tags and fabrics. This dragon costume is made without zippers or buttons, plus it's machine washable which is good because it just may be getting a ton of wear. It features fun scales on the back and also comes in pink, red, and black.
14. Animal Bunny Pajama Onesie
Another great Halloween costume option for children with sensory issues is a pajama onesie. I remember feeling that I was "ruining" my costume when my parents told me I needed to wear a jacket under it, but this polar fleece bunny suit is warm and cozy. It's breathable, easy to get on and off, and uses buttons to close instead of zippers, which can be irritating. Plus buttons means you can just discreetly unbutton part of the costume that you need to (as opposed to unzipping the entire piece). It comes in a variety of other animals too (including a monkey and a giraffe) so your kid can rock their favorite.