No Fuss, Sensory Friendly Halloween Costumes

Don’t get too spooked, but what if I told you that Halloween is only a handful of weeks away? Talk about scary! Few holidays are more fun for children than Halloween. Dressing up in costume, trick-or-treating, gobs of fun-size candy, silly decorations and parties – what’s not to love?

As spooky and fun as Halloween costumes can be, for many kids, they can be a point of major frustration and tears. Itchy seams, scratchy fabrics, complicated accessories, and weird smells of face paint and/or masks are all major challenges for kids with sensory processing disorders or other fabric aversions.  In addition to the somewhat intense level of stimulation from Halloween decorations, this can add up to not such a great experience for little kids. Before you get the jitters wondering how you’ll navigate this tricky holiday with your little one, read on.

Today we’re sharing some amazing ideas for fuss-free, sensory-friendly costumes that will have you & your family counting down the days til October 31. These costume ideas for kids will help you and your little one put together a look that is both exciting and comfortable, so you’ll be able to focus on Halloween fun without the stress of costume meltdowns.

Best of all, most of these easy, comfortable kids costume ideas are made from items you already have around your house! Less errands to run and less money to spend? We’re all over that! Homemade costumes always make the best costumes, anyway. Anyone can buy a packaged costume from the store or online boutique, but it takes extra thought, love and care to create something unique at home.

The recipe for success in homemade, sensory-friendly costumes is having a comfortable base layer and not too many fussy details. Keeping this costume foundation simple makes it easier for parents as well. The kids will look fantastic once everything is put together, but underneath it all, they’ll be as comfortable as they are when they’re tucking into bed at night.

Here are a few of our favorite options for comfortable Halloween costume base layers:

Pajama Costumes

There’s nothing more comfortable than a pair of soft pajamas, which makes them the perfect base for a kids Halloween costume. Use markers, felt, or other soft, flexible fabrics to add details that will transform soft, cozy pajamas into whatever creature/character your child desires.

Scrub Costumes

Girl wearing green scrubs

Kids-sized scrubs make a wonderful, itch-free and comfortable costume layer. If your little one isn’t so into the idea of being a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional, don’t fret. There are plenty of crazy, spooky ideas that can still utilize a good pair of soft scrubs (see below!) 

Everyday Clothes Costumes

Perhaps the best costumes are the ones that don’t feel like costumes at all. Utilizing regular, everyday kids clothes to create a fun Halloween costume is a great solution, and the possibilities are truly endless. Plain long-sleeve tees, zippered hoodies, soft dresses, and leggings are all perfect starting points for your child’s Halloween costume creation.

Now for the specific costume ideas! You can really have fun and get creative here based on what your child’s interests are. Put your heads together to come up with an idea that will be both easy and make your trick-or-treater happy.

Here are a few no fuss, comfortable Halloween costume ideas to share with your little one and get their imagination running.

Spooky Skeleton

Simple Skeleton Costume.
Photo credit: Craft Passion

A pair black pajamas can be easily be transformed into a skeleton with the addition of some white felt ‘bones.’ Many retailers even sell these pre-made, which will make your job all the easier! Here’s a great tutorial with a couple of different methods for creating a skeleton costume.

Ballerina

Daughter and Dad doing ballerina poses together
A leotard, soft ballet skirt or tutu, some tights, and a pair of flats or ballet shoes and you’re good to go for this sweet, classic costume.

Mad Scientist

Simple Mad Scientist CostumePhoto credit: Instructables

A pair of white scrubs, some creative hair styling, a crazy pair of glasses, and some paint splatters could create a silly mad scientist. Instructables has a great tutorial here. 

Fairy                      

Grab a beautiful pair of fairy wings, some cute tights, and add to your little one’s favorite everyday dress to make a beautiful fairy.

Aerobics Instructor

Baby wearing aerobics instructor costumePhoto credit: Primary

Sure, the ‘90s are back, but we’re forever loving the spunk of an ‘80s “Let’s Get Physical” aerobic instructor. A fun leotard, tights, leg warmers and a soft headband will get your little one all ready for some exercise fun. This is also a great costume for a baby! Here’s a wonderful tutorial.

Where’s Waldo?

A red & white striped shirt, pair of blue leggings, and some clever accessories will transform your child into the cutest version of Where’s Waldo?

Fluffy Kitten                         

Girl with face painted as a cat

If you’ve got a cat lover on your hands, a fluffy kitten costume might be the perfect choice. A headband with some kitty ears, a tail pinned or glued onto a favorite pair of leggings or sweats, and a fuzzy sweater are all you need for this costume. Use a non-toxic eyeliner or face paint to draw on some whiskers!

Cloudy/Stormy Day

Some gently and creatively ripped up cotton balls glued onto a pair of cozy pale blue or gray scrubs make a perfect storm cloud.

Superhero

Kids wearing simple superhero costumesPhoto credit: Lia Griffith


A comfortable long sleeve t-shirt and leggings, plus a silky cape and a some hot glue felt details will have your little ready to save the day as their favorite superhero. The Spruce has a great list of tutorials for your little hero.

Unicorn

Girl wearing simple unicorn costume
Photo credit: Women’s Day

Unicorns are absolutely real, and will never go out of style. A simple white hoodie and leggings or sweatpants with the addition of a white felt ‘horn’ and pink (or any color!) yarn for the tale and mane will transform your kiddo into this favorite mystical creature. Here’s an easy tutorial.

We hope this list of easy, sensory friendly Halloween costumes give your family some inspiration for creating mystical, magical, meltdown-free holiday fun this October!


Sarah Smith

Sarah is a copywriter and homeschooling mama of 3 in East Nashville, TN. When she's not writing or cleaning her walls with Magic Eraser, she can usually be found with her nose in a book, petting a stray cat, or concocting organic lotions & potions in her kitchen.

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