Choosing a Halloween Costume

Choosing a Halloween Costume

What are you going to be for Halloween this year? People’s answer to that question will represent something very different depending on where they happen to be on the developmental spectrum.

For older children and adults, the two most common considerations are “acclaim” and “convenience.” They want to be considered cool, clever, and/or creative by their peers. On the other hand, they don’t want to be encumbered by an awkward or uncomfortable outfit that will make it difficult for them to race through the neighborhood with a trick-or-treat bag or dance at a party.

However, for younger children, it is all about “passion.” Whether it is a wizard, a walrus, Wonder Woman, or a watermelon, they want to be something that has intrigued them intensely, fired their imagination, and/or stirred their soul.

So when your little one announces her choice for this year’s costume, you may have to resist rolling your eyes and clucking your tongue because to you it seems silly or impractical. Just remember that her priorities are distinctly different, and this provides you with a wonderful opportunity to see what is going on in her head and her heart.

Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at