23 Sensory-Friendly Halloween Costume Ideas & Tips

23 Sensory-Friendly Halloween Costume Ideas & Tips

Halloween is a fun-filled time for children and adults alike. With candy, activities, and costumes, what’s not to enjoy? 

Unfortunately, Halloween can present challenges for children with autism or other sensory needs. In this post, we share tips and costume ideas that will ensure kids with autism can enjoy the holiday with their friends and family members. 


10 Halloween Costume Tips for Children with Autism or Sensory Needs 

  1. Avoid masks and anything else that affects vision. 
  2. Avoid scratchy or constricting materials.
  3. Ensure the costume fits well and isn’t too loose or too tight.
  4. Wash store-bought costumes before giving them to your child. This will soften the fabric and remove any unusual odors.
  5. Consider sizing based on your child’s sensory needs. Some children prefer tight clothing, while others appreciate extra breathing room. Size a costume up or down based on these preferences.
  6. Don’t use face paints, as these are often sticky and/or have an odor. 
  7. Use your child’s favorite interests as inspiration for a fun costume to look forward to.
  8. Give your child the opportunity to participate in selecting a Halloween costume. 
  9. If a costume is too much for your child, consider a Halloween-themed t-shirt. Many affordable options are available at stores such as Target and Old Navy. 
  10. Do a test run! This ensures your child will be comfortable and allows time for costume troubleshooting. 


13 Easy Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids with Sensory Needs

Superhero t-shirt and pants

Purchase a superhero t-shirt like this one from Old Navy, pair it with your child’s favorite pants, and you have a comfortable and quick Halloween costume. 


Build an outfit from pajamas:

Stores such as Target offer many colorful options.


Use everyday clothes to create a fun and easy-to-wear Halloween costume, such as:
  • Cowboy/Cowgirl
  • Handyperson
  • Electrician
  • Pilot
  • Athlete
  • Waldo from Where’s Waldo


Modify a hoodie sweatshirt for a comfortable Halloween costume:

  • Make a dinosaur by sewing felt triangles on the hood and back of a dark green sweatshirt.
  • Make a bumble bee costume by sewing yellow stripes across a black sweatshirt and attaching wings to the back.
  • Sew a letter "m" on any solid color sweatshirt, and you have an easy M&M costume!
  • To make a Mickey Mouse costume, sew round ears on a black hoodie.
  • For a jack o' lantern costume, sew a jack o' lantern face onto an orange sweatshirt.


For extra tips, check out our post on how to prepare kids with autism for trick-or-treating. Happy Halloween!


Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash


Sunny Days

Sunny Days is one of the nation's leading early intervention and autism services providers, serving children with developmental needs in New York, Oklahoma, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania ,and Delaware. Founded in 1994, it currently has over 2,000 active practitioners. In the past two years, Sunny Days has provided well in excess of 1,000,000 individual sessions. Sunny Days was founded by two healthcare professionals — Joyce Salzberg, LCSW and Donna Maher, RN — whose passion for quality healthcare is core to its mission. 

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