Monday, August 13, 2007

30 Quick and Easy Kids Costumes

What happened to the " good ol' days" when a Halloween costume was your Dad's old shirt and cap, and a burnt cork beard? Kids costumes don't have to complicated to be cute! Each of these quick and easy costumes starts with a few simple materials like hooded sweatshirts, sweat pants, posterboard, craft foam, felt, face paint, and a little imagination.

PirateBlack sweats, white shirt, red sash and bandanna, cardboard sword covered in foil, parrot beanie baby, stubbly face made with burnt cork or tobacco sprinkled on vaseline covered cheeks

Kid Hit By LightningGray sweats with large yellow felt zigzag pinned to the front, blackened zigzag tears in here and there on suit, hair gelled to stand straight up, burnt cork "burns" on cheeks

Wrapped PresentCover a large box with colorful wrapping paper. Make a hole in the bottom and invert over child's head. Add lots of matching ribbons in child's hair.

Pair of DicePaint two large boxes white and add black dots on each side to represent a pair of dice. Cut hole in bottom and invert over children's heads. You need a friend for this one!

Box of PopcornCover a large box with white butcher paper. Add wide red stripes with markers or colored paper. Make a hole for child's head. Hot glue some popcorn to the top of the box. Wear red or white tights or sweat pants.

Placard CostumesAnother quick and easy idea for kid costumes is a "placard costume" in which the child wears a hooded sweatshirt and pulls front and back cardboard panels (the placard) on over it. Shape the placard (poster board works fine) as needed for the costume desired, and design it with markers or felt pieces. This type of costume can be adapted to many different themes, such as:


M & M (two kids of different heights can be "plain" and "peanut"!)

Soccerball, Basketball, Baseball

Apple or Pumpkin

Deck of Cards

Favorite Book

SunflowerYellow sweat suit. Staple craft foam flower petals end to end onto a wide ribbon and tie around child's face to make the flower. Paint the face reddish brown with black spots. Make a couple of bright green leaves from craft foam and pin side by side onto front of sweat suit.

Bunch of GrapesStart with a purple sweat suit. Blow up several purple balloons to the same size and attach to the sweat suit with small safety pins. Complete the look with a green knit cap

with a couple of large green felt leaves attached.

Bag of TrashMake two leg holes is a large sized trash bag. Have child step into the bag, then add balls of crumpled newspaper to hold a round shape. Make two armholes in each side and secure around the neck .

Little Old LadyAn old house dress with torn stockings and slippers. Curlers in the hair or white wig. Glasses, blacked out tooth, old fashioned pocketbook.

TouristHawaiian shirt or other loud clothes, camera, hat with pins all over it, maps sticking out of pockets, sunglasses.

CrayonSweat suit in the chosen color of your crayon. Design the crayon wrapper from poster board, felt pieces or craft foam and baste or pin onto the sweat suit. Add a like-colored plant pot for a hat, or use a large round of poster board, cut from edge to center and make into a pointy hat. Secure under child's chin with a wide strip of elastic stapled to the hat.

About Author

Patricia B. Jensen is a mother of three and kids party enthusiast. She is the webmaster and owner of - a comprehensive resource for kids party ideas and complete party plans for many popular themes, including invitations, cakes, decorations, games, costumes, favors, and food. If you have a web site related to kids, kids parties, or another related theme, you may reproduce this article on your site, provided it appears in its entirety, including this resource box and live clickable link to: where great kids parties are "a piece of cake"!


Slime Recipe Favorites

IT’S SLIME TIME!!! Experiment with these slime recipe favorites and how to make silly putty for a great kids party activity.

Great for a science party, dinosaur party (make it red for molten lava or green for swamp slime), or Halloween party.

Promotes interest in science and learning or just feeling something slimy like oobleck between your fingers!


2 Cups Water

1/2 Cup Cornstarch

Food Coloring

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add cornstarch, then food coloring while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. This makes a messy slime that goes from liquid to solid, and is great fun to play with.


1/4 cup White Glue

1 1/4 cup Water, divided

1 tbsp. Borax - found in the laundry detergent aisle of your grocery store

Food Coloring

Borax is available in the laundry section of your local grocery store. Add 1 tbsp. Borax to one cup of warm water. Stir until completely dissolved.

Make a 50% water 50% white glue solution. Take 1/4 cup of each and mix thoroughly.

In a ziploc bag, add equal parts of the borax solution to equal parts of the glue solution. (Half cup of each will make a cup of slime.)

Add a couple drops of food coloring. Seal bag and knead the mixture.

If slime is too sticky, add a little more borax. If slime is too slippery, add a little more white glue solution.


Less rubbery & more transparent slime: Try a 4% solution of polyvinyl alcohol instead of the glue mixture

Different Consistencies: Add shaving cream or baby powder to the mixture.

Glow in the Dark Slime: Add several drops of glow-in-the-dark paint during mixing.


1 tbsp. White Glue

½ tsp. Epsom Salts

½ tsp. Water

In small cup, put ½ tsp. Epsom salt and ½ tsp water. Stir till salt is all or mostly dissolved. Add one tbsp. Glue to another small cup. Add Epsom salt water to the glue and stir. When putty has formed, experiment with it on waxed paper. Store in Ziploc bag.


Store in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator for maximum life.

A few drops of Lysol can be added to the Slime to minimize formation of mold and extend the lifetime of the Slime.

Wash hands before using slime to minimize mold growth as well.

Keep off carpets and furniture as it can stain.

Borax is toxic in large doses, so keep out of reach of children under 3.

Copyright 2005 Kids Party Paradise All Rights Reserved

About Author

Patricia B. Jensen is a mother of three and kids party enthusiast. She is the webmaster and owner of - a complete resource for kids party ideas including invitations, cakes, decorations, games, costumes, favors, and food. For all the latest party news, read her Kids Party Blog.


Its Halloween! Spooks, Specters and Spyware!

It was late, I had put off going to the Software Convention till the last minute. I just had to watch my favorite show on TV,
"S-Files". Its that episode where the Computer Salespeople all turn into Pod People and ,,,,well never mind. Its really scary!
So I'm driving down the lonely one lane road from my house to the Convention. Its dark and the shadows are creepy, I'll never watch S-Files again, I swear!

I pull into the parking lot, the convention is being held in the old YMCA. Geez, its dark, only 1 parking lot light and its flickering on and off. As I walk up to the entrance, I remember the old story about how, back in the Dot.Com days, when they tanked, the building was used as a makeshift morgue, to hold all the bodies of the CEO’s who committed suicide.
I get this really creepy feeling on the back of my neck as I go in,,,,oh, its just a Linux software salesman at the first booth. Is it my imagination or are his eyes glowing?

I head to the registration desk to get a program. I see the place is kind of empty, guess cause its so late. Well, I'm here to see who is offering the latest demos and what kind of freebies I can score.
The front booths are usually the big sellers and they never give away freebies or demos. So I head to the back, hmmm, the lights back here are terrible! Here's a booth, Anti-Spyware 4 U.

The salesman shuffles up to me and says "Please take a demo of our new product". I look at it, it says this is the latest greatest software to combat Spyware. I take the CD out of the plain paper cover and look at the Logo. Its just a plain shiny cd? Wow I can see myself in it I remark. "We spared no expense" a voice says behind me, making me jump. I didn't even know he was behind me. Wait, I should have seen him behind me in the reflection off the CD.

I I've got to be imagining things I say to myself. I ask the salesman for a brochure about their other products and as he hands it to me, our fingers brush each others. Jeez! His fingers are as cold as ice! Well, he is a salesman after all.

I thank him and head off to the other booths, seeing that I've gotten here too late after all, everybody is leaving. I decide to swing by the refreshments table to see if I can at least get a drink and some cookies. It sure is dark in here I think again as I come up to the table. As I scan the table, a little old lady comes up and asks me if Id like any milk and cookies. Yes Mam I reply. She hands me a little plate with cookies and paper cup of something white. I assume its milk, but its so dark in here! And there seems to be a fog or steam on the surface of the milk. Well beggars cant be choosers I think to myself as I thank her. She gives me a freaky cackling laugh as I turn away, stunned I turn back around and to my Horror, there is no-one there! Where in blazes did she go ?

I'm out of here my mind screams to me as I head for the door at a ever faster walk. In a minute I'm in my car with the doors locked and the engine warming up. Whew, That was the strangest Convention I've ever seen.
All the way home I've got a death grip on the wheel, just waiting for something to jump out of the shadows. Like a IBM salesman, now that would be scary!

If only I had known the other horrors that awaited me!

I breathe a sigh of relief as I close and lock the living room door behind me. Still shaking my head I head over to my computer to try out this latest and greatest Anti-Spyware Software. As it boots, I get a message to disable my own Anti-Spyware program. I thing this odd, but I remember reading somewhere online that some programs can conflict with others so I comply. After a few seconds I get a message that the new Program is installed and it needs to connect to get possible updates.

So I get online and let it do its thing. A reboot is needed it says, OK so I reboot. The computer comes up and I get online to check out the latest results of the Mullet contest. what's this ? This isn't my Homepage, it’s a site where you can ,,,Holy Hand Grenades! Its Porn! I close the Browser and man alive, I'm beset by about a dozen pop ups offering me things that, well, no decent person would want. I'm figuring now that I've been had by this Anti-Spyware CD. I do a Restore and get back to my Online Mullet competition site. Then I remember that I need to transfer some money in my savings to my checking account. So I head to the Bank site and take care of it. I must be tired, the computer seems slow to me. I check my mail and the wait to login is frustrating. I decide to call it a night. I'll take care of it tomorrow.

After a tossing and turning night and dreams of my computer melting, the new day dawns. With a cup of coffee I head to the computer to see who won the Mullet Contest. The boot takes forever and the login freezes the first time so I have to power off and back on again. I'm really mad by now. I've been had by some sleazy software company! I finally get online but the Mullet competition site wont load. I cant tell if it’s the computer or maybe the online connection. As it dawns on me that I'm going to have to take it in for service, I hope I've got some extra in my savings to cover it. I head to the Bank site but it wont load either. Then I notice the Hard Disk light blinking away. I'm not doing anything at the time so it shouldn't be accessing anything. Cursing, I turn the computer off and pick up the phone to call the bank. I get a live person after waiting only 5 minutes so I figure the day may be improving. I give her my account info and she comes back saying "I show that account being closed last night after all money was withdrawn"! . There must be a mistake I say, she checks it again and says its true. The money in the account was transferred to a Bank she has never heard of in ,,,,Transylvania of all places. As I hang up in shock, I could have sworn I heard her laughing just like the old lady at the convention did last night.

I figure I better head to the Police Station to get some help. In a Panic I head for town. As I make the last turn into town, I glance towards the location of the YMCA, where all this started, only to see its not there! Its burned to the ground! Stunned, I stop in the street and get out. Nothing but ashes. The Man in the car behind me gets out and asks me if I'm ok. I mumble I'm lucky to be alive, I could have died in there last night. Puzzled the man says, but the YMCA burned down 2 nights ago!
As I get back into the car, I glance at the spot on the seat where I put the CD and the Pamphlet. Gone. Just a little pile of dust.

At the Police station, a sergeant takes down my story and informs me I've been the victim of online Identity theft. As I'm leaving, A couple of kids run by, in costumes, yelling "Happy Halloween"

Are you scared ? You should be!

About Author

About the Author: Doug Woodall has a web site at
There he provides free information and recommended products to combat Spyware.
His Website is recognized by Learning Fountain and ISafe
Doug's Articles have earned him Trusted Author Status at
He is a member of the IWA (International Webmasters Association)
Article edited for proper content by Wendy McCallum
Permission to copy ok as long as about author info remains with article.


Face Paint Recipes

These easy face paint recipes show how to make homemade face paint using common household ingredients. Mix and store in baby food jars or discarded film canisters. Be ready for your next kids party or dress-up event.


Facepaint Recipe #1

1 tsp. Cornstarch

½ tsp. Cold cream

½ tsp. Water

Food coloring (variety of colors)

Mix together cornstarch and cold cream until well blended. Add water and stir. Add food coloring one drop at a time until you get the desired color.

Facepaint Recipe #2

3 tblsps. Cornstarch

1 tblsp. Flour

3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

½ tsp. Liquid food coloring

Mix cornstarch and flour together in a bowl. Gradually stir in Karo syrup and water until smooth. Divide mixture into individual containers as needed and tint each one with the food coloring of your choice. Leave one batch untinted.

Clown Make-up

Blend on a paper plate:

2 tblsp. shortening

5 tsps. cornstarch

1 tsp. flour

Dab of Vaseline

Add food coloring for various colors.

Fake Blood for Halloween Party Make-up

Karo brand corn syrup

Red and blue food coloring


Add some red food coloring to the corn syrup, then just a drop or two of blue to get a more realistic dark color. Milk will make the blood appear more opaque and more realistic.

Note: This mixture is sticky and can stain clothes.

More Fun Make-up Tips:

To lightly blacken faces, carefully burn a cork and when cool, rub on the face.

For a ghoulish look, add a dusting of flour to already made up faces.

For a stubbly bearded look, sprinkle tobacco over a thin layer of vaseline.

Copyright 2005 Kids Party Paradise All Rights Reserved

About Author

Patricia B. Jensen is a mother of three and kids party enthusiast. She is the webmaster and owner of - a complete resource for kids party ideas including invitations, cakes, decorations, games, costumes, favors, and food. For all the latest party news, read her Kids Party Blog.


Creative Costume Ideas for Kids

(ARA) - Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the outdoor decorations and I enjoy seeing the creative and clever costumes our neighbors dream up for their children -- everything from superheroes and pop divas to cartoon and fairy tale characters, animals and even insects. One thing I’ve noticed is you don’t have to be a magician or an artist to make an imaginative costume, even at the last minute. Here are some ideas that are sure to put a smile on your child’s face!

These are some supplies you will need to get started:

* Scissors; needle and thread; ruler or tape measure; pins; newspapers for pattern-making; cardboard for construction; colored markers; fabric paint; stickers; construction paper for ears and noses; glitter for space creatures, princesses, fairies; pipe cleaners for whiskers; yarn for hair, and feather boas.

* Felt -- it’s colorful, inexpensive, and doesn’t unravel. Netting, tulle and fake fur also come in handy and little girls’ just love to play dress-up with these.

* Assorted items from around the house such as plastic funnels, buckets, paper towel rolls, gallon milk containers, paper plates, aluminum foil and bubble wrap.

* Glues to avoid sewing including white craft or fabric glue, hot-melt glues used with a gun, fusible webbing when the adhesive is activated with the heat of an iron, a roll of basting tape, a temporary two-sided tape and spray adhesives.

Having assembled your supplies, now you’re ready for some creative costume fun:

* Start by dressing your child in a leotard and tights, a sweat suit, or a T-shirt, turtleneck and jeans. These become the base to build on and are ideal for creating insect and animal costumes like a bumblebee, lion or alligator. Black is a perfect color for pirates, devils, witches, magicians, vampires, mummies, and skeletons. Use reflective white tape for skeleton bones and wrap white gauze or felt strips around the entire body. A spider is easy to make using all black. You’ll need several pairs of black gloves and long black socks. Stuff the socks and gloves with fiberfill and attach one glove to each sock; attach each spider leg to the base costume. Add a black baseball cap with black pipe-cleaner antenna glued to it.

* A plain white sheet is the perfect base for ghosts, angels, saltshakers, toga-clad Romans and pandas.

* A box with large arm and head holes cut out is versatile. Square shapes work well for dice, a gift package, a hedgehog, porcupine, TV or Jack-in-the-box; rectangular boxes are perfect for longer-shaped costumes like a pencil/crayon, a tree, a domino, a thermometer, a carton of milk accompanied by a box of cereal or cookies, to make two costumes, a favorite candy bar, or a rocket.

* Old-fashioned cardboard is good for many costumes. Cut out a front and back and attach both sides over the shoulders with strong cording or Venetian blind tape and decorate. You can design a playing card like the king and queen of hearts, a chocolate chip cookie using a beige-felt circular cutout with chocolate-brown chips, a magazine or newspaper called “The Halloween Daily Planet” with amusing headlines on the front and back.

Masks and other accents add the finishing touches:

* Make sure they have smooth edges and generous eye and nose holes for safety.

* Face paints and theater-style make-up will come off easily if you coat your child’s face first with a thin under-layer of cold cream. Test for sensitivity and color fastness on a small patch of skin. Lightly powder the finished face to set it. Colored or glittery washout hair sprays are always fun.

* Add-ons can be hats, scarves, veils, wigs and hairpieces; jewelry like large gold-toned curtain rings can be used as earrings; fake eyeglasses, and false eyelashes.

* Props to buy: Stick-on noses, theatrical warts, scars, fangs, eyeballs, quirky ears, long nails, fake beards and mustaches. Voice-altering masks are devilish too! For safety, buy glow-in-the-dark face and costume accents or a reflective strip to run down the back of a costume or on the arms.

The best thing about Halloween costumes is that after the merriment, your make-believe fantasy figure is transformed back into a little angel!

For more costume ideas, log on to or call (800) 901-8758.

Courtesy of ARA Content

About Author

Courtesy of ARA Content

Glow Mouthpieces

Glow mouthpieces are something that many kids will want to get readily. Glow mouthpieces are glow in dark mouthpieces that dazzlingly visible in dark. Kids put on these mouth pieces to catch the attention of people.

Glow mouthpieces awesomely different. They look wonderful in vibrant night parties. These are one of the hot selling items on the market today.

If you are in mood to go wild and crazy in a night party; if you just want to have fun and excitement in party, you can try these glow mouthpieces.

Glow mouthpieces are popular items of kids’ parties, Halloween fun, Christmas, New Years, Birthdays, Holidays, sports events etc. You can wear glow mouthpieces as you are walking in the dark night trick or treating. These will make you visible in dark from a greater distance. You can just wear them as part of your costume. Glow mouthpieces can be part of your look, if you wan to look like a scary vampire or anything wild.

Glow mouthpieces are available in several colors. The great thing about glow mouthpieces is that they are completely safe and they are pretty inexpensive. You can buy these mouthpieces in bulks.

You can buy glow mouthpieces online. There are numerous online shops selling glow mouthpieces in bulks online. You can do a little research on internet to find cheap glow mouthpieces. Your research will help you find the best source of glow mouthpieces online. You can also find wholesale glow mouthpieces online. If you are searching some fine glow mouthpieces, check out our extensive range of glow products.

About Author

The GlowHouse Ltd. owns the website, online store and a perfect guide on glow sticks, glow products, flashing products, flashing novelties, glow jewelry etc. For more information on glow mouthpieces, visit his site.


Whether Your Halloween Fun is Homemade or Store-bought, Make This Year the Scariest Ever

(ARA) - Halloween is a great time of year to let your imagination run wild. For some, the challenge of putting together a great costume, decorating for a party, or serving child-friendly or grown-up treats is what makes Halloween fun. So whether you head to the store to put together your Halloween festivity, or do it yourself -- from costume, to decorations to food -- here are a few helpful ideas to make this year’s fun a real scream.

For costumes this Halloween, anything related to movie themes is hot. According to Tom Mautino, assistant manager of Costume World in Pittsburgh, Pa., the adults are favoring costumes inspired by the movie “Chicago.” "A lot of our adult customers are renting, and buying, gangster costumes for guys and flapper attire for women," said Mautino. He added that other big movies inspiring costumes are Daredevil and Pirates of the Caribbean.

And for the youngsters? "Kids are more into the Hulk and of course SpiderMan is still a big hit," he said. "Storybook characters are always huge. The 60s are back too. And don't forget about Elvis!" He added that another always "in" costume is anything with animal print such as leopard.

But if you don’t like the mass-market approach to Halloween costumes, try making your own. Here are a few simple ideas for the grown-ups from Kathleen Brockman, graphic design instructor with The Art Institute of Charlotte.

* Dress in brown head to toe, use eyeliner or shadow to totally blacken one eye, cut a large "P" out of construction paper and pin it to your chest: You're a black-eyed-pea.

* Alternatively, dress in green, pin a small "P" to your chest, use a British accent, and you're an English Pea.

* Wear an evening gown, lots of jewelry, a crown (Burger King crowns are great), use black eyeliner or eye shadow to draw stitches all the way around your neck: You're Marie Antoinette.

* Put a white bag over your body and stuff it with paper, color a big yellow circle on your chest, wear horns and carry a pitchfork: You're a deviled egg.

* Dress in white, wear a Burger King crown, put heart stickers all over your clothes and go to the party as the Queen (or King) of Hearts.

To set a perfectly spooky mood around your home -- for trick or treaters or a Halloween get-together -- Jack Beduhn, academic director of Interior Design at The Art Institute of California, San Diego, recommends using the common technique of “up-lighting” around your house to welcome the little ghosts and goblins.

"A simple lighting scheme should only take a few hours to position. Inexpensive, low-voltage spot lighting is available at most hardware stores," said Beduhn. "Adding some simple lighting can add eye-catching glows and eerie shadows around decorations you already have out."

Now that you’ve got the scary house and costume, it’s time for a treat. According to Chef Toni L. D’Onofrio, of The Art Institute of New York City, this clever Halloween menu uses colors and treats of the season in a more adult way. For example, for starters, Chef D’Onofrio has created a pumpkin and caramel soup, lightly sweet and rich. The midcourse salad, says the chef “plays off the traditional colors of candy corn, orange, white and yellow.” And finally, cocoa braised veal shanks show off the complexity and richness of chocolate without being sweet.

Pumpkin and Caramel Soup

Yield 4 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1 clove of garlic chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of water

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1-1/4 cups of water

Salt and pepper

Start by sautéing with medium heat the onion, garlic and ginger in oil until the onions and garlic are soft. Add in the sugar, water and lemon juice and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and starts to brown (caramelize); add in the heavy cream, pumpkin, and water. Simmer about 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped toasted walnuts.

Candy Corn Colored Salad with Smoked Salmon, Endive and Corn Vinaigrette

Yield 4 servings

To make the vinaigrette:

1/2 cup of corn (off the cob or frozen defrosted)

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme

Salt and pepper

Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to lightly sauté the corn, some browning is desirable. Allow the corn mixture to cool. Using a hand blender or food processor, place the corn, water and vinegar together. Puree and slowly add in the oil, tasting along the way to see if it is too acidic (flavor will vary with the corn used). Add oil until balanced. Finish with chopped thyme, salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad

1 pound of cleaned arugula
1/2 pound of sliced smoked salmon

Corn Vinaigrette

Place the smoked salmon on the bottom of the plate, leaving the center of the plate empty. Combine the arugula, endive and vinaigrette in a bowl and place in the center of each plate. Garnish with chives if desired.

Cocoa Dusted Braised Veal Shanks

Yield 4 portions

To make the dusting powder:

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoon flour

Combine all the ingredients together.

To prepare the dish:

4 veal shanks tied

vegetable oil

1 onion, medium dice

5 cloves of garlic cut into slivers

3/4 pounds of cut carrots or baby carrots

2 12 ounce cans of beef broth

Salt and pepper

Take each veal shank and dust it on both sides with the cocoa dusting powder. Save the excess mixture. Sear each shank in vegetable oil in a sauté pan; do not use heat higher than medium or the cocoa will burn. Remove the shanks when seared and place in a roasting pan. Add in more oil if needed and cook the onions, carrots and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add in the remaining dusting mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add the beef broth into the pan and stir to combine ingredients. Pour the mixture over the shanks and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Cook at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Remove shanks and serve with sauce and vegetables.

D’Onofrio serves this dish with spaetzle but almost any starch will do.

Recipes courtesy of Chef Toni D’Onofrio, The Art Institute of New York City

The Art Institutes system of 29 education institutions is located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals. The Art Institutes system of schools has provided career-oriented education programs for 40 years with more than 140,000 graduates. For more information visit The Art Institutes Web site at

Courtesy of ARA Content

About Author

Courtesy of ARA Content