By Kara Fidd
I love October. It’s my favorite month. I love the smell of the leaves and pumpkin spice coffee. Last October was even better normal: my husband came home.
I was so excited for him to come home. He had been away for about five months at that point. I was happy that he would be home for my birthday and for Halloween. I was also very excited for him to finally get to hold his son and bond with him.
My husband loves Halloween, mainly because he doesn’t have to buy anyone any gifts and he gets to eat a lot of candy. He has a major sweet tooth, so I knew he would be excited for our son’s first Halloween.
Everyone asked me what our son would be. I knew immediately what the perfect costume was. He would be an Airman just like his daddy. It was hard on my husband to have to miss out on the birth of our son, so I wanted to do something special. I wanted him to know he is our hero and that we are very proud of him.
They make kid-sized uniforms; that’s the easy part. You can buy them at most of the Exchange stores. In fact, while I was at Keesler AFB visiting my husband, we purchased a child’s ABU uniform (although our son won’t be able to fit in it for a few more years). Costumes for infants, on the other hand, were more difficult to find.
He already had ABU-style pajamas that we bought in San Antonio during graduation. I also ordered him a personalized infant cammo hat on Etsy that had our last name printed on it for him to wear. It was good for an infant– the costume was warm and easy to put together.
He’s 14 months old now and running all over the place. I wanted to find a unique and inexpensive military-themed costume… that wasn’t G.I. Joe.
Here’s what I found (and they’re not just for boys!)
1. Any branch, any job
The good news for any military family is that they pretty much make outfits for every job in any branch. I’ve seen flight suits, SEAL uniforms, military police uniforms, you name it– they make it in kid sizes. So if you are looking for your little guy or gal to be dressed as their own personal hero, then go for it!
2. Toy soldier
For this costume, you will want everything to be the exact same color: green. The uniform, the gun, the helmet, the boots, everything. Just like a toy soldier. I thought this was so creative and different!
3. USO Girl
USO girls are the singers and dancers that used to entertain the troops during WWII. They look like patriotic pin-up girls, how adorable?! You can buy the costume for your little girl online or use this online YouTube tutorial to try it on your own.
4. Revolutionary soldier
Mix it up a little. Instead of a modern day solider, you can dress you child as a Revolutionary soldier complete with antique toy gun.
5. Rosie the Riveter
Everyone knows Rosie the Riveter! She’s the fierce, strong face of working women during WWII. You know, the “We Can Do It!” posters with the iconic woman sporting a polka-dot bandanna and showing her biceps! Your little girl or boy can dress just like her this Halloween.
6. Sniper in a ghillie suit
Snipers often use ghillie suits when hiding in areas of foliage. Made to blend into vegetation, they end up looking a little like swamp monsters, but it is a highly effective form of camouflage. This can easily be made from hand if you are looking for something DIY-friendly. Start with a bodysuit and helmet and cover everything with fake moss and weeds from the craft store.
7. Sailor in a DIY sub or ship
If you want your little sailor to have an awesome prop, you can craft a DIY sub or ship from old cardboard boxes. You will need paint to decorate with and build it around a wagon or stroller (depending on the age of your child).
8. Solider in a DIY tank
Similar to the above idea, you can make a tank for your little soldier! Make sure you have a helmet and possibly a toy gun to complete the package!
9. Airman in a DIY plane
Use cardboard boxes decorated with paint (or fabric if you want to get super crafty) to design a small plane for your little pilot to sit in. Very helpful for the youngsters that won’t be doing too much walking!
10. Paratrooper with a balloon parachute
Craft a DIY parachute out of helium-filled balloons for your little paratrooper. This will work best if you use long narrow balloons and glue them together to create a rounded “parachute.”Secure them with strings attached to a backpack and you will be all set!
Needless to say, I’m glad that I’m crafty because I will have my work cut out for me this year. If you aren’t as crafty, it’s okay! A lot of costumes can be purchased online or put together fairly easily and inexpensively (like the Rosie outfit).
I am so excited to dress my son in another military-themed costume. I love the idea of teaching him exactly who our superheroes are while he’s young. Everyone says how much he looks like his father…I have a feeling one day he will follow in his footsteps. Might as well embrace it!
Kara is the creator of Moms Don’t Sleep and an Air Force wife. Kara enjoys writing about her experiences as she faces the everyday challenges of military life and parenthood. She prides herself on bringing helpful resources, information, and products to other military families. Follow her on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Fac