7 Easy Costumes for Toddlers & Young Children

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Easy, No-Fuss Costumes for Young Children

Toddler lion Halloween costume
Toddler lion Halloween costume. Getty Images/barbaragibbbons/E+

Around the toddler years, children begin to love playing dress up, and Halloween becomes particularly exciting. But many adorable costumes are not practical for young children. Detailed fairy dresses can be too delicate for active tots, superhero suits are a nightmare for potty training kids and expensive, fancy get ups can be too complicated and uncomfortable for youngsters to enjoy.

The solution: these seven easy-to-get-on, easy-to-get-off costumes that are perfect for young children. From costumes made with things you already own to ones you can buy in stores, this list includes ideas that are sure to spark your child's imagination and provide hours of fun, even if it's not Halloween.

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Smurf

Toddler Smurf costume
Toddler Smurf costume. Google Images/halloweencostumes.com

You don't have to paint your child blue to turn them into an adorable little Smurf. White pants, a blue shirt and some basic accessories, like Smurf shoes and a Smurf hat, are all it takes to create something great.

Purchase some simple white sweat pants at a discount store and a long-sleeved blue shirt and you have a super comfortable play outfit for toddlers and a great Halloween costume for potty-training kids who need to be able to get out of their clothes fast. You can add some additional props to indicate which Smurf your child is pretending to be, such as:

  • A wrapped gift for Jokey
  • A tattoo and barbell for Hefty
  • Glasses for Brainy

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Dora the Explorer

Dora the Explorer toddler costume
Dora the Explorer toddler costume. Google Images/buycostumes.com

The straight, dark hair is key to looking like Dora, so you may want to invest in a store-bought wig and/or costume if your chiquita is begging to play the adventurous heroine of "Dora the Explorer."

Your little girl will love this charming, practical costume, and it's easy to whip up yourself because it includes wardrobe essentials you probably already own:

  • Orange shorts
  • Pink shirt
  • Purple backpack

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Diego

Diego child costume
Diego child costume. Google Images/halloweencostumes.com

Set off on an adventure! Fans of "Go, Diego, Go!" are sure to love the idea of dressing up like their favorite explorer. Like the Dora costume, this is something you can pull together with your child's everyday clothing. All you need are:

  • Dark blue shorts or pants
  • Light blue shirt
  • Light colored camping vest
  • Hiking shoes or sneakers
  • A "rescue pack"

If you don't have these items on hand, you can also buy a Diego costume with all the gear.

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Cindy Lou Who

Costume of Cindy Lou Who from the Grinch that Stole Christmas
Costume of Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than 2. Guest

This Christmas-themed costume is one of my all-time favorites. My friend made her little girl's costume in the photo above by herself and I think it could win any costume contest. If you can recall, Cindy Lou Who was no more than two in the story of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!", so it's a natural fit for your tot. This rendition of the Whoville style is perfect for little ones. You'll need:

  • A pink sleeper
  • White fleece fabric
  • Needle and thread
  • Styrofoam ball
  • Cardboard
  • Colored cellophane
  • Duct tape

To make the costume, cut scalloped edges along strips of white fleece and attach them to the sleeper's sleeves, collar and ankles using a quick basting stitch. Create the ornament out of a large styrofoam ball wrapped in colored cellophane and an ornament topper made out of cardboard and covered with duct tape.

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Firefighter

Toddler firefighter costume
Toddler firefighter costume. Google Images/halloweencostumes.com

A firefighter costume requires a few key accessories that you probably don't have lying around, like a helmet, a coat (a rain coat could work) and a pair of boots or an ax. Still, it's relatively easy to throw together if you budget enough time. Any similarly themed "occupational" costume will also require certain accessories, i.e. a white coat and a toy stethoscope for a doctor; a hat and a badge for a police officer. 

Best of all: your tot can wear their own clothes underneath the costume, ensuring that they're 100 percent comfortable. 

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Unicorn

Toddler unicorn costume
Toddler unicorn costume. Google Images/costumecraze.com

For less than $20, you can get a soft and adorable unicorn costume for your child that is more than just fancy and fabulous. It has a rear zipper that makes it perfect for potty training children.

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Beach Bum

Toddler girl in beach cover up
Toddler girl in beach cover up. Google Images/twobobbinslater.com

When I first put this costume together for my toddler, I was thrilled to finally use an adorable summer romper that was too big last season. It's easy to make. All you need is a comfortable, roomy beach outfit: one that you can put a layer of clothes underneath to keep baby warm while trick-or-treating. Add sunglasses to complete the look.

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