I turned my toddler into a Wilderness Explorer for this year's Halloween.
OK - I got super into Halloween this year. Why? I wanted to make things a little extra special for my family, even though Mason is only 15 months old and won't remember any of this year's craziness. I wanted the (mildly) spooky decorations. I wanted the Halloween themed treats and candies. I wanted us to do a family costume, and picking the theme was so easy. I've always adored the Disney/Pixar movie, Up, and still tear-up throughout the intro montage every time. I knew that Mason could totally be Russell, and choosing the rest of our characters was simple from there. B would be Mr. Fredricksen, I would be Kevin, and Harvey would be Dug (or any of the dogs from the movie).
My costume, along with B and Harvey's costumes, were simply put together with stuff we had in our closets - except for the feathers in my hair, which I picked out of a bunch that I found here, and B's glasses, which I found here. On the other hand, Mason's costume took a little more research and planning. I made sure that the staple pieces that I purchased could be worn or used again.
Here was my list of the basic staples for the Russell costume:
Brown Cargo Shorts
Yellow Baseball Cap
I also had a list of detailed accessories - these are things that would really bring out that Russell vibe:
I considered doing a Wilderness Explorer Pennant (initially on Russell's backpack) and the Wilderness Explorer handbook, but honestly, I just let those two pieces go. Mason couldn't tell the difference anyway.
Truth be told, I can get frustrated with myself rather easily, so I'm a big believer in walking away from a project, taking a moment, and returning to complete it. Otherwise, it'll end up scrapped. I'm also fully aware of my threshold when it comes to sewing and pinning, and it's not very high. *Calls mom* (aka Mason's grandma), who is very crafty at everything AND has a lot of patience. I asked my mom to make the sash of badges for Mason's costume, she took it from there with ease. I just sent her the Ellie Badge to add on.
Mason's head is somewhere in the 80th percentile, so I usually size-up when buying him hats. I read so many reviews on several toddler baseball caps and ultimately landed on this one based on its reviews, size chart, and that it's adjustable. Aside from the hat search, finding the perfect orange backpack was the biggest challenge. As expected, many toddler backpacks were very toddler-age-looking (animal-themed, cute, textured, etc.). But I was looking for a plain basic orange small backpack. I reworded my search to "orange mini backpack," which led to finding many trendy mini backpacks. After a long search, I found this one (note: orange is currently unavailable) and purchased it right away.
After a few finishing touches, including ironing the patch to the hat and tying the bugle and other accessories to the backpack, Mason's "Russell" costume was complete. Since our Halloween was only being spent in our apartment, I wanted to do a little mix of spooky and Up theme decorations. I had construction paper and cut-out "Adventure Is Out There" and taped the letters to the window. I made little Halloween themed signs with Russell's quotes on each and stuck these on each door around the main living space. My parents and brother brought the balloons - a great touch! My sister made me a "Paradise Falls" jar years ago as an engagement gift - perfect! I put Russell's Wilderness Explorer group info on a letter board, and we were DONE! Mason had so much fun with the grandparents and uncle, and had no idea that it was Halloween (but this mama will never forget this).
Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!
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Thank you so much! xoxo Sarah