The following post was written by editor Kara Fleck and has been revised since the original 2010 publication.
This October, my family is heading to our local Zoo Boo. We love this event as an addition to traditional trick or treat and attending gives the kids a chance to dress up in their costumes more than once during the month of October.
Before we take our little trick or treaters out in the the night, I’m taking care to add an extra element of safety (and fun) by helping my kids to glow in the dark.
Well, okay, the kids themselves won’t actually be glowing, but I am adding in two simple elements to help their costumes glow.
1. Reflective Tape
Found in the automotive section of our local big box store, a package of reflective tape cost me $2.07 for 30 inches.
I’m cutting this tape into shapes and strips and adding it to the kids’ trick or treat bags and to other parts of their costumes. This tape is easy to cut, takes seconds to apply, and is very simple to use.
Please note that reflective tape is meant to permanently adhere, so don’t stick it to anything that you don’t want to be permanently stuck to the tape.
2. Glow in the Dark Fabric Paint
This comes from the craft section and also cost around two dollars. Make sure you get the fabric paint and not regular craft paint if you are going to use this on clothing.
I recommend doing a small test area first, to make sure this paint is compatible with the fabric of your child’s costume.
Following the directions on the bottle, I added this fabric paint:
- along hems
- as an outline to embellishments
- on shoelaces
This does not dry entirely clear, so keep that in mind. As it turns out, all three of my kids’ costumes have the color white or yellow on them, so it was fairly easy to add this paint in a way that doesn’t take away from the design or the integrity of their costumes - such as the white polka dots on my youngest daughter’s Minnie Mouse costume.
After letting the paint dry and then having the costumes spend some time under bright lights (I just spread them out on our kitchen table and turned the light on in that room) the paint will glow in the dark. So fun!
Less Permanent Options
If you’d rather not alter your kids costumes in a permanent way by adding reflective tape or fabric paint, consider having your child wear a glow-in-the-dark necklace or bracelets or let them carry a glow stick or a small flash light to help light up the night.
Other Costume Safety Tips
- Make sure costumes don’t obscure your child’s vision
- Make sure costumes are easy to walk in
- Try to dress in layers warm enough/cool enough, depending on your weather
What can you add to this list?
Do you have any Halloween safety tips to share? What are your kids trick or treating as this year?