Is your child having trouble deciding who to dress up as this Halloween?
Are you looking to add a cultural twist to their costume this year?
Why not consider a famous Hispanic from history?
Take a few days this coming weekend to investigate the possibilities and brainstorm costume ideas. We’ve put together a list of our favorite Hispanic-themed children’s costumes to get you started. Who says having fun can’t be educational
1) Pablo Picasso- Arguably Spain’s most famous painter, Picasso’s name and his art are almost universally recognized. To put together your costume, read up on his life, and take a look at his later work in the cubist style for which he is best known. Paint-splattered clothing, paint brushes behind the ear, and a dark, brooding scowl are a few costume must-haves. Give your child a canvas and encourage them to create their own Cubist masterpiece to carry when they go trick-or-treating. Or you can turn your child into a Picasso painting using creative face paint and body parts from a Mr. Potato Head attached randomly about their body.
2) Frida Kahlo – Possibly the most famous female painter in the world, Frida Kahlo created numerous self-portraits making her distinctive look easy to achieve with a little make-up and hair-styling. For an additional touch, use stuffed animals (a monkey on the shoulder, or a parrot) and a traditional outfit from Mexico. Don’t forget her signature monobrow and your little Frida will be complete! Take a look at this post on Oh Happy Day for inspiration.
3) Don Quixote (& Sancho Panza) – Spain’s most famous literary knight, Don Quixote is the aging hero of what is thought to be the first modern novel. Written by Miguel Cervantes, the story depicts Quixote with a knight’s helmet and breastplate, sitting on a donkey. A scraggly beard, and broken spear or crooked sword would make the perfect costume. You can add pictures of windmills, or attach a pinwheel to his helmet to further tie the costume to its origins. Find out more about his character from The Adventures of Don Quixote app by Touch of Classic.
4) Ellen Ochoa – The first Latina astronaut, Ellen Ochoa, is an engineer, inventor, and the current Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center. She is a fascinating role model for young girls. You can read more about her in this Scholastic article. A simple astronaut’s costume with an “Ellen” or “Ochoa” name tag is great for identifying this trick-or-treater.
5) Celia Cruz – What child wouldn’t want to be the “Queen of Salsa?” Cruz’s flamboyant costumes make dressing up especially fun for young girls. Look up images of the Cubana on the internet for inspiration. But concentrate on bold, colorful prints and big hair! As an additional touch, your child can carry a microphone, memorize the lines to one or two of Cruz’s songs, or carry a small music player featuring her music to which your child can lip-sync. Learn more about this incredible woman at the website, ¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz.
6) Placido Domingo – The Spanish tenor and conductor is probably best known for being one of The Three Tenors, a name given to the collaborative project by Domingo and his two friends, Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras. Their concerts were a huge success and introduced opera to people across the globe. Today, he is the general director of the Los Angeles Opera. Learn more about him at PlacidoDomingo.com. For a costume, consider a child’s tuxedo with tails, gray hair, and a winsome smile. Like Celia Cruz, you could play recorded music (secretly tucked into a tuxedo pocket) and have your child pretend to sing the powerful operas!
7) Roberto Clemente – A sport-lover’s favorite, Roberto Clemente’s contributions extended well past his skill at bat. Though he is considered one of baseball’s best all-round right fielders, it is this Puerto Rican’s humanitarian work that earned him the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress in 1973, a year after he died in a plane crash while delivering relief supplies for earthquake victims in Nicaragua. A Pittsburgh Pirates’ baseball uniform with the number 21 makes the best costume. You can learn more about Clemente on the fabulous, bilingual website, Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente.
Monica Olivera Hazelton, NBC Latino contributor and the founder and publisher of MommyMaestra.com, a site for Latino families that homeschool, as well as families with children in a traditional school setting who want to take a more active role in their children’s education. She is the 2011 winner of the “Best Latina Education Blogger” award by LATISM.