Five creative Halloween costumes for kids in wheelchairs

A Perkins School for the Blind parent shares do-it-yourself outfit ideas for trick-or-treaters with disabilities

A boy dressed up for Halloween as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

Ivan dressed up as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, just one of many creative costumes he's worn over the years.

October 29, 2015

Amber Bobnar’s son Ivan loves Halloween, but he doesn’t love the constricting feeling of extra clothing. Like many kids who are blind, he dislikes the extra sensory input that comes with hats, gloves and masks – common components of most Halloween costumes. Luckily, Bobnar has come up with a solution that lets Ivan feel comfortable while making his trick-or-treat rounds in some seriously amazing get-ups.

“We try to create costumes around him and use his wheelchair as the prop,” said Bobnar. “He loves the attention of a big over-the-top costume, but he wants to be able to move normally and not be too restricted.”

Bobnar makes most of her costumes by hand using simple materials, and shares detailed step-by-step instructions on WonderBaby.org, a website she founded in 2006 to help parents of young children with visual impairments and other disabilities. Bobnar currently works as a digital project manager at Perkins School for the Blind, which acquired WonderBaby in 2011.

See Bobnar’s top five costumes below and enter to win WonderBaby’s Halloween Costume Photo Contest on Twitter before November 6.

Happy Halloween!

Skeleton crew

A boy dressed up for Halloween as a skeleton with spiderwebs and foam headstone

Bobnar attached a foam headstone to the back of Ivan’s wheelchair to create his spookiest costume yet. It features a skeleton, plenty of spider webs and even a sound machine playing scary music. Make your own skeleton wheelchair costume »

Pot of gold

A boy dressed up for Halloween as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

Cotton balls, pool noodles and foam board are the main ingredients in this rainbow costume, which stars Ivan as the pot of gold. His plastic cauldron doubles as a candy bucket. Make your own rainbow wheelchair costume »

Taking flight

A boy dressed up for Halloween as a hot air balloon. The wheelchair was transformed into the basket of a hot air balloon using foam, cardboard and pool noodles.

Ivan’s wheelchair was transformed into the basket of a hot air balloon using foam, cardboard and pool noodles. The costume incorporated one of Ivan’s favorite things – balloons – and doesn’t require a hat or mask. Make your own hot air balloon wheelchair costume » 

The buzz around town

A boy dressed up for Halloween as a beehive with just a cardboard box.

Bobnar turned Ivan’s wheelchair into a beehive with just a cardboard box and a few simple tools. Ivan’s outfit is color-coordinated but still comfortable. Make your own honeybee wheelchair costume »

Ride ’em cowboy!

A boy dressed up for Halloween as a cowboy with his wheelchair transformed into a horse made out of cardboard.

Every cowboy needs a trusty steed, so Bobnar made one using cardboard, paint and a white ribbon. Make your own cowboy wheelchair costume »

Read more about: Families, Living With Blindness