Since January of this year, my two-year-old insisted that he would be dressing up as a vampire for Halloween. Then one morning in September, he said he didn’t want to be a vampire for Halloween. He wanted to be a wrecking ball crane. So the toddler Halloween costume planning began.
Our little man looooooovvvvves anything construction and heavy equipment. For his 2nd birthday, we threw him a Construction Zone Party, and he still talks about it. While he’s not enamored about construction-related cartoons (Sorry Bob the Builder), he can name all the equipment and their different attachments on real construction sites.
When he said he wanted his toddler Halloween costume to be a wrecking ball crane, there was no turning back. Dad and I started brainstorming ideas for the wrecking ball costume, and here’s what we came up with.
Materials & Tools
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The materials for this toddler Halloween costume may already be in your home or are easy to get.
- box (I used a 12 bottle wine box which was perfect for fitting for our 3′ tall two-year-old)
- 2 wooden dowels
- cord or rope
- carabiner clip
- yellow duct tape
- 2 wine corks
- black paint
- elastic strap with mitten clips (buy it or make your own)
- drill + drill bits
- pumpkin treat pail
- safety vest
- kids hard hat
How to Make a Toddler Halloween Costume Wrecking Ball Crane
Start by ensuring that your toddler can wear the box. Cut a slit into the back of the box to slide the elastic through. Attach the clip ends to the front of the box. Make adjustments for a good fit. Your child should be able to walk around in the box comfortably.
To create the handles and crank, you’ll need to cut a wooden dowel into three pieces, screws or bolts, and two wine corks. You’ll be making a Jack-in-the-Box style crank with handles on both sides.
Cut a hole on each side of the box for the crank to slide through. Cut a wooden dowel slightly longer than the width of the box. Cut two smaller pieces of the dowel to create the bend in the crank. Drill holes through ends of the center wooden dowel, screw the shorter pieces onto it. Screw wine works onto the other sides to create the handles. (see photos) The wine corks were the perfect size for our little guy’s hands to hold and crank up the wrecking ball. Drill a hole in the middle of the center dowel to slide the cord through.
To create the crane portion of the costume, cut a wooden dowel in half. Connect two ends to create a V shape. Drill holes to slide a long bolt through to hold the dowels together and keep the V shape. (We used a chopstick for this portion.) You will want to keep a hole open at the top for the cord to go through. Figure out where on the box the crane pieces should sit and cut holes into the box. After painting, you’ll use duct tape to hold the dowels in place, so they stay pointing upward.
Once you have the basic structure of the crank and crane working, disassemble and paint. Cover the box in yellow duct tape. Reassemble the crank and crane into the box. Tape the crane dowels on the inside of the box. We also covered the top of the crane pieces with black duct tape to cover the blunt ends and stabilize the crane. Reattach the shoulder straps and clips.
Slide the cord through the hole in the crank and tie a knot. Slide the other end of the cord through the top of the crank and tie on the carabiner clip. Hook the pail onto the clip.
I will never forget the look on his face when he first put on his wrecking ball costume. It’s like something clicked and he immediately starting testing out the wrecking ball in our kitchen. HAHAHA!
We had to have a talk about safety and have a test run before taking him into crowds with his costume on. In the end, he did great and was so serious about his costume.
The crank handles were great for keeping his hands busy during the Halloween parade, party, and trick-or-treating. He loved being able to raise and lower the wrecking ball pumpkin pail.
Our neighbors enjoyed getting to fill his wrecking ball treat pail with handfuls of treats.
Other kids were excited about his costume, too, wanting to know how it worked. He was so proud to show others how it worked.
We enjoyed our third family Halloween costume as a construction crew. Do you make your kids’ Halloween costumes?