A ghost is the quintessential Halloween costume, but some of the commercial costumes sold are too scary for toddlers and preschoolers. You want your child to have fun trick-or-treating, not be terrified to look at himself in the mirror. Making your own costume not only saves you money for bribing some of your child's candy from him, but also allows you to make it friendly.
You probably have an old sheet lying around that you won't mind altering. If you don't, or yours are all decorated with cartoon characters, plain white ones are generally inexpensive at department or discount stores. A pair of grown-up scissors work better for cutting the sheet than do your child's safety scissors. This costume doesn't require any other materials, making it a great choice for the night before the preschool Halloween party, or even the morning of if it comes down to it.
Place the sheet over your child's head. Get him to stand still, if possible. Mark where you'll cut the eye holes with a marker. This is a far better idea than trying to cut the holes while your child wears the sheet. Take the sheet off your child's head and cut two round holes, large enough for your child to see through. Have your child stand on a small stool or low table and trim the bottom of the sheet so it won't drag on the ground when he walks. A jagged cut is more ghostly than a straight cut. You're done and ready for filling the candy bucket.
The sheet works on its own, but adding accessories to your child's ghost costume makes it authentic and novel. Girls can wear white tights and white shoes and add some spray glitter to the sheet or paint on eyelashes so everyone knows she is a girl ghost. Boys with white shoes, white gloves and plastic chains take the ghostly costume up a notch. For very young toddlers, cut a head hole through the sheet and lay it on your child's shoulders. Add a white beanie-style hat and black felt goggles to complete the look.
Halloween costumes aren't always the safest clothing for young children. Nothing ruins the fun on Halloween night like a toddler who falls flat on his face after tripping over his ghostly costume. Bring a belt while trick or treating, which you can use to hike up the sheet if it's giving him trouble. A couple of safety pins help secure the sheet under your child's arms, making it easier for him to move around. Give your child a glow necklace to wear with his costume. It gives his face an eerie glow, but lets motorists and older children see him. It's also good for your peace of mind because you won't lose him in the dark.