Our Boy, His Joy, And A Homemade Skylanders Costume

I’m not making my kid’s Halloween costume to win any parenting awards or to compete with anyone. No question, if this costume was available to purchase somewhere, I wouldn’t have felt a flash of guilt as I clicked the “buy now” button.

Just like I didn’t when I bought Leyna’s doctor costume. (Tiny personalized scrubs that she can later wear as pajamas because when a 2 year old girl tells you she wants to be a doctor you roll with that, rejoicing in your victory over princesses for another year.)

I’m making it because Kendall is so committed to his love for Skylanders, and there is not an Eye Brawl costume anywhere for sale.

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Have you not heard of Skylanders? Are your kids not obsessed? KEEP IT THAT WAY.

KIDDING! Kind of.

The thing about Skylanders is they are more than just a video game. They are all these characters (action figures) you buy to play the game. And then there’s the books, and the stickers, and the trading cards. It’s a whole world. An ENTIRE world! And kids love it.

Once Kendall got his first game for his 5th birthday, a few characters weren’t enough. Since the beginning of May, he’s worked to earn quite the collection.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 7.17.48 PMAnd I truly mean he earned them. Remember that rock jar? Well, by the time he filled the thing, he was totally over Zelda. So he used those rocks to buy a Skylanders Giant he’d been eyeing. Then we just kept working to refill that jar with rocks, over and over. Each time he chose a new Skylander in exchange for his jar full of rocks.

When he found out about the new Skylanders Swap Force game, he started counting down the days to it’s release. I mean, like a full 2 months in advance. It’s all he talked about. So for 2 months, he worked to fill a giant jar full of rocks. Twice. That was his payment for Swap Force.

That rock jar, combined with his unwavering love for all things Skylanders, has really been a great teaching and discipline tool around here.

We learned to make the obsession work in our favor, even beyond the rock jar. We bought him some Skylanders folders to get him excited about starting school. We read a chapter out of his Skylanders chapter book every few nights to get him excited about reading. He has Skylanders underwear, and it sure is easy to get him to change them often, in exchange for a new (clean) character.

I have to admit that this devotion has many upsides. He really only plays the game on Friday nights (and a rare weekday after school here and there as a special reward). But the rest of the time he plays with the actual figures. He has learned to group them and categorize them. His imagination runs wild as they battle it out on his bed. It’s much more than just getting lost in a video game.


He cherishes these prized possessions. So much that he’s often found “decorating” spaces around the house with them.

Why yes that is several pairs of underwear proudly displayed in his window. HGTV will be calling any day now.


He even convinced me (ME!) to let him wear a wretched licensed character shirt on his very first day of school.


And Skylanders have become tiny little members of our family. Leyna couldn’t tell Ariel from Sleeping Beauty, but she can name every Sklyander we own. I wonder if Lowell’s first word might be “Kaos.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 7.17.11 PMWhile I am a Nintendo Brand Ambassador, and do get WiiU games from time to time, Skylanders isn’t one of them. We fell into this love affair with no outside blogging influence. But when Activision contacted me a few weeks ago to see if we’d like to host a Skylanders Swap Force game truck at our house in November to celebrate the launch, I could not reply YES to that email fast enough.

Kendall is going to FREAK OUT, and that’s precisely why he has no idea.  He’s currently working on earning a whole bucket of rocks for a surprise. Hopefully, if we time it right, he’ll have earned just enough by the morning of the party, so when that truck pulls up and his friends arrive, he will feel like that’s the result of an awful lot of hard work. It’s going to blow his mind, and I am SO looking forward to seeing his joy.

Just like the joy he already has over this costume. Scott stayed up extra late tonight to help me with some final touches. I finally got his paper mache eyeball-head finished after a week of work. We may not be able to do this every year. He will probably have to go the store-bought route in the future, maybe so we can spend extra time on a homemade costume for Leyna or Lowell. But this year, we went big because we could.

I hope it’s one of his favorite Halloweens ever. (Stay tuned for pictures!)


This post is not sponsored. Just sharing this info because I know a ton of parents out there have kids who are equally obsessed with this game! First, if you’re looking for something fun to print out and keep the kids entertained for a bit before they head out for trick-or-treat, download this Swap Force Halloween Activity Pack. 

Second, if you’re looking to get a new gaming system for the family for the holidays, there will be a Skylanders Swap Force/ WiiU bundle that also includes a Nintendoland game for sale starting November 15th. It will be $299.

We use our WiiU every day. Since we went cable free, it’s the main way we watch TV by streaming Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus straight from it. It’s a great system for families, and obviously we give Skylanders many thumbs up. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you about how addictive it can be.


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  1. My son just got the game from my husband’s aunt for his birthday at the beginning of the month and he is also obsessed! Our Wii has had more use in the past month than in the entire 6 years we have had it (we do limit his time though!)! We also started a “Skylander” jar because every time we go to Target, it isn’t “Mom, can I have a matchbox car?” anymore; it’s “Mom, I really need a new Skylander shirt, figure, folder, etc” I think the are being brain washed 🙂

  2. My 6 year old went as Chop Chop. Target for the win. It was a size to big, but he was one happy trick or treater. Your Eye Brawl turned out fantastic!

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  4. That sounds great. Parenting can be so damn hard sometimes, full of so many “no’s” that it’s such a pleasure when you can say “yes” and not feel guilty about it. Glad you found such a great game for him with all of its offline possibilities. Sounds like the best of both worlds. And yay for using obsession for the forces of good. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Skylanders- A tale of the best Christmas Present ever! |

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