Where the Wild Things Are: Getting Your Costume On Point

Maurice Sendak’s timeless children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are,” has captured the hearts of readers for generations. The story follows Max, a mischievous boy who sails away to the land of the Wild Things, a fantastical realm populated by creatures with fur, horns, and a penchant for rumpus-raising.

Halloween or a costume party is the perfect opportunity to celebrate this beloved tale. So, whether you want to embody the adventurous spirit of Max or channel the wild energy of the creatures themselves, here’s your guide to creating the perfect “Where the Wild Things Are” costume.

Max’s Wolf Suit

Max’s iconic costume is a white jumpsuit with yellow button closures, a hood with wolf ears and a gold crown. This is a relatively simple costume to put together.

  • DIY Option: You can create a jumpsuit using white fleece or felt. Attach yellow buttons or felt circles for a pop of color. Craft a hood with pointy ears from the same material. For the crown, use yellow felt or construction paper to create a simple crown shape and secure it with a headband.
  • Pre-made Option: Numerous retailers sell pre-made Max costumes for all ages. These costumes typically include a jumpsuit with an attached hood and tail, replicating Max’s signature look.

where the wild things are costume

Taking Max’s Look Up a Notch

For those who want to add a personal touch to Max’s costume, consider these details:

  • Tail: If your pre-made costume doesn’t include a tail, you can create one from brown felt or faux fur. Attach it to the back of the jumpsuit with safety pins or fabric glue.
  • Mischief Supply Kit: Max carries a fork and spoon in the story. Attach a small pouch to your belt and include these utensils, or toy versions, to complete the look.
  • Wild Wig: A messy brown wig adds to the wildness of Max’s character.

Becoming a Wild Thing

There are nine Wild Things in Sendak’s book, each with their own unique personality and appearance. Here are some tips for creating costumes for a few of the most recognizable Wild Things:

  • Carol: This Wild Thing is covered in green fur and has horns. A green fuzzy bodysuit or leggings paired with a green hooded top works well as a base. Attach horns made out of construction paper or formed from pipe cleaners and fabric scraps.
  • Judith: Judith has orange fur and a knobby head. An orange sweatsuit can be the base, with orange felt circles hot glued onto a cap to create the knobby effect.
  • Alexander: This Wild Thing has purple fur, a crown, and a wild mane. A purple bodysuit or leggings with a purple hooded top is a good starting point. Craft a crown from felt or construction paper and add a mane made from yarn or faux fur strips sewn onto the hood.

Wild Thing Tips

  • Fur: When choosing fur materials, prioritize comfort and safety, especially for children’s costumes. Look for soft, lightweight faux fur that won’t irritate the skin.
  • Movement: The Wild Things are known for their rambunctious behavior. Ensure your costume allows for easy movement so you can rumpus with ease!
  • Makeup (Optional): For an extra touch, add some wild face paint! Use non-toxic face paint in colors that complement your chosen Wild Thing’s fur.

Group Costume Ideas

“Where the Wild Things Are” lends itself perfectly to group costumes. Imagine a group of friends or family members each dressed as a different Wild Thing, with Max leading the pack. This is a surefire way to stand out at any costume party.

where the wild things are costume

Bringing the Wild Things Costume to Life

The key to a truly captivating performance lies in embodying the wild spirit of the characters. Don’t be afraid to unleash your inner goofball, make funny noises, and truly connect with your audience. Whether you’re Max leading the rumpus or a Wild Thing reveling in chaos, remember, it’s all about having fun and letting your imagination take flight! So put on your costume, tap into your creativity, and get ready to bring the Land of the Wild Things to life!


Discussing potential performance or role-playing ideas while wearing the costume

Absolutely! The “Where the Wild Things Are” costume opens doors for some truly engaging performances and role-playing scenarios. Here are some ideas based on whether you’re dressed as Max or a Wild Thing:


  • Storytelling: Find a comfy spot and gather your audience. Act out scenes from the book, using your voice and body language to bring Max’s emotions and adventures to life. Encourage audience participation – have them roar like the Wild Things or call out suggestions for Max’s next rumpus adventure!
  • Interactive Games: Challenge others to a “Sail Away With Max” race. Blindfold them, spin them around a few times, and see who can best navigate their way to the Land of the Wild Things (a designated spot).
  • Puppet Show: If you have a Wild Thing puppet (or can create a simple one), use Max to introduce the puppet and tell stories from the Wild Thing’s perspective.

Wild Things

  • Improv Skits: Get a group of Wild Things together and create impromptu scenes. Act out a “Wild Thing Tea Party” gone wild, a disagreement over who gets the biggest pile of leaves to jump in, or a playful chase through the “forest” (chairs or designated play area).
  • Freeze Dance: Play some wild music and have the Wild Things dance around. When the music stops, everyone freezes in a funny position. Award prizes for the most creative or silliest pose.
  • Wild Thing Says: Put a twist on the classic game “Simon Says.” Instead, start commands with “Wild Thing Says” and have everyone follow along – roar like a Wild Thing, stomp your feet, or wiggle your tail. Those who forget the prefix are out!

Remember, the key is to embrace the wild spirit of the characters. Don’t be afraid to be silly, make funny noises, and have fun interacting with others!

More Than Just a Costume

A “Where the Wild Things Are” costume is more than just pieces of fabric. It’s a chance to tap into the book’s themes of childhood imagination, adventure, and the exploration of emotions. So put on your costume, channel your inner Wild Thing, and let the rumpus begin!


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