Whether you’re a Halloween newbie or a seasoned trick or treating pro, it’s sometimes easy to forget the simple steps that go along with trick or treating with your kids. Life gets hectic and we may skip a step or two in a hurry. Here are a few refresher tips to ensure your Halloween is a happy and safe one for you and your children!
Find Community Events. Younger kids can be apprehensive about going door-to-door trick or treating. If that’s the case, head out to a kid-friendly community Halloween fair or event. There will still be “trick-or-treating” (just maybe booth-to-booth instead of door-to-door) as well as costumes and fun. My kids love this, as there are usually extra and unusual activities like bobbing for apples, face painting, and more.
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Don’t let your little tyke get overtired this Halloween. Plan ahead! Trick or treat early; plan on only going to only a few houses, and then head home so you can stick with your nightly routine. After dinner, allow your child to stay up and help hand out candy for a certain amount of time before taking a bath and going to bed.
Wear a costume that can easily be seen. Add reflective tape, wear glow-in-the-dark tights, and throw a blinking light in your candy bag. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you and your child can be seen regardless of how dark it gets.
Don’t mix running and costumes! Remind your children to walk (instead of run) and don’t forget to use the sidewalks. Steps pop up in the dark, roots suddenly appear, dresses seem longer, shoes are bigger… remind your child to slow down. The candy will be at the door regardless of when they arrive. The trick is to arrive safely.
Set a meeting time and place. Sometimes, when the kids are a bit older, they don’t want Mom and Dad cramping their style. Whether you plan on separating from your children or not, set a place where you will meet should you become separated. Most towns have a set time for trick or treating so the residents know when people will be coming and going. Respect others by sticking to this time and ask your kids to do the same.
Find safe areas for trick or treating. Stick to neighborhoods with a lot of homes, like a subdivision, and good street lighting. This isn’t a time to roam new areas that you and your children are unfamiliar with. If you feel your neighborhood isn’t as safe as it should be, find a better one for your kids.
No porch light, no stopping. Do not stop at a home with no porch light on. This is the owner’s way of declining visitors for whatever reason. Also, only accept candy from someone’s doorway (preferably someone you know). It’s always a good idea to check over your kid’s candy before they dig in as well (it also gives you first dibs on the best candy!).
Swap the door-to-door with a party at home. If your kids are willing, skip the whole door-to-door routine and have a party at home. Invite friends, put on spooky music, play games, serve a fun dinner like hot dogs or tacos and Halloween-themed party snacks. A party like this can be more fun than traipsing around in cold weather waiting for a Tootsie Roll.
Have fun! Trick or treating should be one of the greatest Halloween adventures for kids. It’s also a fantastic time for families to spend time together. So relax, take lots of photos, have fun, and be safe!
Robert Nickell (a.k.a. Daddy Nickell), father of 7, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of DaddyScrubs.com, delivery room duds, gifts, and apparel for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog, where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.