Spooky season is in full swing and your little monsters are giddy with the anticipation of showing off their costumes and stocking up on their favorite treats. With Halloween creeping up quickly, check out these five tips that will help keep the evening as fun as it is spooky.
1. Dress to Impress (and for Success)
You already know that your child’s costume is going to have them feeling like a star. But before they venture off, make sure you set them up for a night of sweet success. Avoid dressing them in clothes with long trains or capes, as those could easily come into contact with a jack-o-lantern or cause them to trip while they hop from house to house. If their costume includes a play sword, knife or other similar accessory, make sure they’re flexible and soft to avoid any injuries should they fall or accidentally hit another trick-or-treater. Additionally, masks can limit visibility, posing issues once it gets dark outside – consider using face paint as an easy alternative!
2. Rid Your House of Hazards
Is your house properly prepped for an influx of candy-seeking ghosts and ghouls? Make sure your yard and walkway are free of any hazards, like garden hoses and outdoor toys, that could potentially trip evening visitors. Once the sun starts to set, be sure to flip on your outdoor lights to help guide trick-or-treaters. If you have pets, it’s smart to restrain them before opening the door to hand out candy – many children have allergies or are fearful of animals they’re not familiar with. Not to mention, if your furry friend is particularly large, he or she could unintentionally knock down a youngster.
3. Carve with Caution
Pumpkin carving is a Halloween staple and makes for a fun family tradition. With that being said, since it involves the use of sharp tools, assistance from an adult is advised. To make sure everyone feels included, let the little ones use a marker to draw a face on their pumpkins, then the parents can take over the carving.
Once you’re ready to make your jack-o-lanterns glow, consider battery-operated candles, especially for any that are on the ground and could come into contact with clothes, curtains or other flammable items. If you’re set on the idea of using a real flame, make sure that the candlelit pumpkin is sitting sturdy on an elevated surface.
4. Prepare for Treats – Not Tricks
The wait is over – the kiddos are in full costume, friends have arrived and everyone is eager to fill their baskets with goodies. But before you get the night started, it’s important to have a plan in place. Groups of young children should always be accompanied by an adult during their neighborhood rounds. Easily keep tabs on everyone by adding a piece of reflective tape to their costume or providing wearable glowsticks. Handing out flashlights is also a smart way to keep eyes on the group and ensure they stand out.
If you children are old enough to trick-or-treat alone, make sure there is a buddy system in place. Establish a route that they can follow, agree on a time they should arrive home and review general safety rules about staying out of the road and avoiding homes that don’t have their lights on. Most importantly, have fun! Trick-or-treating is an exciting, social event that cleverly sneaks in an hour or two of physical activity (ahead of indulging!).
5. Keep Halloween Healthy-ish
And now for the sweet part – the candy! Upon returning home from their night of trick-or-treating, do a quick “treat check” for your kids and discard any candy with broken seals or homemade goods (just to play it safe).