Tips and Tricks for a fun, safe and Spooktacular Time
It's October and everywhere you look, there are Halloween decorations. From cute to scary and everything in between!
Every evening after dinner we are forced to walk around the neighborhood in search of any new “Halloween decoration”.
I am sure you are subjected to this scavenger hunt too!
Toddlers are exciting and curious little humans, so eager to find their place in this big beautiful world!
And if yours is anything like mine, you have been reading Halloween Books and retelling the same Halloween Stories for a billionth time.
Your toddler is so excited for Halloween! And you are wondering how to give them a safe and fun Halloween experience.
Well, in this guide I will talk about all you can do to ensure a spooktacular evening for your little one.
What is the right age for trick or treating for toddlers?
The age-old debate of what age is the right age! A lot of people feel that the right age is around 3 or 4 when the toddler can understand the concept of Halloween and can actually appreciate the candies that neighbors so lovingly pass.
However, I feel, no age is too young!
Halloween does not always mean candy.
Little babies love looking at the decorations as much as a 3 or 4 year old toddler.
Walking around the neighborhood, with your baby or toddler and marveling at the decorations and all the other kids dressed up in cute costumes, enjoying a candy or two is totally acceptable. Your toddler would love to be a part of this neighborhood event and you would enjoy it too. Just go for it!
Dress up according to weather
While it is absolutely adorable to see little ones dressed up as princesses or superman, dressing them up in comfortable, weather appropriate costumes will help you in the long run.
Little kids get cold very quickly and the chilly October breeze doesn’t help much either.
So think in layers. Find costumes that have soft, breathable materials. Make sure none of the embellishments are itchy or scratchy.
A comfortable child is a happy child!
What if my toddler won’t wear their Halloween costume?
Don't fret at all! My 2 year old refused to wear any Halloween Costume, insisted that I put on his favorite jacket on and to not bother him with any masks or hats or any other props at all!
My husband was worried that he was not following “Halloween Etiquette” but my toddler could not care less!
He wanted nothing to do with the costume or the candy. All he wanted was to visit all the houses, sit by the decorations and hug all the pumpkins he could get his hands on!
If I am being honest, I am a tad bit sad that he will never do that again! No more free hugs to pumpkins.
Embrace each stage and its challenges. They are only this little once!
Can’t stress this enough! Start trick or treating with toddlers early! Every year we are the first ones to get on the streets and go around the neighborhood. We start as early as 5pm sometimes and people are usually setting up.
My kids are small and they get tired after a long day at school. And as much fun as Halloween is, it is still on a school night.
So we start early and end early. And they are back home, done with the sugar rush and in their beds by 8:30pm. As much as they enjoy Halloween night, they and I get tired by the end of the day. Also “I don’t like to eat my kids Halloween candy( plopped on the couch, relaxing in front of the TV after kids have been tucked in)” said no mom ever!
Trick or treating with food allergies
This is a tricky one. I wrote a blog trying to educate people on How to Make Halloween Safe and Fun for Kids with Food Allergies. But if you are trick-or-treating with a child with food allergies, I know how scary it can get.
So here are some things you can try to make Trick or Treating fun for your little one while keeping them safe:
Go trick-or-treating on a full stomach. Kids are so much less likely to gorge on candies if they are already full.
Take some “safe candies” along.
Establish a no-eating-until-we-are-home rule
Look for Teal Pumpkins
Encourage your child to pick non-food treats.
It never hurts to educate a few neighbors on having a food-allergy safe halloween. Please usually want to do the right thing, they just need educating.
Not all candies are baby/toddler safe
This goes without saying but I want to mention it here as an extra reminder! Of course we know not all candies are baby or toddler safe. There is a risk of choking hazard or other potential allergens. Make sure the candies your kids are eating while trick-or-treating are safe and try not to introduce a new candy while you are out and about.
I know how sneaky toddlers are and they can totally get their hands on things they are not supposed to eat. Hence, this reminder.
Be safe out there!
Prepare your toddler
My little one likes to be in the know!
Do we do trick-or-treating before or after dinner?
What time will we go?
After how many streets will we come back?
Will it be dark when we get home?
Will there be some scary decorations when we get home?
Can we eat all the candies we get?
What candies can we eat?
What happens when we get back home?
What time will we go to bed?
As exhausting as it sounds, we actually go over all the details of the event, when we will get there, when we will come back and most important when we will go to bed, over and over again. I usually start preparing him a week in advance.
It might seem excessive, but re-iterating over our plan is much less exhausting than dealing with meltdown after meltdown from an overtired sugar-rushed toddler.
Save yourself some trouble on the day of Halloween and start preparing your toddler early!
Alternatives to Trick or treating
I know this post is about having a fun experience while trick-or-treating, but if you have to sit out trick-or-treating this Halloween for any reason, know there are still plenty of fun things you can do. Here are my favorite:
Have a Halloween Party at home. Dress up and play some fun games. Kids will be so excited they will forget all about trick-or-treating.
Get in your PJs, pop some popcorn and watch a Halloween favorite movie.
Visit a pumpkin patch on Halloween night, they usually have some fun activities planned.
Enjoy a spooky Halloween story night, complete with sheet forts and flash lights.
However you decide to have fun this Halloween, I hope you make it a safe and memorable experience for your little ones and yourself!
Have a spooktacular Halloween!!