Halloween offers adults and children alike the opportunity to become someone else for a night and indulge their inner sweet-tooth. The holiday’s natural association with horror and thrills need not prevent parents from allowing their children to take part in traditional activities by following a few simple guidelines. It also provides an opportunity for familiess to spend time together and create their own holiday memories.
Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips
Make sure that children trick-or-treat in a group accompanied by several adults. This may be accomplished by collaborating with several friends and organizing a meeting time. Discuss appropriate behavior with children before the night begins, such as declining any offers to go inside someone’s house.
Avoid the potential for losing children at night by trick-or-treating before dark. Sunset typically occurs around the US between six and seven pm. Start the candy route around 4:30 and end at dusk. Allow children to walk door to door down one street at a time and transport them between neighborhoods in vehicles.
Incorporating reflective material or flashers into a child’s costume is an easy Halloween safety tip to follow. Sew a strip of sequins or sparkly material onto the base of candy totes and the hems of costumes. Flashers are available at many grocery stores in Halloween shapes and can be worn around the neck or tied to the handles of tote bags. These devices will help a parent to keep track of a child’s location while preserving the child’s sense of independence.
Inspect the “loot” collected at the end of the night before digging in. Spread candy out on the table and discard any pieces that are not individually wrapped. Pieces in torn wrappers should be treated similarly to avoid eating any candy that may have been tampered with. Enjoy some of the well-deserved spoils of the evening and place the rest in jar to use as rewards and treats throughout the holiday season.
Halloween Activities for Families
If trick-or-treating is not possible or not desirable, be proactive about Halloween safety by enjoying the holiday at a group party or alternative event. Television’s obsession with crime dramas leaves many parents feeling squeamish about allowing their children to go door to door asking for candy at dusk. Community centers often offer Halloween parties that include bouncy play gyms as well as fair-like games and mazes. Local churches frequently provide alternative parties that celebrate the season without the scary costumes.
Throw a Halloween party in the neighborhood. Turn several yards into a haunted maze that children can easily navigate. Provide face painting for small children. Hold a street-wide costume contest or yard-decorating competition. This will offer an opportunity for neighbors to get to know one another and promote community.
Instead of going out, spend the evening indoors creating personal Halloween traditions with the family.
- Hold a costume contest in which every member participates. Vote for the favorite and provide a fun prize all can enjoy.
- Carve individual pumpkins. Most grocery stores offer safety blades that allow children to carve their own pumpkin without the fear of harming themselves. Very young children can decorate small pumpkins with markers.
- Make a Halloween buffet together, putting scary twists on family favorites.
- Take turns telling and inventing scary stories.
- Pull sleeping bags and pillows into the living room for a “sleepover” and watch a suspenseful movie or classic Frankenstein together.
Halloween does not need to be a time of fear, and by following a few Halloween safety tips, it can easily be transformed into a fun event that each family member looks forward to as the end of October approaches. Be creative and find new ways to celebrate fall that each age group can enjoy.