Kate’s Corner
Oct 28 2015

  It’s Halloween time! How does that work for our kids?

Halloween 2015

If you and your family will be part of Halloween this weekend, I am sure that costumes have been bought or borrowed, candy has been bought and hidden and pumpkins are on porch steps.  Often Halloween is a family tradition ~ we learn to love it or not.  As adults, Halloween is often a party; a chance to dress up, decorate the house, walk with neighbors and enjoy older trick or treaters.  Halloween is an adult holiday.

But how does Halloween look for your young children?

 Infants truly don’t understand any of it, aren’t allowed to eat treats given, often are off of their schedules and fuss over fussy costumes.  Halloween masks demands a suspension of reality ~ the adults babies know on sight and through sound no longer are the same and babies get scared easily. This makes them nervous.  Halloween is not a holiday for infants.

Toddlers aren’t really sure what is going on, but tend to like buying things ahead of time. Shiny decorations and favorite characters make them laugh.   But when they have to be dressed (often wrestled into a costume at the end of a long day) and other children are running around dressed up like bats, witches and Batman, they are confused and often afraid. Even Minnie Mouse is cute for a minute and that’s it.   Halloween is a lot for a toddler and they don’t last.

Preschoolers are ok, if they like their costumes and it’s not all that crazy and busy. Be sure they eat something decent before all the candy gets poured onto the floor.                                                                                                                                                                    Older children just like planning a costume, candy and running around, but clear attention to rules and limits is critical.

Some tips for a Happy Halloween

If your little Ninja or Minnie Mouse is going out with you on Saturday, stay in your own neighborhood and go early.  Talk with your children about going to homes that they know, with the lights on.

A little trick or treating goes a long way.  Remember children are little and get tired quickly (and lose interest quickly).  If it is a cold or stormy weather night, keep little ones at home and let them answer the door with you – they can always wear an orange sweatshirt to pass out treats.

Adults must accompany children trick or treating in their neighborhood.   Again talk to your children about the houses you chose to go to.  Talk with your neighbors.     Stay with your child.  Go in groups and always stay together.

Add reflective tape to any costume.  There are inexpensive, fun glow stick bracelets and necklaces to wear.  If you chose to take a baby in a stroller, reflective tape on the stroller is a good idea.  Children run quickly and often back and forth on streets and over driveways.  You can never be too careful.

Face make-up is safer than a mask, capes get caught on things, and sneakers are fine with a princess dress and even super-heroes get cold and need a jacket for stormy weather.  Be in charge of an outside costume.

A pillow case makes a good treat bag.  Candy should always be inspected by adults before eating.

Talk to children about not taking anything that isn’t theirs.  Be careful of decorations and other children.

There are so many Halloween festivities for older children through schools, sports teams, churches and communities. Even these can be a lot for school agers if they want to go to everything.  Help them choose.

And as every parent knows or figures out – go through Trick or Treat bags and pick out the candy you like best.  Then hide it.