In our house, any time is a good time for costumes, but I’m aware that the rest of the world probably reserves playing “dress up” for this time of year. Halloween is the perfect excuse to let my imagination run wild with original ensembles for the kiddos! We select the perfect costumes and have a blast going candy-hunting in our neighborhood!
Kids all over the country wait with anticipation for the night when they can go door to door gathering sweet treats with their friends and family members. It can be a fun night for parents as well, but we all know how important it is to take extra safety precautions to ensure the night remains a positive one.
Where the Wild Things Are
We have an awesome neighborhood that gets together to coordinate the night of trick-or-treating, so we know exactly what to expect, which houses to visit, times and the like. The first tip is to consider the “where.” Where would you like to celebrate the holiday? Are you in a safe area that allows you to feel comfortable with your kids going door-to-door? Do you know your neighbors? If not, several alternatives exist. Many malls have Halloween event nights where kids don their costumes and go from store to store gathering candy alongside other kids. It’s the perfect answer to traditional trick-or-treating. The area is well-lit, easy to supervise, and candy is regulated. Other options include throwing a small Halloween party for the kids and a few friends or going to a church’s or community recreational center’s Octoberfest. They throw these events each year as a substitute for conventional Halloween activities. There, the kids take part in everything from costume contests to bouncy houses to dunking booths!
No matter how you decide to celebrate, no one can argue that safety is the priority. Most of us will spend the evening of the 31st walking through someone’s neighborhood with our littles by the hand. You’ll want to do everything possible to keep them visible to drivers and other pedestrians. One of the things parents can do is purchase reflectors that fit neatly on clothing. They can be placed anywhere, giving any parent peace of mind when their child is running up and down a sidewalk. There are also clip-on flashlights that can be fastened to a child’s body or their shoes! Some of them can be programmed to flash or stay solid. These are especially great for older kids who don’t want to hold mommy’s hand and prefer a little more independence. You’ll be able to locate your kid at all times, even from a slight distance.
Moms with older kids may find that while they’ve outgrown trick-or-treating, costume parties are all the rage. Much to our dismay, parent attendance is usually frowned upon. Others will still plan to go door-to-door but will be old enough to do so on their own. Luckily for us, there are plenty of reliable smartphone apps that allow remote GPS tracking. Install the app(s) on your child’s phone with appropriate settings, and you’ll be able to see their whereabouts all night long.
Let’s be honest. Isn’t it really all about the candy? Kids have it down to a science! After years of trick-or-treating, they know which houses give the good stuff and which ones hand out toothbrushes and apples (LOL). The sweets are what this holiday is made of, but it can also be a source of anxiety and fear for parents. With so much craziness going on in the world, it can be easy to get wrapped up in worrying about ill-intending people tampering with candy being handed out. It goes without saying that children should be advised not to eat any of the pieces they get until they get home. Parents should examine each piece of candy thoroughly, being sure to check for opened wrappers, puncture marks or any other suspicious evidence. Immediately dispose of anything that appears irregular.
If the idea of your kids eating candy given out by strangers is something you can’t stomach, consider only visiting the homes of people you are familiar with and trust. Another idea is to buy a variety of candy mixes and have it waiting at home. The kids can go trick-or-treating, and when they return, you can swap the gathered candy with the mix you purchased. It allows the littles to enjoy the experience without the risk! They can have their cake (candy) and eat it, too!
Get your costumes and facepaint ready, because Halloween will be here before you know it! Enjoy the holiday and stay safe!
How are you planning to spend Halloween this year?