If you’re entering the spooky season with youngsters, you may be wondering how to make it through Halloween night with your scaredy cats! Don’t fret. I have compiled a list of Halloween ideas for little ones I’ve used over the past years to help my kiddos have fun. With these tips, you can embrace the Halloween spirit by saving the terror for when the little monsters grow up.
The dark nighttime conditions contribute a lot to what makes Halloween so scary for little ones. Reduce the fear factor by starting the festivities early so you can be home before it gets too dark. My family and I usually start trick or treating right after dinner around 5:30. The younger kids tire out by and are in bed by 8, leaving plenty of time for the adults to sort through the candy!
Up the fun factor
Focus on the more fun aspects of the season! Embrace cute and funny costumes while avoiding the scary, gory ones. Even more, you can throw a fun Halloween party filled with pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples and a costume contest with all of your family friends instead of going out. Lastly, you can look for kid-friendly events and take the kiddos out to explore their community.
Attend trunk or treats
This is a great option if you have preschoolers and toddlers who can’t keep up and walk as much as older kids. You can hit a few trunk or treats before it gets dark and still make out like a bandit with candy! These events are usually put on by communities, local businesses and churches with trusted neighbors and friends. Enjoying Halloween activities with familiar faces reduces stranger danger and some of the fright surrounding this spooky holiday.
Face your fear
Many of the tips before this one focus on avoiding and transforming the scary parts of Halloween. Unfortunately, you may run into a scary mask and bloody gore while out and about. It’s important to talk to your little ones and come up with a plan to help them face their fear. We practice belly breathing. They start by taking slow deep breaths deep into their belly. Next, we use our imaginations to think of a happy memory, place or idea. We even use our imaginations to turn something scary into something happy or funny. Additionally, you can give them positive phrases they can say to themselves when they get scared. For example, “It was just a pretend ghost, it can’t hurt me.”
Settling down after a night of overwhelming sights, sounds and exciting activities proves a challenge! Be sure to give your little ones extra time before bed to wind down and relax. If they are feeling scared about going to bed, I recommend giving them a high protein snack to counteract the sugary treats and spending time reading non-spooky stories. Be sure to close out the night with some extra cuddles together!
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