Holidays like Halloween can be so magical and so much fun for kids everywhere. I know as a grandmother it takes on a whole new perspective, and it can be easy to want to "just have fun". But, being the ever vigilant grandmother, I'm ever cautious about what I let the grandkids get into. Since it's just a couple of days away, I thought rehashing what we all know was worth writing......
Have a home party. Depending on where you live, and if climate factors in, sometimes it's just more fun to have a home party. This is a great
opportunity to let your kids invite their friends over, and even have the parents come if they want. You can play games, play spooky music, and of course let your imagination run wild with the candy options. We did this once, and each person invited had to bring a bag of their favorite candy (I mean a bag big enough to share with everyone). We set it up so that at the end of the party, each kid went through and picked out their favorites......let me tell you......they were estatic because they all knew what everyone liked. Oh--and don't forget your own costume for this......they'll love it--trust me!
Community Sponsored Events -- Most towns these days go to great lengths
at this time of year to warn parents about the potential hazards of trick or treating, and even fund community events with pre-screened participants so everyone can have fun. You'll find everything from free candy, to coupons to your favorite stores and eateries, and costume contests. It's a great way to enjoy the night with the family.
Energy--it's not just the candy! If your little goblins are toddlers or younger, the earlier you go the better. They don't know they're tired, until you get to enjoy one of those "out of the blue" melt-downs for apparently no reason at all. When they're little they don't know the difference between trick-or-treating in the light or the dark. Feed them some dinner, then make the rounds and be home in time to answer your own door for the older kids that you know are going to show up!
Choose a comfortable costume! The type, cost and complexity of costumes seems almost endless these days. If they're little, choose one that's
appropriate for your climate (nothing worse than sweating); something that's easy on and off (especially if they're in diapers!); and one that hopefully they're fascinated with. With venues like Pinterest, you're bound to see a million different ideas, and even those you can make yourself. If you're going out after dark, be sure to add reflective tape, or what's even more fun, add some of those glow-in-the-dark necklaces or sticks they can hold.
Keep them walking! I know that sounds silly, but you know how excited the kids get at the thought of running up to some random house, knocking on the door, yelling "trick-or-treat" and getting free candy. The downside.....if they trip and end up hurting themselves, the night can be ruined. Be careful with their costumes too, that they don't impede their ability to walk freely. Oh--and wear really comfortable shoes if you're going to be out for awhile!
For the older kids--Set up a meeting place and time. The older kids tend not to want mom and dad standing behind them gushing at their cuteness. If you're allowing them to go without you, make sure their going in a group, and know who's in that group. I'd even advise talking to the other parents, so everyone is on the same page. Your kids may complain you're being over-protective (and lord knows we've all been told "you're the only parent who does this"), but better safe than sorry. There are just way too many crazies in the world these days, and besides......once their home counting their candy, they'll totally forget you called all the other parents....they'll only be thinking about how cool it was to be out with their friends.
Set limits. This really applies to all ages. Limit the trick or treating to neighborhoods with a lot of homes like a subdivision and good street lighting. This night isn’t the night to go roaming into new areas that you and your children are unfamiliar with.
Over stating the obvious....No porch light, no stopping. If there's no light on, either the home owner isn't home, or doesn't want to hand out candy.
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK THE CANDY WHEN YOU GET HOME!!!!
The main thing is.......be happy and safe. This is a tradition that's been around for generations, and with a little fore-thought and planning can always be one of those happy times we remember as adults!