With Halloween this weekend, are you wondering what activities you can do with your children and how to handle the candy after trick-or-treating? This will be influenced by the age of your children, your current comfort level with the pandemic, and how active you want your children to be.
The age of your child is going to impact how much they want to celebrate Halloween and what they want to do to celebrate. As children start to get older, they either want to trick-or-treat with their friends or not at all. Depending on where you live and how comfortable you are with this, this change can happen as they get older. If they are going with their friends and no adult, make sure that you discuss safety rules with them. These should include where they can go in the neighborhood, if there are certain streets they cannot cross, and making sure to stay together as a group. Also make sure to remind them to remain polite when receiving candy from others. If you are not yet comfortable with them going without an adult, talk to your children about why you are not comfortable.
With younger children, you should also discuss the rules are trick-or-treating with you or another trusted adult. These should include items such as staying with their group, waiting to cross the street, and remaining polite receiving candy from others. Make sure that they are aware of the expectations that you have for them. If they have a hard time staying with you, it can also help at times to play “Red Light/Green Light” as they go from home to home. It may make it easier for them to stay with the group and follow directions if there is a game included.
With the pandemic, it is important to consider how comfortable you are with going door to door or other activities in the community. The American Academy of Pediatrics is still recommending masks as you are going door to door for everyone’s safety. They are also recommending staying in smaller groups and participating in more outdoor activities instead of indoor activities.
Some activities that can be done at home are various Halloween crafts to continue decorating, pumpkin carving or painting, or other Halloween games. Children can also participate in freeze dance with Halloween music or play simple games at home. Depending on the comfort level of families, games can be played outside (or inside) such as Halloween bowling (make the pins ghosts), Halloween ring toss (use a witch’s hat), or marshmallow toss into buckets. All of these games can be done outside and done as a group or family.
You may also be wondering about what to do with all of the Halloween candy that you children receive at parties or trick-or-treating. Depending on how much candy you have received or you comfort level of how much candy they eat, it may be easier or more difficult. With all of this, communication is going to be important. If children are aware of the expectations, then it is easier for them to follow. Determine what you are comfortable with in terms of how much candy you want them to eat. Can they bring a piece to school with their lunch? Can they have a piece or two for dessert at night? Again, make sure your children are aware of the expectations and limits that exist around this. There are often companies and organizations that you can donate candy to as well.
This year Halloween may still look a little different from previous years, but there are still ways to have fun and celebrate if that it what your family chooses to do. Think about what you are comfortable with and how you want to celebrate and talk to your children about it. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to me.