It’s that time of year again! The leaves are turning, the smell of pumpkin spice fills the air, and our kids are getting ready to dress up as their favorite characters for their annual candy hunt. Yes, it’s Halloween!
Over the last year and a half or so, our children have had to give up their playtime activities, their friends and favorite places. So, when it comes to their one day of fun, we don’t want to tell them no, but with so many parents still weary about large crowds, how do we trick-or-treat safely?
If you’re looking for a fun and safe way to trick-or-treat this year, check out these kid-friendly and “mummy” approved pandemic safe alternatives!
This is the perfect excuse to help your child pick out a trick-or-treat pandemic-safe costume! For older children, many halloween costumes already come with a mask. You can find creative ways to build their every-day covering into the halloween mask or see how their disguise of choice can be upgraded to include a mask. Animals are a great and easy way to add a cute face and still be festive, while someone dressing up as a soccer player could write “Goal!” on their face mask.
To help kids social distance and prevent crowds at the entrance to your home, set up a trick-or-treat table! Candy can be scattered or placed in individual clear baggies for each child to grab. You can decorate the table any way you like! It can be as simple as a festive tablecloth, or, you can go all out with creepy skeleton hands and black cats.
Use chalk or fun placemats on the ground to help children stand six-feet apart while waiting their turn at the table. It’s also a great idea to only place a select number of treats and replenish as they run low. This will prevent excited trick-or-treaters from touching too many items at once. A large bottle of hand sanitizer could be a great addition! These ideas can easily transfer over to trunk-or-treat.
Don’t forget that all goodies should be in original wrapping and visible to trick-or-treaters. Let’s not forget to have some non-edible options around for children with allergies or those who might prefer an alternative to candy. The Teal Pumpkin Project is a great cause to join in on in your neighborhood!
Easter-ween Treat Hunt
If you aren’t ready to go house-to-house quiet yet, consider throwing a treat hunt! Similar to Easter egg hunts in the spring, a treat hunt hides various toys and candy around the home or yard and lets children in costume hunt for their loot.
Keep it to just immediate family, or a very small number of people—only those you feel comfortable with. Remember to social distance and encourage kids to do the same. You can add some fun, safe games to your trick-or-treat pandemic-safe party like a costume contest catwalk, or “pin the bone on the skeleton.”
If your child is mostly concerned about showing off their costume, offer them their own costume parade! Talk to friends or other parents in the neighborhood to see if this may be something they are interested in, too! Kids can dress up and parade the sidewalks, safely six feet apart, while others cheer and wave.
This activity can also be a great alternative for younger children who are still too young to understand the trick-or-treat concept of Halloween.
Build a Candy Chute
For those who aren’t afraid of a little elbow grease (or feel like giving their husband a project), the internet sensation “treat tube” is a great trick-or-treat pandemic-safe solution! There are several variations of this candy luge, from a simple PVC pipe decorated in black and orange to a piece of plywood painted like a friendly monster who “spits out” candy to each individual visitor.
This not only offers kids a safe way to get a few pieces of candy, but is also fun and exciting. For anyone with older relatives who want to hand out candy, but are afraid of COVID-19 exposure, this is a great solution!
A Trick-or-Treat Drive-By
Try to organize a drive-by halloween! Similar to quarantine birthday parties, children stand in the driveways while friends, family and neighbors drive by. You can leave a candy bucket at the end of the driveway for anyone to place treats in. They can easily be sanitized to avoid transfer of any germs.
This allows children to still dress up and get candy, while also protecting everyone and helping those who are at higher risk participate. (Plus, how many times have we parents wished we could just stay home on Halloween night?!)
Keep it Virtual
If going out this year just isn’t something you’re comfortable with, organize a virtual Halloween party! Participants can kick it up a notch by adding props or doing a skit while they show off their costume. Older kids can participate in a costume contest where the winner gets a special prize in the mail. Younger kids will simply enjoy being applauded and waving to their friends or family!
Talk to Your Kids about Trick-or-Treating Safely
Whatever you chose to do this October 31st, remember to set aside some time to talk with your children. Setting some ground rules and expectations will help them have fun without any last minute let-downs. Explain to them once again the importance of staying healthy for themselves and those around them. Discuss which trick-or-treat options they feel most comfortable with. Reassure them that this year is special, and it won’t be forever, but we can still have fun!
Trick-or-treating isn’t the only activity that makes Halloween a special day of the year! There are plenty of fun ways to celebrate whether you’ll be hitting the pavement or not. The CDC has plenty of information to help you decide what’s best for your family.
Watch scary movies. Bake fun, creepy cookies. Get the whole family involved carving pumpkins and decorating the house. There are so many ways to have fun!