Halloween can be a really fun time for you and the kids, especially if you live in a nice neighbourhood with enthusiastic participants who enjoy receiving trick or treaters. Most shops are already well stocked with costumes so you shouldn’t need to struggle on what to dress the kids in. If all else fails, grab an old sheet and stick two holes in it. What is worth noting are some tips to make sure the night goes well and most importantly, safely. Whether it’s the practical side of costumes, safety on the roads or trick or treating etiquette, we’ve got it all covered
Choose costumes for your kids wisely and regardless of what they want to dress up as, use the following tips for a happy night:
* Choose the right size outfit. There’s nothing worse than something oversized that your kids will trip up in
* If it’s cold outside, make sure they have some under layers on to keep them warm
* If buying a new outfit, check the label to ensure it’s flame resistant. An ignited little witch or wizard will not be a good ending to the night.
* The brighter the outfit the better as it means they can be seen clearly when they’re out. If this proves tricky, invest in some reflective tape or glow bangles and attach it to their costume.
* Comfortable and practical shoes are a must. Best avoiding anything high or too clumpy
* If they struggle with a mask, some non-toxic face paint is a great option
* Limit the accessories worn with outfits and avoid realistic looking guns or swords. The neighbours and those living alone won’t appreciate it and there’s also more to lose on the night
TRICK OR TREATING
Going out trick or treating and knocking on doors might seem like the easiest thing in the world but with so many kids out especially the younger ones, it’s worth remembering some useful pointers:
* Go out in the early evening, before the kids get too tired. If it gets too late people won’t like opening their doors either
* Make sure everyone has a toilet stop before heading out or you’ll end up having to run back with a desperate witch in tow
* Plan your route ahead of time and stick to a few streets only. If your kids are young they’ll soon get tired, especially with all the excitement
* Stay visible – torches, light up costumes or reflective tape are great to have out on the night
* Keep kids and costumes far away from any candles
* Visit well lit houses only. Avoid dark ones or front doors far away from the road
* Don’t trample through people’s gardens, they won’t appreciate it
* Stay on the pavements and follow any road signs
* Trick or treat in groups. Any kids under 12 should always have an adult with them
* If your younger ones are out with another adult, pin a paper with their name, address and number inside their outfit and remind them it’s there in case they get separated.
* Teach your kids to say thank you to anyone who answers and gives them a treat
* If your kids are older and you’re happy to let them go out in a group, make sure they carry some coins for a phone call home. Better than losing a mobile phone
* Teach kids to be aware of things around them and never to enter homes they don’t know or accept lifts without your knowledge
* If your kids are old enough to go without you, set a curfew time and route with them
* Make sure they know not to take more than one to save for all the other trick or treaters
* If there’s no response from a house, make sure they don’t harass the neighbours
You have no control over what’s being given to your child or thrown into their buckets so it’s worth speaking to them about this before heading out:
* Feed your kids up a good dinner before they trick or treat or you’ll end up with a real ghoul on your hands
* Inspect the sweets and treats before you let your kids eat them – most important for kids with allergies like nuts
* Throw away anything that isn’t sealed or looks old. If your kids are young, get rid of chewing gum, peanuts and large boiled sweets. These are easy to choke on
* Make sure you agree with them on how many they’re allowed on the night. Last thing you need is sugar high, tummy aches and zero sleep.
RECEIVING TRICK OR TREATERS
If you’re happy to have trick or treaters knock on your own door, it’s worth considering the following:
* Turn the outside lights on so kids can see where they’re walking
* Tidy up any hazards in your garden that people can hurt themselves on
* If you’ve got any pets that might scare the kids, keep them at bay when opening the door
* Why not consider non-sweet treats? Sounds sensible but things like stickers, pencils and fake insects can be just as much fun
WHY NOT HAVE A PARTY AT HOME?
If all the do’s and don’ts are putting you off, consider having a fun party at home instead. Your kids and all their mates will think you’re the best dad in the world. Apple bobbing, mummy wrap or wart on the witch, the games are endless.
REMEMBER THAT IT’S HALLOWEEN
Even if you’re not at home and aren’t a fan of the ghouls and monsters, remember that it’s Halloween. If you’re driving that night, watch out for kids on the road or when pulling out of any drives. Knocking over a ghost or witch will certainly condemn you to a lifetime of tricking.
Updated: Oct 2017