Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

Halloween is a favorite holiday for kids of all ages. (Yes, this means giving the teenage trick-or-treaters candy, too). Trick-or-treating delights kids of all ages (including the young at heart). It can be stressful if you wait until the last minute to get everything prepared. Here are our tips for a stress-free Halloween night that keeps everyone happy and safe.

Will Your Porch Light be On?

You’ll want to figure out first if you plan on handing out candy. Will everyone be out of the house trick-or-treating or at a party, or will someone be at home to field trick-or-treaters? If you will leave your house empty, will you leave a bowl on the porch or just not worry about candy at all? Either choice is fine, just make sure the porch light is off if there’s no candy. Turn it off if there is no candy to be found.

Do Your Shopping Early

The last thing you want to do is make a mad dash for costumes, candy, and decorations a day or two before Halloween. By then most stores already have Christmas trees up. The best candy will be cleared out, along with the costumes. And good luck finding a good costume in the right size. Have you seen the Halloween aisles the day of? It’s a nightmare – a picked-over mess and options are slim. A lot of parents are now opting for DIY costumes, which is a great idea, too. Just start early, so that you’re not up until midnight on Halloween Eve sewing a costume together.

Invest in Reflective Gear

Some towns have scheduled trick-or-treating hours during daylight hours, while other towns are more relaxed and let kids roam in the evening. Regardless, it’s a good idea to stick reflective gear to candy bags and pails. Give your kids glow necklaces and bracelets so that you know they’ll be seen by cars. Visibility is important, because there’s a lot going on when kids are scrambling for candy at every door.

Plan for Parties

This is a no-brainer if you’re planning your own Halloween party, but it’s more important if your older kids will be out of sight on a night that tricks happen as regularly as treats. If your kids are attending someone else’s event, know the exact address, who is supervising, and when to expect them home. Don’t feel bad about asking for another parent’s phone number or for wanting to know who else is going.

Safety is a number-one priority on Halloween, but of course, you want your kids to have a good time! Take any spooky thoughts out of Halloween by having an action plan for the evening. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll minimize frightening last-minute costume changes.