Halloween Fun for Toddlers and Preschoolers – How to Keep Things Easy and Safe
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Halloween Fun for Toddlers – How to Keep Things Easy and Safe

Celebrating Halloween with toddlers brings a certain element of innocence to the mix. With a toddler, it may not be possible to go out and party like you normally would, and trick or treating can get tiresome for your toddler very quickly. Safety is always an issue with toddlers as they are very naïve and can be scared very easily. Here are a few  tips to keep your toddler safe and still enjoy the holiday.Halloween Fun for Toddlers – How to Keep Things Easy and Safe

 

* Think ahead about the Halloween displays in your neighborhood. Many people in our neighborhood have elaborate Halloween displays up all month long (us!) and some can be gruesome and frightening (not us!). We always did a tour of the decorations in the daylight and explained things in a toddler friendly, and often educational, manner. Skulls were “head bones”. “Can you feel the bone in your head? That’s what it looks like without the muscles.” The vampire popping out of the coffin was playing peek a boo. And of course we sang Itsy Bitsy Spider over and over again. And most importantly everything was just pretend.

Toddler Halloween
Playing with one of the Itsy Bitsy Spiders.

* Let them have a say in their costume. I know this might be hard for us Type-A personalities. The giant red M&M was cute. But the giant Firefighting M&M was even more adorable, especially because he always insisted on wearing it backwards. And it wouldn’t have been worth the argument to leave the firefighting helmet home. He had fun and isn’t that more important than “perfect pictures”?

Toddler Halloween

* Avoid scary costumes. Children, especially toddlers, are prone to night frights. It is also very difficult, if not impossible, for toddlers to separate reality from the “monsters” that they may see walking around. If you plan to dress up, make sure your child knows that it is you behind the costume and keep the costume simple; for example, go easy on the make-up.

Halloween Toddlers
He wasn’t sure what to make of Dracula until we explained it was the nice boy across the street.

* Trick or treating may not be the best idea with a toddler. If you do decide to take your toddler trick or treating, keep the trip short and visit just a few houses on your block. If your friends and family live close by, it is a good idea to visit those houses as your toddler will be more at ease with them than a stranger’s house. Any more than that and your toddler may not only lose interest, the costumes may also cause your toddler to panic. Wagons and strollers can help if you have older children that want to do the entire neighborhood.

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Trick or Treating at a neighbor’s house.

* No amount of coaxing was going to get him near the very loud Haunted House when he was three. He wanted to be on the other side of the street from it and that was just fine with us. Toddlers (and children with sensory issues) might be afraid of loud spooky noises and strobe lights. They shouldn’t be pushed into uncomfortable situations. It is supposed to be FUN!

* Consider holding a party at your house. This is a great way to enjoy the holiday and still keep it relatively simple for your toddler. Holding a party at your house as opposed to going to someone else’s party means that you can set the terms for your party and keep it toddler friendly. Invite other people who you know have toddlers to enjoy a mellow (and early!), yet festive Halloween party.

* Candy and other treats are a big issue when it comes to protecting your toddlers. Toddlers are not aware that some candies may be too hard for them to chew and pose a potential choking hazard. Keeping your child away from the candy bowl, however, can prove to be a bit of a challenge. Make sure the candy bowl is out of reach and that older children and adults know not to give your child any candy without approval from you. It is always best to be near your child just in case.

SUGAR!!!!!!!!
Sugar!!! our house rule is one piece that night after Mom or Dad has inspected it.

* And finally, remember little ghosts and goblins (and scarecrows) can wear out pretty fast. You can try to fight it and keep them up far past their bedtime, but you might pay a heavy toll with a grumpy goblin the next day.

sleepy scarecrow
Sleepy Little Scarecrow

 

By following these tips, you are not only protecting your toddler, but making sure they are able to join in on the Halloween fun as well.

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2 thoughts on “Halloween Fun for Toddlers – How to Keep Things Easy and Safe”

  1. We have a toddler! I can not decide, if we should let him finally go trick-and-treating like his older siblings or keep him home another year. It gets pretty crowded on our street! You have some great tips! They do wear out pretty fast and protecting them is very important.

    1. We only have one so I never faced the problem of a little one wearing out while a big one wants to keep going. Lots of my neighbors use wagons so the little one can sleep while they keep going.

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