Avoiding Halloween Overload
- What: Halloween trick or treating alternatives
- When: Knocking on doors is too scary
- Why: Keep the fun, get rid of the terror
- Where: Your neighborhood
While my oldest two kids have always embraced Halloween with all its traditions and rewards, my youngest child hesitates. Even at the age of 4, he’d rather not say “Trick or Treat” to strangers. He’d prefer to miss out on candy. He cried when we went to our usual neighborhood businesses trick or treating event this year, even though we’ve been almost every year to the same places.
He loves his costumes and dressing up, and doesn’t seem to mind hordes of people in outlandish outfits roaming freely. But he doesn’t want to talk to people, or knock on doors. I can’t say I blame him, since I don’t love either thing myself. Last year, we both stayed home, where he happily answered the door and handed out candy. This year, who knows? We will do whatever makes it comfortable and fun for him.
If your kid also finds Halloween and its accompanying ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, not to mention the strange rituals (when else can you go bang on anyone’s door and demand candy without even saying please?), you can try some of our alternatives.
For a child who enjoys projects or baking, make some homemade treats. If they can’t go to school for the kids, teachers also enjoy treats, especially the day after Halloween when lots of kids come to school tired from staying up late and eating tons of sugar.
Look for alternative trick or treating events. We have several neighborhoods where the businesses hand out goodies during daylight hours. Things appear much less scary during daytime. And not having to knock on doors, go inside, or talk can make all the difference. Plus, neighborhood businesses tend to be closer together. While that increases the crowds on the sidewalk, it means little ones (and the parents carrying them) have less walking to do.
Carnivals and festivals focus on fun. Lots of community centers and other places host Halloween events that don’t involve trick or treating. Our local community center puts on an event with carnival type games suitable for ages 2-10 every year. Kids can enjoy bean bag tosses, fishing, and more with both edible and toy prizes to choose from. These events usually cost very little and the money typically supports a good cause.
Pair up with friends. If your child doesn’t want to go on their own, maybe they would enjoy it more with a buddy. Lots of kids have more fun with friends and good company, and it can help show your child that things aren’t so scary.