trick or treat

On Halloween night, you’ll want to be prepared, especially if you’re towing along very young kids. Keeping the kids secure and happy is the key to a successful and memorable trick-or-treating venture. Bottom line: remember to have fun! If trick-or-treating becomes stressful, you’re missing out. Simplify your Halloween plans and think ahead to make your night safe and fun. These tips can help.

1. A costume accessory that lights up: Whether it’s glowing bracelets, reflective tape, a tool belt flashlight or light-up headband antennas, make sure your kids have something on their costumes that lights up. Not only will passing cars be able to see your kids more easily, so will you. Bring along a flashlight yourself (and check the batteries before you leave) in case it gets too dark to see in some areas of your trick-or-treat route. Be sure to plan the route ahead of time, particularly if you have older kids who will go off by themselves. Knowing where the kids are at all times will make your night much less frightful.

2. Healthy snacks: You should eat a full meal before going out to trick-or-treat to help stem the temptation to eat the candy the kids collect before it’s inspected. But, just in case, add a few healthy snacks (try raisins, apple slices and pretzel sticks or some healthy Halloween candy) that your kids can enjoy along the way in case they start begging for treats. Make sure everyone goes potty right before departure, too, or you’ll be rushing back home in full costume or, worse, begging potty privileges off some neighbors you barely know.

3. Drinks: It’s pretty likely that your kids will be in a bit of a frenzy through the night, expending energy and requiring hydration. Bring water or juice for the kids and yourself to keep hydrated.

4. A practical goody bag container: There are a lot of cute goody bags. But, if it doesn’t hold much or it’s too heavy for your kid to hold, it’ll be trouble. So, consider your options. Either send your kid around with a light, yet large enough goody bag or have a small goody bag for them to hold, while you dump candy into a larger container, maybe even a backpack, that a parent totes about.

5. Friends: Trick-or-treating by yourself (or even with just your immediate family) isn’t as fun, or as safe as trick-or-treating with friends. Grab a neighbor family and head out together. Not only will the kids have fun socializing, but so will the adults. And, with so many people, you’ll be easier for cars to see and avoid.

6. Kid-friendly costumes: Check your kids’ costumes before you leave. If anything looks uncomfortable or hazardous, like plastic masks or long, flowing skirts, you may want to alter the costume a bit before departing. Pin up any part of the costume your child could trip over and consider face paint (but be sure to use safe paint) instead of a mask. If you don’t, be glad you have that backpack, because you’ll probably end up toting that mask before the end of the night. If your kid starts out with dress shoes, definitely pack a pair of comfy shoes to change into before the end of the night. It’s best to change into those right away, but if the costume shoes are that important to you, come prepared with back-up.

Know your family to judge what else you should bring along this Halloween. If you have a baby and a toddler, consider keeping the baby in a sling and having the toddler walk if you think the toddler can last up to an hour of walking. If not, consider a wagon or strollers for both kids. If your kids are walking well, leave the wagon and strollers behind. If you don’t, one parent will always be staying with the stuff while the other participates in the festivities.

If your kids get too tired to walk, then it’s time to head home, not time to load them into a wagon or strollers and drag them around the rest of the neighborhood. If they’re really tired, they’ll be fine with going home and sorting through the candy haul. If they were just trying to get a free ride, they’ll perk right up and continue on the trick-or-treat journey. 

Keep in touch with Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter

Image: vmiramontes