Halloween is right around the corner and the anticipation is in the air! But between the scary costumes, spooky decorations, and a bucket full of candy by the end of the night, Halloween can bring up lots of BIG emotions for toddlers (especially if this is their first). So today I am sharing my favorite 12 practical tips for toddler trick or treating to help keep this Halloween fun, safe, and memorable!
12 Tips for Toddler Trick or Treating
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Follow these easy and useful tips for trick or treating with toddlers this Halloween!
1. Try on the costume in advance
Choose the right costume for your toddler to make certain it’s the right one. If your toddler isn’t happy with their costume, no one will be happy. Making sure that your toddler’s costume not only fits, but is comfy (with room for extra layers) is so important. If your child is uncomfortable, the entire trick or treating experience will not be a positive one. Fun tip: if your child loves face paint, dressing up in their full costume (face paint and all) will really hype up the big day!
2. Do a practice run
Toddlers don’t usually understand Halloween or the expectations around trick or treating. Which is why doing a practice try of toddler trick or treating in a low-pressure way before the big day can help to set your child up for fewer surprises and more success.
3. Role play
Using toys to role play is a practical and playful way to teach your kids appropriate Halloween etiquette! Practice saying “trick or treat”, “thank you”, and teaching them how to take one piece of candy (rather than begging for candy), using their toys. This can teach them how to be a mindful trick or treater in a fun and teachable way as they grow up.
4. Explain Halloween in an age-appropriate way
Let’s face it, Halloween can be spooky. Help your toddler understand what Halloween is all about in a fun and friendly way by explaining to them that there can be both silly and spooky stuff about Halloween. Getting into the spirit by choosing a cute costume of their favorite character, hanging fun decorations, and carving your jack-o-lantern pumpkin, can help to make Halloween feel less scary and more fun.
5. Don’t create fear
Create a positive and fun Halloween experience for your young children. Skip the super spooky houses. Surround them with cute and fun costumes. Since kids can be scared of masks, avoid putting on a mask and jumping out at your child thinking it will be funny to them.
6. Go before dark
We know that the dark can be scary for kids. Instead of waiting to go trick or treating once the sun sets, enjoy the friendliness of neighbors and fun decorations by heading out while it’s still light. Plus, it’s easier to keep track of your kids.
7. Make sure your child is visible
Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedastrians. Always keep your kids in eyesight. Halloween can create lots of excitement and the desire to run around from house to house. Keep track of your kids by using reflective tape or a light up bracelets to keep track of them. Give them verbal and tangible markers of where they can walk to safely, for example, “stop at the next mailbox”.
8. Serve dinner before
Filling your toddler’s belly with a nutritious meal before heading out to trick or treat is key. By making sure your child isn’t hungry and only filling up on eating sugar will prevent belly aches, headaches, and meltdowns.
9. Don’t demonize candy
Set healthy limits that feel comfortable to you when it comes to Halloween candy. Avoid creating fear and control around candy during Halloween, instead use it as an opportunity to create connection and trust. When trying to handle Halloween candy remember it’s only one day a year so it’s not going to have a massive impact on your child’s overall nutrition.
10. Inspect candy before eating
Always check your child’s candy bag once you return from trick or treating. Look for candy that has been tampered with or is not in the original wrapper. Remove any candy that poses a choking hazard.
11. Plan transportation
Knowing how you plan to get around for the night of trick or treating is more important than you may think. Making sure your kids are comfortable, warm, and safe will make sure everyone is in their best state to venture out. Use your stroller, stroller wagon, or Tush Baby Carrier to save your arms when your toddler gets tired. The Tush Baby Carrier is great for travel too (think airports, hikes, amusement parks)!
12. Adjust expectations
Trick or treating can make both you and your toddler tired or overstimulated. Like all things with parenting, be flexible. Set your goal to be a positive experience over a perfect experience.
Favorite Amazon Halloween Finds
Don’t miss out on our favorite festive Amazon Halloween finds! And if you’re looking for more ideas, check out our Halloween must-haves on Amazon.
Little Blue Truck’s Halloween
We LOVE all the Little Blue Truck board books! And this adorably festive Halloween edition is a favorite inner house plus cute book to add to your toddler’s library.
The Children’s Place Baby and Toddler Halloween Pumpkin Pajamas
These cozy Halloween pajamas are 100% cotton and are sure to keep your kids in the Halloween spirit this season. We have them and love them.
Halloween Ghost Throw Pillows
Looking for an easy and comfortable way to add a little last-minute Halloween decor to your house? Toss these cute ghost throw pillows on any couch for a little Halloween spirit.
Glaciart One Felt Balls + Ghosts Garland
Add a little hanging Halloween decor to any room with this felt ghost garland.
Make Memories This Halloween
Halloween with toddlers can be both fun and exhausting. Remember to have fun and keep toddler trick or treating a positive experience, even if it’s only a short walk around the block.
Focus on making memories and keeping your toddlers safe and having fun! And if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, you’re surely not alone. Check out my toddler parenting classes to help ease any worries or answer any questions you still have.
Frequently Asked Questions
The short answer is yes! With a little pre-trick or treating practice and role playing, trick or treating can be such a fun and rewarding experience with toddlers. Focus on making Halloween a positive experience for your kids, even if you only go out for five minutes.
Practice trick or treating with your kids in the days leading up to Halloween. Use their favorite toys to role play how to say “trick or treat” and “thank you”.
Sort your child’s candy to make sure none of it has been tampered with and remove any that may pose a risk of choking. Set healthy limits to candy consumption and donate the rest!