Halloween is a fun time to dress up and go trick or treating, but for our little ones it can also be a long overwhelming night, with scary twists and turns, that younger ones may not be ready for. Don’t stress! Here are some fun-filled Halloween tips to ensure a successful and safe Halloween and trick-or-treating experience for all!

Prepare Your Child Ahead of Time  

Talk to your little ones and let them know what to expect. Explain that there may be some scary costumes and decorations, as well as sounds. Remind them that this is all pretend and part of the Halloween fun.  

Modify The Experience to Maximize Success for Your Child 

Trick or Treat earlier in the evening while it is still light out for younger ones. This will reduce the element of scariness and ensure little ones do not have to compete with older children when trick or treating.

If walking around from home to home is too much for your little one, then you can pull them around in a wagon and make that part of their Halloween Costume.

Make a trick-or-treating map of where you will go and have your little one help navigate. The map will indicate a clear beginning and end and assist with transition time!

If the trick-or-treating door-to-door is not an option for your little one you can explore/organize a neighborhood or school trunk-or-treat options for younger children. This minimizes the walking distance for trick-or-treating, creates a safer and more controlled environment, and is easier to navigate for younger children.

Finally, if going out and trick-or-treating is not an option for your child, staying home and giving out candy can be just as fun! For every candy, your child gives out, have them put one in their own trick-or-treat bag.

Is The Social Language Exchange Too Difficult? 

Make a fun, small, laminated Trick or Treat sign on a popsicle stick that your little one can hold up when going up to doors to collect their candy. You can also make one that says, “Thank you.”

Practice trick-or-treating by taking turns being the trick-or-treater and candy giver. This will help your child understand what to expect and what to say and do!

Prepare Your Child To Be Safe While Trick or Treating 

Make sure your little ones are wearing costumes that enhance visibility to increase safety while trick or treating.

Teach your little ones to ask you to inspect their candy before attempting to eat it.

Whatever your child’s Halloween night looks like make sure to have a fun-filled Spooktacular night!

Hitchcock, C., Chavira, D., Stein, M. (2009) Recent findings in social phobia among children and adolescents. Journal of Psychiatry and Related Science, 46(1), 34-44. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2925835/

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Social anxiety disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved March 1, 2022, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/social-anxiety-disorder

About the Author

Justyna Balzar, M.Ed. BCBA LBA (CT) Co-Founder & CEO

Justyna Balzar has over 15 years experience with learners of varying profiles between the ages of 3 to 18 across multiple settings. She received her Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certification in 2014 from Florida Institute of Technology, her Master in Curriculum and Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University, followed by her BCBA certification in 2016.