We've been delighting in our wanderings through autumn, and we've tried to keep a balance between nature and leaves and cooler weather fun and that absolutely delicious holiday known as Halloween. But at this point, there's no semblance of balance.
We are all pumpkins, all costumes, all orange and black, all the time.
All candy, all the time.
Gulp. Overwhelmed yet? You will be by Halloween night for sure. And your little one is abuzz now, before the sugar rush even starts.
Here are our Savvy tips for keeping things not-so-tricky on Halloween:
Be prepared. Like all happy outings, Halloween works best with clear expectations and a good supply of healthy snacks. Starting the "how many pieces of candy do I get to eat tonight" negotiation while the opposing party is clutching a big bag of candy is not a position of strength for a parent. Sketch out the parameters in advance. And consider packing a stash of non-sugared snacks for the inevitable crash during the walk back home.
Keep it early. With daylight savings still in effect in most areas, there is a bit more dusk and a bit less pitch black to start the trick-or-treating. Take advantage of it. Early also means fewer hordes of big kids, who are the true frights to Halloween-ing little ones.
Provide your own light if you need it (or if your little one thinks you need it). Walking around to neighbor's houses in the (near) dark while fully costumed can be a bit odd for preschoolers. Sometimes a flashlight or a glow band makes a little one feel a bit braver. Call it a light saber in the spirit of the night, if you wish.
Steer clear of the tricked-out spots. Your preschooler might be oblivious to the scarier parts of Halloween lore, but she's likely to be truly terrified by a dark doorway with a grim reaper-clad adult leaping out at her. Best to skip the grown-ups who take this most seriously; stick with the cheerful, old-lady-neighbor types.
Don't forget your camera. We know, it seems obvious, but it's still worth repeating. You'll never forgive yourself if you walk out without it.
Keep it short. Halloween is great fun for the whole family, but it's going to be fun for the whole family for years and years to come. For a preschooler's night, a short stroll with, say, a dozen or two stops is still super big. Why push your luck?
Consider a family rule on when the candy goes bad in your house. Unless you like listening to the whining over "just one more piece" when you're trying to pull together your Thanksgiving feast, a nice parent-invented rule on when candy gets pitched (or pilfered late night by the grown-ups) is handy. It may sound like the grinch who stole Halloween, but trust us....
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