All month long, kids look forward to the final day of October. The 31st means staying out later than usual, running around the neighborhood with friends, dressing up, carving pumpkins and pillowcases full of treats. While children see this as a field day, some parents can’t help but worry about the health and safety of their children on Halloween. Proceeding are some helpful tips to ensure everyone can enjoy the festivities!
For the little ones who can’t carve pumpkins, painting or using markers are great alternatives for decorating pumpkins. Or, allow the kids to draw the outline of what’s to be carved. Then, after an adult cuts the top off, have the kids scoop out the fruit and the seeds of the pumpkin. This is a great way to keep children involved in the carving process without having to worry about knife safety.
Miniature ghost puppets made of cotton balls, popsicle sticks, tissues, string and makers are a simplistic craft that any age can enjoy. How? Lay the tissues flat. Place a popsicle stick with cotton balls glued to either side of it, in the center of the tissue. Wrap the tissues around the cotton balls. (The cotton balls create the head of the ghost.) Tie the tissues in place around the cotton balls and popsicle stick with string. Then, draw your ghost’s face!
Construction paper cut-outs to make witch’s hats, jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and monsters allow kids to be creative and construct decorations for any door or wall in the house.
Before sending kids out, make sure they are dressed for the weather. Layering up underneath costumes can help prevent a sick princess or cowboy tomorrow. Utilizing bright colors in costumes can help kids stand out in the dark while trick-or-treating and using face paint rather than a mask can help ensure safety, too! Even for the parents, don’t dress in something your child won’t be able to recognize you in once the street lights come on.
Go in groups! Let Halloween be a time for the kids of the neighborhood to come together as a community. Traveling in a group will not only make sure the kids are safe, but it can also teach the kids social skills. Emphasizing the importance of a community at an early age can be incredibly beneficial for a child later in life.
You can’t control what others hand out for Halloween, but you can control what you give and what you allow your child to consume. Switching out candy for toys, coupons or healthier snacks like granola bars or pretzels aren’t bad ideas. When kids empty their pillowcases, go through the candy with them. Throw out anything that looks tampered with or that is open. Ration out the candy in a way that works for you and your child or trade out the candy for something with less of a negative impact on their nutrition.
With these tips, we wish you a healthy, safe and happy Halloween!
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