It’s almost Halloween, an exciting time for all of our little ghosts, goblins, witches, and pumpkins. Along with all the fun and excitement, all the new elements of
Halloween can be unsettling or even downright scary for the littlest people. Here are
some suggestions to make this Halloween the happiest yet.
Prepare your little pumpkin for spooky surprises. The world of Halloween is filled
with all sorts of new characters, and ghosts, monsters, and witches (and even
princesses and Elmo) can be startling or scary. Before heading out on Halloween or
in the days leading up to it, let your toddler know that they might be seeing these
new-to- them characters. You can also talk about creatures who might jump out and
say “Boo,” and even practice saying “Boo!” right back.
Consider the candy conundrum. Halloween is closely connected with candy and
trick-or-treating for most people, but chances are your little pumpkin hasn’t made
the association yet. With all the other new parts to the Halloween experience, this
might be a year to enjoy the sights and sounds of the neighborhood rather than
focusing on hitting every house on the block. If you decide to squeeze in a few “trick-
or-treats,” consider letting your child select one or two pieces from their loot, then
saving the rest for the grown-up goblins at your house or workplace. (Of course be
sure to check all candy for choking hazards or unsafe packaging before the candy
Young toddlers can also celebrate Halloween by helping to hand out treats at home.
This is a great time to model eye contact, please and thank you, and taking turns.
You might want to consider handing out non-candy items such as Halloween
stickers, pencils, or small non-candy snack packs.
Costumes – the great debate. Halloween costumes can take a lot of time, money, and
energy to create, and we’ve all heard stories of that infamous toddler who took one
look at their intended costume and flatly refused to have anything to do with it. To
avoid (or at least mitigate) the frustration that the may raise, develop a “Costume
Plan B.” You might grab a hat and some face paint or even have a Halloween t-shirt
on hand just in case. Whether your toddler is sporting their costume or rocking a t-
shirt, make sure you’ve got options just in case the evening is warmer or cooler than
We hope these tips help you have a wonderful Halloween with your little ghosts and
goblins. Happy Halloween!