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Seven Spooky Tips for a Tot-friendly Halloween

Seven Spooky Tips for a Tot-friendly Halloween


The good news is, Halloween is back. In the past couple of weeks, both the CDC and Dr. Fauci have concurred that trick-or-treating as well as other Halloween-related activities are a go this year, albeit with a few caveats to keep us all safe and healthy.

This comes as welcomed news for both kids and parents alike as we get back to some degree of normalcy. Still, some tots might be a tad too young for trick-or-treating, or some parents might just not be quite ready to get back out in the crowd. Either way, we’ve got seven ghastly tips for a fun, safe and family-friendly spooky season.

7. Festive Fall Sensory Bin

If you’re not already using one, sensory bins are a great way to grow your child’s sense of wonder and imagination while also helping to develop their fine cognitive and motor skills. Also, they’re just good, clean fun.

For a exciting, autumnal sensory bin, consider first filling your bin with dried black, pinto and red beans to get those nice fall colors. Then, try out some differently shaped fallen leaves, a small, knotted pumpkin and maybe something gooey like Play-dough. Feel free to toss in some other fun, festive feelies like a rubber spider too, just to keep it creepy!

6. Tot-friendly Haunted Maze

Come Halloween, we’ve got our minds on haunted hay rides, corn mazes and fright houses. But, with a baby or toddler, these hallowed fall-time traditions aren’t always feasible. So, if you can’t go on the haunted hike, bring the haunts to you!

One way to do this is a living room maze: all you need is to string up four bed sheets for your maze “walls,” set out a couple of light-up jack-o-lanterns and flame-less candles, dim the lights and play some eerie music, and voila, you’ve got your own tot-friendly haunted maze in no time.

5. Baking Pumpkin Spiced Cookies

It’s not officially fall until the aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice are wafting through your house, and baking cookies together (even if you’re doing most of the work while baby watches) is a wonderful way to do just that.

Chances are, you might already have a favorite pumpkin cookie recipe but, in case you don’t, we are particularly fond of these pumpkin drop cookies from the New York Times.

4. Creepy Coordinated Costumes

Sure, Dad could be Han Solo while Mom goes as witch and baby ends up a little lion, but where’s the fun in having three unalike outfits? When it’s just not enough to have your entire family dress up for Halloween, go for the coordinated costumes. Nothing ups the cuteness factor better!

Don’t feel the need to go straight to the costume store because making these costumes can become part of the experience with a family craft night. Go on and get creative with it! But, if you’re feeling strapped for ideas, check out this slideshow to help get those artistic energies flowing.

3. Spooky Movie Night

You just may have to give up on A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th until the kids are put to bed, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t quality family-friendly fright film fare to enjoy until then.

Some of our favorites include A Nightmare Before Christmas (because it also doubles as a Christmas movie, bonus), Hocus Pocus (because Bette Midler, among other things), and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. But there are more recent movies as well like Hotel Transylvania and ParaNorman to enjoy as well. Go ahead, slip into something cozy and cuddle up for movie night!

2. Safe Trick-or-Treating

Of course, the crown jewel of any Halloween season is trick-or-treating. Even if you’re just bringing baby around to collect candy for yourselves (admit it, we’ve all done it), trick-or-treating can be a fun, festive activity for all to enjoy. But, this year, it still should be done as safely as possible, too.

While officials have relaxed social-distancing measures for this year, they’re still advocating for three basic guidelines:

  1. Avoid big crowds (and mask up if you don’t)
  2. Stay outdoors
  3. Celebrate with a small group of people you know

1. A Small, Family-friendly Monster Mash

Put all these tips together and you’ve got yourself the ultimate recipe for a fun, family-friendly get-together. We recommend abiding by the guidelines and keeping it small and outdoors if it isn’t too cold.

Finally, to all the boils and ghouls out there, Mummies and Dad-culas, have a spooky and safe Halloween!


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