Some easy modifications for a ghoulishly good time
What are your and your little ones’ plans for Halloween 2020? There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Halloween should be “canceled” this year, but we know neighborhood trick-or-treating is still very much on many families’ agendas. The important thing is to take some extra precautions—and make simple modifications to usual routines—to make the celebration as safe as possible in light of this year’s added health concerns. Below, we’ve gathered some top safety tips to help you plan—whether you’re giving out treats, taking your little ones around the neighborhood, or both.
1. Mask up
And we don’t mean the plastic masks that come with some kids’ costumes. Instead, stick with the cloth type of close-fitting, nose-and-mouth-covering mask your child has been wearing these past months due to COVID-19. Could you decorate one to match your kid’s costume? Yes, of course, and there are plenty of adorable options here, but keep in mind that costumes need not be perfect. This is always true, but more so this year! And, parents: if you’re walking around with your child, or greeting kids who come by your house, don’t forget your mask too.
- Keep your route short
The goal this year is not quantity (does all that candy ever get eaten in your house anyway?). Anything you can do to decrease the number of interactions reduces risk, so limit your trick-of-treating stops to just one street, or just a few houses, or whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
If it’s your baby’s first Halloween, chances are that they either don’t know what to expect and/or any celebration will be exciting for them. If you have older kids, talk to them about how the Halloween routine will be different this year—and that this is true for everyone, not just them. If any of your kids seem especially bummed about the lack of candy or lack of routine, think of other fun and celebratory ideas to supplement (see #5!).
- Trick-or-treat in driveways if possible
Instead of a door-to-door routine, or the usually popular trunk-or-treating, can you and your neighbors keep the action more out-in-the-open this year? Trick-or-treaters can be a lot more spread out if they don’t have to march up narrow sidewalks and bunch up on small front-door stoops. This is also better for parents with toddlers who might be bringing kids around in a stroller, or for those who might be carrying little ones.
- Spread treats out on a table, blanket, etc.
Building on the above tip…can you set up a table, or blanket, or other surface where you can place treats in a spread-out fashion? In other words, if you’re distributing candy, avoid those small pumpkin-shaped buckets. You don’t want kids to have to stick their hands into a communal container (where, let’s be honest, they rummage around for the candy that feels the biggest). Also: individually wrapped treats—which are most common these days anyhow—are the name of the game for sure.
Or…why not have a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt? Place candy, Easter-egg-style, in easy-to-find spots around your front yard so that kids can maintain distance from one another. And—hand sanitizer! Keep a bottle or two available for anyone who needs it.
- Feel free to skip the trick-or-treating, and get creative with other fun ideas
There’s no rule saying your kids have to go trick-or-treating or even that you have to provide treats for others—especially not this year. A few alternative ideas include: a virtual costume contest with friends or neighbors; a small “parade” on your street (no candy needed); an outdoor movie night with a small group of friends; or a private candy scavenger hunt in your backyard with just your kid(s) or a few others.
Whatever you and your little one(s) do to celebrate Halloween this year, be safe and have fun! For more tips and helpful reminders, visit the CDC’s page on Trick or Treating and Other Halloween Activities.