Halloween has arrived.
You’re prepared for the night and the kids are excited to head out the door and start trick-or-treating. But with all of the hustle and bustle (especially when Halloween falls on a weekday), a happy Halloween can quickly turn into a stressful evening for even the most prepared of families.
So, to make sure your Halloween is a happier one, here are 5 steps you will want to take to ensure that your kids do not fall down the slippery slope of sugar highs, tiredness and tantrums.
Step 1: Have Dinner
Have an easy, but healthy dinner prepared like soup and sandwiches along with raw veggies and dip. Eat earlier than usual to give yourselves more time to dress up and prepare for the evening. While eating, review how to call out “Trick or Treat” in a non-shouting voice and speak about trick-or-treating manners (saying “thank you”, being safe, etc.).
Step 2: Suit Up
Get the kids dressed. If it’s cold outside, be sure they wear:
- stockings/extra socks
- gloves (if they don’t have them as part of their costume)
A hat might be a tough sell if it doesn’t go with the costume, but gloves generally don’t take anything away from a costume. Since they plan on being out there for as long as they can, so make sure they’re dressed for it.
Step 3: Head Out
Start trick-or-treating! I suggest choosing 1-3 blocks of houses instead of a whole neighborhood. The fun is to get out, show your costume, see others and get some treats. It’s NOT to bulk up on 60 pounds of sugar.
Step 4: Candy Check
Check the candy when you get home. Each child should dump out their bag and either Mom or Dad should go through it to make sure all is safe. Homemade items, sadly enough, should be avoided as should candy that seems opened or half-opened. Do this now while you’re in the moment.
Step 5: Set “Sweet” Rules
Make a rule that only two pieces of candy will be eaten a day, then let your kids choose the two items they’d like to enjoy that evening and the other two they’d like to enjoy at school the next day. Then, one of the parents should take the bag (or wherever the candy is now stored) and put it somewhere that is out of the reach of small hands.
One more thing…
Consider this a “bonus step”. Put the kids to bed at their normal bedtime (or as close to as possible) so that they are refreshed for school the next day. Then enjoy the rest of your Halloween night, made all the happier by simply following through on these quick and simple steps.