Wicked witches, green goblins and pumpkins are going to invade neighborhood streets starting next week. Halloween is here and the laughter of children scurrying up to the house to fill their bags with goodies.
While All Hallow’s Eve is a candy fest for kids, it can be a headache for parents. Here are a few tips to make this one night of the year painless.
- Start preparing early. The sure way to ensure insanity is to start costume planning the night before. We are all about preserving sanity so start looking for costumes early. Good with your hands? Creating or making your costume is a great way to save money and to make the costume exactly like you want it. But if you are not considered a craft-ician, you are not out of luck. Costumes can be found at big box stores like Walmart or at costume specialty shops that always pop up around this time of year. Another great places is thrift stores. Someone’s costume from last year can be your costume this year. Have an open mind and you can find the perfect costume.
- Don’t overload on treats. Sure, if you can afford the king size candy bars and want kids all over town to come trick-or-treating at your house, by all means, go crazy. But with the amount of loot that kids pick up on Halloween, you don’t need to go all out, especially since you don’t even know most of these kids. Grab candies that you enjoy and feel free to hand out as much as you want. When the candy is done or when you have had your fill of door bell ringing, turn off your porch light. That is standard for saying “we’re not home so beat it.” And do not think about becoming the ‘raisin house.’ (You know, the one house that never gives out candies, but raisins instead.) If you want an alternative to candy to hand out, think glow sticks, Play Dough or other fun toys.
- Fuel before the trip. Anything with whiny kids is a nightmare, but trick or treating is even more painful. Before you rush out on your adventures, make sure to feed everyone with real food. My family serves up sloppy joes, but anything that has substance will help from hunger meltdowns. And start early. Even I get cranky when I am tired. And traipsing through the neighborhood would up the crank factor.
- Be safe. Take a flashlight and invest in the buddy system. Only visit houses in neighborhoods you are familiar with. And do not eat any unwrapped candy. Halloween should be fun, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Figure out a post Halloween candy strategy. If you do not want your kids to slip into a sugar coma, you need a plan. Or you could spend your time looking up health insurance quotes to pay for some doctor’s or dentist’s bills. One great mom suggested making a countdown calendar with one treat a day until Christmas. That way candy won’t take over your kids.