Halloween with preschoolers and toddlers requires more than just planning cute costumes and cute picture opportunities beyond posing next to the bare Chicago trees. Successful celebration requires a little more thought so as to ensure everyone has the opportunity to best enjoy the festivities offered this time of year. Here’s a guide to celebrating Halloween with the super-cute littlest monsters in your life:
Considering age before picking out a costume goes beyond steering clear of too-scary outfits for preschoolers. That dinosaur outfit complete with huge dragging tail might look adorable for an 18-month old but it may not be practical for a child who cannot walk far distances. If you know you’ll be carrying your little one or strapping them in a wagon or stroller, be sure the costume will lend to any of those transportation methods.
Roll with the flow
Speaking of transportation, most little ones will need some assistance in getting around the block. Wagons are great vehicles to bring along on the journey because toddlers and preschoolers can often get in and out without much assistance. Also, in our house, at least, it’s much cooler to ride in the wagon than to be strapped into the stroller.
Plan a short jaunt
Even with transportation help from a stroller or wagon, preschoolers and toddlers don’t always have the capacity to take on long distances. We tend to pick the smallest block in our neighborhood, explain that we’ll go all the way around and then head back home to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Speaking of candy, one way parents can ensure the least amount of battles over which candy will be consumed upon arriving at home is to bring two buckets: give your trick or treator his choice of buckets and then hang onto the other one. Ask your trick or treator to pour the candy from his bucket into yours so as to make room in his for more candy. Simply filter out the candy that isn’t safe or edible for your little one before getting back to the house. (Pockets for such stuffing are handy.)
Now that the sun is setting earlier in Chicagoland, the warmth of the day is fading as quickly as the sunset in the evening. With little kids, it’s best to take off for a round of trick or treating early in the late afternoon. Not only does the family get to visit houses in the warmer temperatures, but you’ll also go door-to-door in the daylight, which helps cut down on the scare factor of decorations and other costumes you may come across.
Make arriving home after trick or treating fun beyond simply indulging in handfuls of candy. Have a fun craft waiting upon arriving home so as to take some of the focus from the alluring buckets of candy or serve warmed apple cider alongside a viewing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
2011 Halloween Guide
For everything Halloween in Chicago, visit the CBS Halloween Directory.