Not gonna lie, one of the best things about having kids is getting to re-experience holidays with renewed excitement. And Halloween is one of the best. For us adults, the only hope we have is that one of our friends will throw a spectacular costume ball, and the reality is that you end up at a bar full of people that you can’t even gage because they’re wearing costumes. But there’s nothing like making decorations, carving pumpkins, coming up with cool costumes and trick-or-treating with someone who’s never done it before!
Halloweens with newborns are totally wonderful, and we all froth at the mouth thinking about what animal, veggie or fruit we are going make our baby. But if this is one of your first Halloweens with a toddler, here’s a few tips from Lil’ Jammerz…
Of course you know we aren’t going to be able to not talk music here. As they get older, haunted house and spooky sounds are great background music for making decorations. But for toddlers who are sensitive to auditory stimulation, we suggest fun and silly Halloween songs. There are tons of fun (and free) selections on YouTube to go through.
For making decorations, we suggest letting your little one get creative! At this age, they’re still developing their motor skills, so we’ve had to put our dreams of perfectly intricately carved pumpkins and Pinterest-level artwork on hold. But drawing pictures with Halloween colors, helping mommy and daddy put up cobwebs or helping you clean (see: lick) the cookie dough bowl is might be realistic! To boost motor-skill development, we also love making ghosts out of tissue paper, wrapping popsicle sticks with toilet paper to make mummies and gluing pulled apart cotton-balls to paper to make ghosts. Bonus points: all three of these activities are supposed to have a tattered, inaccurate look!
It’s pretty hard not to choose their Halloween costumes, but it won’t take long before they’ll want to make this important decision for themselves. What happens next is very dependent on your toddler’s costume idea. There are two main factors with costumes: Price and Cost. There are tons of easy, out of the bag costumes for toddlers on Amazon and eBay, so if you don’t have the time or the chops to make a good Olaf from Frozen suit, that’s a good route. However, if your daughter says she wants to be a Peacock it might be easiest and cheapest to take a handful of peacock feathers from the craft store to a blue jumpsuit.
Insider tip: at this age, you’re probably more concerned with the tiny details than they are. When I was a kid my mom used to roll a piece of purple poster board into a cone shape and cover it in glitter to make my princess hat. Looking back at pictures, it clearly wasn’t the sparkling magical hat i thought it was, but at the time my imagination was my best accessory.
Also, be sure to get a complimentary warmer layer for underneath the costume as it will get chilly as the sun sets. And of course, if this is their first time trick-or-treating, prep them for the experience. Halloween can be really scary to a toddler, so skip the houses that are too spooky, and go home before it gets dark. Listening to your little one and staying close to them will be crucial for their first time!
Alright, parents, let’s just be honest here because they can’t read yet. Perhaps the greatest thing about having kids at Halloween time is that you get to buy candy and pretend it’s not for you. Then you get to walk around the neighborhood and ask your neighbors for candy and pretend it’s not for you. There are two ways it can go when they’re young: either they’ll remember that they had more candy, or they won’t. If you do choose to let them keep their loot, one suggestion is to have a time of day (not nighttime unless you’re into sugar rushes right before bed) that you divvy out a couple pieces of Halloween candy to eat and let them sort and take inventory of the rest. Even still, we suggest that a piece of candy every day is too much, so toss anything you can get away with. We’ve also heard of bargaining with your little one with a pumpkin muffin, stickers, or a small toy to trade them for the rest of their candy.
And of course right when you get home, toss everything that is unwrapped or homemade by someone that you don’t completely know and trust. Same goes for any choking hazards or anything else you aren’t 100% sure of. It’s all about minimizing tricks and maximizing treats with your little ones on Halloween!