Halloween can be a scary time for parents, and we don’t mean in the fun way. In South Florida, where balmy weather, mosquito bites and potential flash storms can put a damper on your trick-or-treat plans before you get your first mini-Snickers bar, things can turn sour (Patch Kids!) in an instant. But if you follow these tips for parents, children and homeowners, you are more likely to keep everyone happy and not so scared to enjoy the night.
- Adopt a Neighborhood Not all neighborhoods are known for being Halloween hot spots. One popular tradition in South Florida is visiting neighborhoods that are known locally for their enthusiastic, Halloween-oriented community spirit. The trick for parents is to plan ahead and try to arrive before dark, so they can help familiarize their kiddos with unknown streets before they get too crowded.
- Load up the Car For those to avoid crowded sidewalks, trunk-or-treats have proven to make the night unforgettable. Every Halloween in Miami, schools, neighbors associations and churches organize trunk-or-treats full of candy and community activities. As older kids begin to lose interest in dressing up, decorating their cars, loading up on candy and handing out treats is more socially acceptable.
- Candy Buy Back After trick-or-treating, remember how fun it was to go home and check your candy loot? Kids still love doing that. Let them sort the candy at home and assign a value per type of candy. You are the buyer and they are the sellers. After the purchase, plan a trip to the store and motivate them to spend their candy money on a more health-conscious treat!
- Cool Disguises Nobody wants to walk around drenched in sweat or annoyed by irritating fabrics? Favor comfort over cuteness. Things like breathable fabrics and easy pull-out accessories will keep children fresh. Bring water and don’t wait until they feel thirsty to offer a sip.
- Halloween Protocol This is a great opportunity to teach your kids manners, such as greeting and thanking each homeowner who gives them candy. When they encounter a bowl of candy at the door, make sure they are considerate to other kids and only take one or two pieces and don’t leave wrappers in lawns.
- Safety First Trick-or-treating does come with some hazards. With so many people walking around it can be difficult to keep track of your little ones. Before you dress them up for the night, write your phone number on your child’s costume, in their socks, or trick-or-treating bags in case you get separated. Carry glow sticks and check that your flashlights have new batteries – kids will think they are part of their costume and gladly carry them around.