Halloween is probably one of the coolest holidays. Every kid gets to become something that they’ve always imagined and promenade their wildest dreams door to door getting candy as a reward. To make sure that every ghoul and goblin has the best possible holiday while trick-or-treating, we have a bunch of ideas.
For children with food allergies
With the flood of candy and treats, it can be easy to forget that many of the children trick-or-treating on your block may have dietary restrictions or food allergies that can make Halloween truly scary.
To ensure every trick-or-treater is kept safe this Halloween, pick up some non-food treats like stickers, glow sticks, or other party favors and put a teal pumpkin on your doorstep. A teal pumpkin signals to both children and parents that the house that allergy-safe options to give out. It’s a big help to parents who want their children to enjoy trick-or-treating but fear a potentially dangerous situation when it comes to candies they shouldn’t eat.
For more on the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit the Food Allergy Research and Education website.
For children with speech and language delays
In recent years, there has been a considerable push for trick-or-treat candy collecting bags that politely state the child’s abilities. These bags are personalized and usually state “Hi, I’m _______ I have _________ and I can’t say ‘Trick-or-Treat’, but I’m trying!” For parents who are comfortable with sharing such information, you can find examples of bags like this on Etsy or this viral Facebook post.
Speaking of greetings, taking some time to learn a little Halloween-related ASL can make your front door feel a lot friendlier to a child with hearing or speech issues. You can find lots of quick, simple-to-follow tutorials on YouTube to help you get prepared.
For sensory-sensitive children
There can be a lot of new sounds and noises on Halloween, especially when it comes to those interactive decorations that that one house in your neighborhood always puts up. Bring some earplugs to help with the rushing crowds and those spooky decorations that sometimes emit screaming noises. If being in the dark is an issue, make sure to bring plenty of glow sticks or flashlights. And while it’s typically meant in good fun, steer clear of houses where the scare factor looks too high. Your neighbor may think it’s funny to pretend to be a motionless scarecrow until the kids come by, but they don’t have to deal with the night-ruining aftermath.
Don’t be afraid to take a sensory break, either. It might be a good idea to have a parent, friend, or grandparent follow close by in the car so that you and your child can take a minute to breathe if either of you needs to.
Halloween costumes can also be an issue, especially when they’re made of unfamiliar materials or feature uncomfortable elastic and itchy tags. Whether your kiddo wants to be Luke Skywalker or a toothbrush for Halloween, it’s a good idea to desensitize them to their costume. Cut the tags out, let them try it on and play around the house for a bit. If they still have some sensitivities, let them try wearing a layer of their preferred sensory-friendly clothing on underneath.
If the costume idea that they choose is simple enough, you might always try making it. If you do choose to go that route, stop by your local fabric store with your little monster. Let them touch and feel fabrics that don’t overstimulate them. Craft your spooky creation accordingly.
For children with physical disabilities
Accessible Halloween costumes can be challenging but super fun. You can be as creative as you would like and incorporate their wheels or crutches in the costumes as accessories or assets. If you want costume ideas for individuals who use strollers, wheelchairs, or crutches, you can find them here on a compiled Pinterest page we made just for you.
Going Forward and Staying Spooky
Halloween is a holiday everyone can enjoy! Whether you’ll be distributing candy or trick-or-treating with the kiddos, try and make sure the spookiest night of the year is inclusive to everyone.