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Alternatives to Trick or Treating

by Lori Sciame | October 18th, 2012 | Elementary

(See also: “Safe Places for Preschoolers to Trick-or-Treat” — Ed.)

Many young children have active imaginations.  Because of this, Halloween may be an especially scary time for them.  Some little ones love to dress up and head out on Halloween night with mom and/or dad to go trick or treating, but for those who sometimes mix reality with fantasy, walking out into the night may be too overwhelming.  For these children, parents must find trick or treating alternatives.

Community Sponsored Parties

One alternative would be to find a community organization that sponsors day time trick or treating.  For instance, local businesses will often open their doors to children on a specific day before Halloween, most of the time during the afternoon.  This environment will offer the child a safer atmosphere in which to dress up and participate in the candy ritual.

Churches sometimes also offer events, such as Trunk or Treating on Sunday afternoons.  Usually they also provide games and even entertainment.  Again, since the event occurs during the day, and seems controlled, the child will feel at ease.

Finally, local libraries also sponsor Halloween activities that steer the focus away from things that go bump in the night.  Their events feature books, snacks, and usually even a guest presenter, such as a magician.

Candy Monitor

Another alternative for a preschooler who doesn’t want to go door to door, but who still wants to participate in the fun, would be that of candy monitor.  For lack of a better term, this person is the one who hands out candy to the other children.  My oldest child hated Halloween until I told him he could control the candy.  Then he had a blast!

Friends Party

Finally, if a parent wishes to avoid the sugar rush from candy altogether, he or she could host a small get together of her preschooler’s friends.  They could play games, enjoy healthy snacks, dance to the Monster Mash, and even make crafts.  A child with an over-active imagination would certainly feel safe indoors at a party of his or her own giving.

Alternatives to traditional trick or treating abound.  Whether a parent chooses to take a child Trunk or Treating at a local church or to host a party him or herself, a child does not have to be scared to death on Halloween.  For preschoolers with vivid imaginations, it is best to follow their clues as to what they want to do during this sometimes anxiety causing holiday. Because of this, never force a child to go trick or treating in the dark if he or she seems too afraid.

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