Friday, October 25, 2019

Prepare Toddler to Trick or Treat

How do you prepare a toddler for trick or treating?

Do you want a fun and somewhat easy way to get your toddler ready and excited for trick or treating?

You need to make a simple life sized Halloween house!

Let me explain how this simple Halloween activity helps get kids ready for Halloween. 

Toddlers typically fall into two camps when it comes to trick or treating.

1. They hear the word candy and they start running towards any house as fast as possible.

2. They stick close to mom and dad and feel a bit worried about the whole idea of going to unfamiliar houses, seeing possible scary things, and talking to strangers.

As a mom, I love finding simple ways to prep my kids for trick or treating in order to help us all have a successful and low stress Halloween.

Why would you need to prepare a child for trick or treating?

Trick or treating usually involves meeting new people, going to different places, and seeing unfamiliar things. This can be stressful for some kids. 

Preparing kids ahead of time can make new experiences less stressful.

One of the best ways to prepare toddlers (or kids of any age) for new situations is to... 
1. Clearly explain what's going to happen.

2. Show them what it looks like.

Kids tend to tune out if we do a lot of talking… so we need to make it visual.

We also can practice or role play to get ready!

RELATED: Read more about ways to make Halloween less stressful for kids (and YOU) here.

How can you practice trick or treating with a toddler? 

There are several fun ways to get started practicing for trick or treating. Here are a few. 

1. See it in action!

If your kids have no concept of what trick or treating is, have them watch a short TV show on Netflix where their favorite character goes trick or treating. There are so many kid themed shows where this happens and can give them a frame of reference. 

Paw Patrol is one of our favorites! Kids love to act out what they see on shows.

2. Make a Halloween House!

This is our favorite! It is the perfect way to practice for Trick or Treating. Grab a big cardboard box and turn it into a cardboard house. 

The house doesn't need to be fancy or "pinterest" perfect. We grabbed a box from our box graveyard and stuck it together with a bunch of packing tape.

We had one child be the trick or treater and the other child sat inside the cardboard house and passed out "candy." I even took a turn!

What trick or treating skills do you practice?

Here are the basic skills we practice for Halloween night:
  • Walk up the path to the house and knock.
  • Say "Trick or treat" when you get up to a front door and someone opens it.
  • If someone asks you what your costume is, tell them what costume you are wearing.
  • Wait till you are offered candy to take one.
  • Only take one piece of candy (unless more is offered)
  • Say "Thank You" and "Happy Halloween" after you get your candy.
  • Walk to the next house. Only walk on sidewalks (not lawns).

How can you get siblings involved?

Siblings can be great models and can even role play how to trick or treat with little siblings.

If you don't have any older siblings, mom and dad can role play together and demonstrate.

Kids can also use their stuffed animals to do pretend play "trick or treating" and get ready for the big day. 

RELATED: Want some more simple activities to do this October? Check out my 31 more awesome Halloween activities for kids.

What are some alternatives to trick or treating?

If you know ahead of time that your child won't want to do typical door to door "trick or treating," here are a few alternatives! 

  • Find a local trunk or treat and go with some familiar friends.
  • Do some pumpkin crafts or activities from Toddler Approved.
  • Attend a toddler friendly calm local Halloween activity
  • Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Invite friends over for a Halloween movie
  • Do a pumpkin bath from Busy Toddler.
  • Try some Halloween science from Toddler Approved.

Do you have any other tips for helping prepare a toddler for trick or treating?

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