Halloween may be my favorite Holiday. I don’t like to dress up, and I don’t celebrate in my classroom. But as a family, we really enjoy decorating and making costumes. I think it is a time to really let your imagination go.

This can be tricky as the parent of young children. Although we may enjoy this holiday as adults, it can be difficult for young children to understand, as children before the age of 6 are grounded in reality and have yet to experience the incredible expansion of the imagination that happens between ages 6 and 12.

Here are a few tips that might make halloween go a little smoother.
1. Include your child in the decorating. Invite them to help you string the spider webs across the front walk or place the pumpkins on the steps. This can demystify some of the spookiness. This year we have added a grave yard and two spooky ghosts. In the next week we hope to also add a giant spider web, a black widow spider and spider egg sacks all around out front door. See tutorial here. http://www.marthastewart.com/853603/spider-egg-sac
2. Give your child 2-3 costume options before making or buying one. I have my children explain their costume and I ask colors, textures, lengths…all before my trip to the fabric store. For those of you still trying to find the right costume for your toddler, you’ll enjoy this flowchart

3. Do not choose a costume with a hood or hat if your child doesn’t usually like to wear hats. Some kids like to wear hats, some don’t. If your child does not like hats, nothing will change for Halloween.
4. Walk the neighborhood in the daylight once the decorations are up. Taking a walk to examine the neighborhood decorations before venturing out to trick-or-treat can help sooth any potential fears.
5. Tell your child what to expect when trick-or-treating. Even if this is not his first time, explain that he will carry his bag, knock on the door, say trick-or-treat to whomever answers the door and say thank you when he receives a treat. In Montessori we call this a lesson in Grace and Courtesy.
6. Have fun. Don’t feel like you have to go to every house or even eat the candy.

Happy Halloween!

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