A parent's guide to trick or treating


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It’s that time of year again, when mini ghouls and ghosts prowl the streets, and parents negotiate their way through piles of free sweets. If you’re taking your little ones out trick or treating this year, read our guide to making your Halloween fun and safe!

 

Know your route


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With just a little preparation you can save yourself an awful lot of hassle when you’re out trick or treating. It’s a good idea to plan a route in advance so, if somebody else is accompanying them, you’ll know exactly where they are. Of course, you should choose areas that you know to be safe and run through the route with your kids beforehand, so they’re familiar with where they’re going and won’t get lost in the dark.

Avoid trick or treating after 9pm (after all, you don’t want to annoy your neighbours!) and don’t knock on houses that have all their lights turned off. As a rule, if a house is well lit and has lots of Halloween decorations, the people inside are more likely to welcome trick or treaters.

 

Dressing up


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Halloween costumes are probably the most exciting part of trick or treating (except maybe the sweets!), so the more creative a costume is, the better. Let your imagination run wild, but remember there are a few simple rules that will make your evening go a lot more smoothly.

Comfortable shoes are key when you plan to spend an hour or two walking around outside, so make sure your little ones aren’t wearing anything that will rub. Similarly, avoid costumes that reach all the way to the ground, as these could cause trips and stumbles. Don’t worry, a bedsheet ghost will still look scary, even if the sheet only reaches to their ankles!

Also, have your child wear something that lights up, be it a glow stick hung around their neck or just a torch for them to hold. Carrying something illuminated will help you all get around, and ensure you can spot them easily if they wander off.

 

Before you leave


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They’re all dressed up and ready to go, but don’t just dash out the door. First, make sure your children go to the toilet before they leave. The last thing you need whilst you’re out and about is to ask an already generous neighbour if you can use their bathroom!

Most importantly, give your kids have a hot, filling meal before they leave. Not only will it keep them warm in the October cold, but they’ll also be too full to gorge themselves on lots of sugary sweets. Of course, you can make dinnertime spooky too, by serving up scary themed food on skull and crossbone plates.

 

Tricks and treats


Left image source: Jeni Foto

At last, it’s time for the most important part of trick or treating: the sweets! Some parents like to check their kids’ sweets before they let them eat any - if you want to do this, keep your eyes peeled for expired best before dates and already opened packets. Of course, if you’re the one giving away the treats, you don’t have to stick to sugary sweets and chocolate. Some great alternatives include raisins, crisps, popcorn and home-baked biscuits.

Remember, when you turn up shouting “Trick or treat!”, your neighbours might call your bluff, so be sure to take along some tricks to show them. Arm your kids with cute, pocket-sized practical jokes - such as joke chewing gum or a fake nail through the finger - and they’ll be earning their treats before you know it.

Don’t forget to check out DotComGiftShop for more scary toys and have a happy Halloween!