Halloween CAN Still Happen


Halloween can still happenOkay, so it is only September. But for people like me, Halloween preparations start well in advance of October 31st. If I could start decorating in the summer, I probably would. Yes, I am one of those moms.

But this year is different.

This year, many of us Halloween fanatics are worried that our favorite night will bear little resemblance to Halloweens past. With so much uncertainty (thanks to the pandemic), it is tough to know whether we will be trick or treating or staying home, able to host small gatherings, or isolated and having little contact with the outside world.

But that is no reason not to make the most out of Halloween using what we have!

Let’s start with masks!

Masks…those pesky inconveniences so many complain about, can actually be an excellent addition to your child’s costume! What face paint? Just decorate the mask to make them part of the costume! Or, opt for a decorated face shield instead (or maybe both)! Best yet? Your child can show off their fun mask or shield after Halloween, reliving the joy of the evening that goes too fast each year (no reason they can’t wear them before, too, if you so choose!).

What about Trick or Treating?

In our neighborhood, we are trying to coordinate a safer, socially distant Trick or Treating event (as a contingency plan in the event traditional trick or treating is canceled). My husband and I are planning to print fliers and put them in each of our neighbor’s mailboxes, asking our community that if our Trick or Treating events can’t occur, to place individual goodie bags with candy and nonfood trinkets (in accordance with the Teal Pumpkin Project) spaced out on either a table or on the ground. Adults can sit on their porch or in a chair at least 6 feet away to say hi and monitor if they so choose.

This way, children still can experience the joy of showing off their costumes, adults can live vicariously as they do each year in seeing children’s happiness, and our kids can collect goodies in a socially distanced and safer manner. Plus, we can offload all that candy we all stock up on, instead of eating it after the kids go to bed (don’t lie, you know you’ve been there!).

There is no guarantee people will participate, but we suspect, in a neighborhood filled with young children and in speaking with some of our neighbors, they will. If you live in a walkable neighborhood, feel free to try this idea in your community!

Or, try out one of these other great Trick or Treating alternatives:

  1. Halloween Scavenger Hunt: You make the rules. Are your children looking for different colored leaves, different shapes of pumpkin, and various types of decorations in their community? Seeking out hidden candy, having to collect one of each type on a list? Scavenger hunts are great because they are flexible enough to meet your family’s individual needs. If safe to do so, you can always include some of your children’s closest friends too!
  2. Halloween “Easter Egg Hunt”: Have your children paint Easter eggs orange, and use black paint to create Jack o’ Lantern faces. Then, fill with candy and hide around your house or yard.
  3. Halloween Socially Distanced Parade or Car Parade: Organize a costume parade in your neighborhood or decorate your cars and use them instead! Car parades were all the rage in the spring (for birthdays, graduation ceremonies, mothers’ day, and more). Halloween seems like a great time to bring them back!

Whatever creative solutions you come up with this year, be sure to share with all of us at Westchester County Mom by tagging us in your photos and ideas on Instagram or in public Facebook posts, plus be sure to use #WCMomHalloween (who knows…we might share some of your creative ideas!).

Halloween will look different this year, but that is no reason to scrap the entire thing! Join us in embracing our current circumstances and setting an example of resilience for our children.

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Erin is the mother of one sweet, rambunctious toddler and wife to a talented chef. Professionally, she is a former special educator and preschool teacher, and is currently a cognitive neuroscience researcher and Ph.D candidate in Cognitive Science in Education with specializations in neuroscience, cognitive development, and neurodiversity/autism. She holds masters degrees in cognitive science, and neuroscience in education, from Teachers College, Columbia University, and undergraduate degrees in special education (with an additional concentration in elementary education and a minor in English) and early childhood education. As the wife of a chef, food is a huge part of her family culture, and she enjoy both cooking and baking. Some of her other hobbies include hiking, traveling, jogging, meditation, animal rescue, playing piano and guitar, crafting, reading, and of course, writing. You can follow her parenting journey and pick up tips on great kids activities here on Westchester Moms Blog, as well as her website (www.themindfullyscientificmama.com), Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts.