With Halloween fast approaching, families with young children are wondering how they can enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season in this year of the coronavirus. But just because 2020 has been full of tricks doesn’t mean families should go without their Halloween treats! According to my colleagues at Kiddie Academy, this is the year to reinvent your favorite holiday traditions or create brand new ones. Our education team offers some thought-starters for making the most of this most-unusual Halloween. 

Since trick-or-treating involves numerous points of contact and social distancing will be a major challenge, it may be wise to think creatively and restrict trick-or-treating activities to members of your own family bubble. Most communities are in the process of making those assessments, if they haven’t already done so. The result is that we’re likely to see trick-or-treating rules differ from community to community this year, so you’ll want to make sure you know what to expect in your neighborhood.

If trick or treating can proceed in your community, here are a few ways to maximizing the fun:  

  • Consider incorporating a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved face mask into your child’s costume. This way, if traditional trick or treating does take place, your child can show off their mask as part of their ensemble! 
  • Set out candy packed in individual treat bags at the end of your driveway for the trick or treaters to grab and for you and your children to admire the costumes in a socially distant way.  
  • Invite relatives within your “circle” to set up socially distant stations in an open area like a field or large backyard. This usually includes family members dressing up and decorating a table to a Halloween theme, much like a trunk-or-treat.  

If trick or treating is unable to take place in your community, here are a few tips to reinvent the festivities:  

  • Invite your children to set up their favorite games in stations around the house. The entire family plays each game and when a game is completed the children get candy. Don’t worry, the adults may have candy too! 
  • Create a candy scavenger hunt around your home. Hide candy and create clues as to where the candy can be found. Encourage your children to dress up to solve the clues and find the candy. 
  • Invent creepy candy concoctions in the kitchen. Provide a variety of candy for your children to combine to create new flavors and silly treats. Add ice-cream into the mix for a frozen fall delight. 

Another idea to consider? The Great Pumpkin Candy Giveaway, an activity Kiddie Academy introduced last year. On a normal Halloween, it involves taking a portion of the candy your kids collect while trick-or-treating and donating to charitable organizations. This year, if there’s no door-to-door trick-or-treating in your area, you can donate the candy you might otherwise have given away. Here you have a great lesson in generosity, empathy, and kindness for your children. Plus, it keeps all that extra sugar out of their (and your!) mouths. See here for more information on the Great Pumpkin, which includes a list of organizations that accept candy. 


This post originally appeared on Kiddie Academy Family Essentials Blog.