Halloween is on a school night again this year, so keeping organized for the night is important to not totally throw your family’s routine off. We have four whole weekends before “the big day” to get ready. Here’s a few tips to make Halloween FUN and not a “fright night”.
Get the goods
Buy your Halloween treats early to take advantage of sales – that means NOW! Worried that you will snack on them if you buy them too early and wreck your excellent eating habits? Use the “out of site, out of mind” theory and find a spot in a closet, back of the pantry or other spot in your house that you don’t see every day.
This weekend will be perfect to dive in and decorate inside and outside your house. Get your pumpkins, hay bails and corn stalks at a local store before they run out. String lights or put out any other favorite décor. Make it a family affair and have everyone pitch in and then turn it into a pizza night (pre-teens and teens are totally more apt to help out if there’s a food reward!) Getting everything set up now will allow you ample time to enjoy it for a few weeks before getting ready for other holidays.
Have the conversations NOW with your kids as to what they’d like to dress up as so that you have plenty of time to prep, plan and order whatever you need. No need to be running around to multiple stores the night before or paying loads extra for expedited shipping to get things in on time. All you need is a little pre-planning. Consider swapping out costumes from previous years with friends or family or even take a trek to local consignment or good will shops. You never know what you may find!
Use those couple of precious hours between after school and trick-or-treating to get ready for the night. Have a healthy snack or an easy-to-prepare dinner ready for them so they head out with a full stomach. Put on some scary music or a favorite Halloween movie. Go over the agenda for the night – the route, the rules, safety reminders and the curfew – so everyone is on the same page. Get changed into costumes, take some super cute photos and head out on the town! Those couple of hours can be used wisely to get organized AND to make memories.
The Candy Plan
Make a plan for post trick-or-treating so the candy doesn’t get out of control and your kids aren’t hopped up on sugar the entire night! Kids love dumping out everything on the floor to relish in their newfound stash of goodies. Let them sort, pile, trade and have fun with it. Maybe a tradition is that they can have one or two pieces of candy that night and then it all needs to go into a special bowl or container where they’re allowed to then have one or two pieces per day afterward. Maybe they can take a piece of candy as a treat with their lunch the following day. Every household is different, but “candy rules” can be fun traditions they look forward to and pass on.
Remember to be SAFE!
Remember Halloween trick-or-treating safety – bring flashlights, make sure costumes do not have a tripping hazard and check all candy and goodies before the children eat it. Stay in groups, or if your kids are a bit older and going out by themselves, insist they stay together. Have them text you if plans change or they change locations. Simple things can help keep them safe, give you peace of mind and make for an enjoyable, spooky night for all!
Prepare for the breakdown.
Décor and costumes must soon get packed back up, so prepare for an organized breakdown. We love the large totes that are orange and black that you see at many stores – how easy will those be to find next year for Halloween? Gentle dust or wipe down all decorations that need to be stored, discard pumpkins before they starting going bad and clean and store costumes if you’re going to keep them. You’ll thank yourself next year for taking a few extra minutes this year to put things away properly