It’s the Halloween season when all things spooky and gooey abound for our kids! Dressing up as monsters, visiting haunted houses, and eating too much candy are what kids look forward to second to breaking open gifts at Christmas. The Smart Mamas team asked two of our Mombassadors how their families celebrate to keep Halloween safe and filled with scary fun without being afraid of no ghost!
SM: Do your kids get scared around Halloween? How do you handle it?
Arianne: Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. Every once in awhile we’ll end up trick-or-treating at a house where the owners have taken the “haunted” route. If we end up going to the door, and it’s answered by someone dressed in a scary costume, I explain that it’s just a costume.
Jill: Not particularly. If something scares them we either talk it out or remove them from the situation.
SM: What Halloween book does your child like to read?
Arianne: For us it’s, There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bat, Shake Dem Halloween Bones, Skeleton Hiccups, Go Away, Big Green Monster, Goodnight Goon, and Spookley the Square Pumpkin.
Jill: Our six year old LOVES the Weird School Books! So I would have to say that It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green would be his choice. As for our four year old, definitely Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins.
SM: What Halloween movie do you like to watch with your child/children?
Arianne: We lean towards classics like Hocus Pocus, Casper the Friendly Ghost, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Ghostbusters, Hotel Transylvania, and The Witches.
Jill: So many! We are big on Family Movie Nights and Halloween is no exception. Coraline, ParaNorman, Hotel Transylvania and of course, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown are some of our favorites.
SM: At what age do you take your kids trick or treating?
Arianne: I wait until they’re old enough to walk and talk, usually around 2. I don’t want to be the one saying, “Trick-or-treat!,” and I want them to be able to say thank you. When they’re little, I don’t take them around very long, because they really don’t need candy– it’s more for the experience.
Jill: Our first son was born in the middle of October, so we waited until he was one. Of course he didn’t eat much candy, if any, but it was still fun to walk around. We usually have a Halloween party or two to attend and always show off our costumes to relatives.
SM: What do you do with the candy?
Arianne: To be honest, I don’t buy a whole lot of candy to give out. I buy maybe two bags. After my older kids have gone out for a while, I have them come home, take what they want to keep, and then we hand out the misfit candies. I’ve tried to limit the intake afterword, but Halloween happens only once a year, so I try not to make it a big deal.
Jill: Last year it ended up in a big bag in the closet and stayed there for months. Our older son would occasionally take a piece in his lunchbox or we would use it as a special treat. Eventually we tossed what was left.
SM: What do you do when Halloween is on a school night?
Arianne: I treat it like any other Halloween, to be honest. We don’t go out too late past dark anyway because I live in a climate where not only does it get dark, but cold. It’s just a known fact that when Halloween is on a school night, the kids will eat junk before bed,
The next day, they might be literal zombies. By the way, this is coming from a former elementary school teacher who is married to a current middle school teacher. We all survive the Halloween hangover, haha!
Jill: We treat it like a holiday. We don’t let them binge, but we let them stay up later and enjoy the festivities.
SM: What costume is popular in your household this year?
Arianne: Aside from my 9-year-old wanting to dress as “IT,” from a movie he hasn’t seen, and won’t likely for another 5 years, there isn’t a popular costume in my household. I have a big box of Halloween costumes and random accessories that I usually have the kids pick from. They definitely come up with some pretty creative ideas!
Jill: Our big guy has picked one of his favorite scary book/movie characters. Our little guy is going to be a lightning bug, because he wants his butt to light up. My husband and I are dressing in costumes that complement the boys’.