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Halloween is one of the most incredibly fun holidays – especially if you have kids! Being able to dress up and become something that is out of this world is exciting for both children and adults! But some kids can find Halloween confusing, and nothing is worse than a scared child surrounded by unfamiliar people in costumes.
So how do you go about celebrating Halloween with a scared child? There are a number of ways to prepare your child for Halloween and ensure that you walk away with a good experience.
Read Halloween Books
The wonderful thing about the holidays is that there are a huge amount of kids’ books surrounding each one! Halloween is no exception. You can’t expect your scared child to walk out of the house and just be okay with monsters and aliens walking the streets. Reading your kid’s books about the holiday can help prepare them so they’re not as nervous.
Make sure to pick up multiple books that touch on each subject. Educating your scared child on each aspect of Halloween will make them more aware and comfortable. Here are a few must-have books that touch on different Halloween subjects!
It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse
It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse takes a classic book and gives a bit of a Halloween story to it. It shows kids different emotions and expressions they may see during that time of year – perfect for any scared child on Halloween!
Eek! Halloween is a Sandra Boynton classic. The chickens are nervous about Halloween (much like your scared child) and have no idea what’s going on. This book walks you through what may seem scary on this holiday and gives a silly spin to it all.
Goodnight Goon is a hilarious parody on the classic story Goodnight Moon. If your kids are familiar with the story, then this is a perfect book to add to your collection! Reading it alongside the classic story can help give your scared child a sense of familiarity, which will come in handy on the big day.
Play Dress Up
Your children may be extremely nervous about having to put on a costume. And your scared child may not like seeing others dressed in something other than everyday clothes. Playing dress-up year-round can help prepare your scared child for Halloween!
Buy a few different costumes for your kids to dress up, and while you’re at it, join in on the fun and buy a few for yourself! Have fun and take turns pretending to be what you’re dressed up as. Making up stories to reenact will give your child a sense of understanding of each character and they will be thrilled to become that character on Halloween!
Playing pretend is not only important for preparing your scared child for Halloween, but it’s also great for their development! According to Scholastic, “When your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve.”
Make sure to invite others over to enjoy the fun! The more dressed up people your scared child is surrounded by the better they will be prepared for Halloween!
Play Spooky Games
This can be done by itself or incorporating dress up! Playing spooky games will give your scared child a positive vibe to his nervous feeling. Introduce these games slowly and make sure not to push your kid into them. Playing peek-a-boo is a great starter for any age! Showing your kids that they are okay when you “disappear” and giving them a little fright when you “appear” can be fun!
Another fun spooky game is the Monster Mash Dance! Have your kids dress up in their favorite costume and turn on the Halloween classic song “Monster Mash”. Watch your scared child open up with fun and spooky dance moves, and encourage them to get into character to make it even more fun!
Hide and Seek is another perfect Halloween game to prepare your scared child for the holiday. Dress up in your costumes and spread out. Having your kids look for the hidden monster may make them feel nervous at first, but the more you have fun with it the more comfortable your kids will be.
Create Spooky Treats
We all know Halloween is less about the tricks and more about the treats. Get creative with it and hop in the kitchen with your kids to make some special spooky treats! Spider shaped cookies, orange brownies, and Oreo bat bites can all make your scared child laugh at how silly the treats look. The more your kids see how fun Halloween can be, the more they will be excited about the holiday!
Read More: Spooky Snacks and Halloween Movies for Kids
Take those decorations out often!
Having your scared child get hands-on with costumes and decorations can make them feel more and more familiar with each part of Halloween. You may not be able to find a pumpkin to carve in April, but there are tons of decorations you can keep on hand to play with.
Plastic skeletons, fake spider webs, and glow in the dark items you can play with year-round. You can even make a Halloween inspired sensory box for your kids that include spooky candy eyeballs and spider rings.
So when those Halloween decorations go on sale in November, make sure to stock up on candy and goodies for the whole year!
Read More: 31 Must Have Halloween Decorations
Practice Round of Neighborhood Trick or Treating
It’s a shame that we only pass out candy once a year. So why not get your neighbors on board with helping your scared child become familiar with Halloween! Chances are, your child is not alone in feeling a bit overwhelmed on Halloween. Talk to your neighbors about having a costume free practice round of trick or treating.
Experiencing trick or treating in a normal setting will give your kid a chance to truly understand the concept before throwing in the costumes. Plus, they will be even more thrilled about the candy!
Halloween I Spy Game
Being prepared for your scared child to get nervous on Halloween night is extremely important. Print out a number of things that your kids may see while out on Halloween night and make it into an I Spy game! If your scared child starts to get nervous about trick-or-treating, take out the game and begin to describe and check off the things they see. Having them focus on one thing at a time will help them feel less overwhelmed and give them a focus point. Include a prize if they check off their entire list and they’ll want to make a tradition of this game every year!
Remember, practice makes perfect! Your scared child isn’t going to magically be okay with monsters and aliens running around. Practicing these scenarios year-round will ensure that they are 100% prepared for the holiday and that you can relax a little more this year.
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