“Happy Halloween,” we say flippantly as we rush about our errands, chores, pick-ups and drop-offs. But do we really mean it? We work tirelessly to provide our children with the right costumes, candy, and crafts.
But let’s be honest – what us moms are really after are the memories. We want to give our kids a…you guessed it – a Happy Halloween. We want it to be scary, but not too scary. We want it full of candy and treats – but not too many candies and treats! Most of all, we just want our kids to look back one day and say how much fun they always had as kids on holidays. We want to snap a pic that captures the joy and wonder of the moment. We want to look down at our kids and see them completely enthralled and involved in the moment.
So, I turned to the pros (aka REAL MOMS!) to find out the secrets of a truly happy holiday. Real moms, with real kids, and real struggles, just like you and me. Here’s the advice I got on making this the happiest halloween ever:
Let Them Decide: Chelsey Tobiason www.diaryofamommy.com (Mom to 3)
“I have three kids (5,2 and 8 mos) who LOVE Halloween. My best piece of advice is to follow what the kids are asking to be– even if it isn’t your dream scenario. I always have wild (and semi selfish) ideas for family costumes, when in reality one kid wants to be a Sea Witch and the other wants to be a hot dog. They never match and are never what I pick out for them. But they are the cutest, happiest little trick-or-treaters because they are what THEY want to be.”
Teach them What’s Behind the Fear: Alia Milano Sullivan www.2blondemamas.com (Mom to 2)
“Take the kids to Target or somewhere with a Halloween section to see that all the masks and costumes are just pretend. Try them on together and be goofy. Same goes for decorations! Introduce them to the big scary FAKE spiders.”
Eat the Candy! Sarah Ruston Clouser, https://onemilesmile.wordpress.com/ (Mom to 2)
“I let our kids eat a ton of candy on Halloween night. I put restrictions on how much they can eat after Halloween night, but it seems silly to let them go get all of that candy and then say, ‘No, you can only have two pieces.'”
Make it An Early Night: Justine Fricke Young www.littledoveblog.com (Mom to 4)
“We have four kids age 6 and under, and we go trick-or-treating early, like EARLY. We’re always the first group out. But if we leave around 5:30 or so we’re back by 7:00 and relaxing in our pajamas and watching fun Halloween cartoons while we pass out candy! makes for a fun night and a much better time the following day!”
Use Imaginations and Give Back Aditi Wardhan Singh, http://aditi.ws/SilverLinings/ (Mom to 2)
“Halloween is exciting enough for the candy and costumes. The two things we are striving towards to help kids get more out of the experience is donating all candy except a set number (this year is 10) to a selected cause (this year army) and using our imagination to put together the costume, instead of store bought.”
Make it About Family Marcie in Mommyland,www.marcieinmommyland.com (Mom to 2)
“We pick happy (not scary) costumes and we dress up as a family. This year we have a Disney theme with my toddler dressing as Olaf and my newborn dressing as Mickey.”
Embrace a New Tradition! Colleen Catherine, http://colleeniscreative.com (Mom to 3)
Have you ever heard of “BOOing” your neighbors? Basically, you make them a goody bag of Halloween/fall goodies and leave it on their doorstep with a note instructing them of what the bag is and that they have to do one for someone else. They’re so fun to make and leave on our friends’ doorsteps!
It’s Not All About the Kids! Jasmine Almeida, www.happiestmama.com (Mom to 3)
Get creative and make up some traditions that aren’t just about the kids! My husband and I always watch a scary movie (he gets one per year, haha!) around Halloween. Mix up some fun cocktails, host an adult party, wear some cute Halloween clothes and have fun with it!
Hope you found these ideas useful! It’s fun to see what makes other families happy on Halloween. Don’t forget to check your local library, school, and town events to find fun Halloween parties and parades. Throw in some traditional annual activities like pumpkin carving, spooky decorating, special Halloween treats and baking, and you’ve got yourself one seriously HAPPY Halloween!
5 Halloween Shows Your Preschooler Will Love
Curious George Boo Fest (Netflix) (My 5 year old asks to watch this all year!)
Room on a Broom (Netflix)
Mickey Mouse Monster Musical
Boo for You Halloween (Disney Junior does Halloween specials on Fridays leading up to Halloween)