The first Halloween is usually more for Mom and Dad. A cute oversized costume, themed onesie, or a matching family set, and if you do get candy, it probably all got eaten by the grown ups right after bedtime. Then comes the toddler Halloween.
The second, third, and fourth Halloweens are when the party starts for our littles. Whether your kiddo just started walking in time for Trick or Treating or is having their first Preschool Halloween Party this year, here’s what you need to know.
1. Pumpkins & Halloween are a great pair; toddlers & knives/open flame are not
With kids under 4, its ok to skip the intricate Pinterest pumpkin, and go for a closely supervised sensory play time instead. Pumpkin guts and seeds make a great mess, and you will have your hands full with this without adding any sharp knives to the mix! Or make the activity all about staying clean with a pumpkin sensory bath. Don’t forget your smocket!
If you still need to carve a pumpkin this year for a toddler Halloween photo op, do it away from the toddler and skip the candle for an LED light instead.
2. Glowsticks aren’t just for college raves anymore.
Another safe pumpkin light option. Jewelry to help with visibility as kids toddle off into the evening. Making your very own spooky scavenger hunt if you’re still staying home due to COVID19 restrictions. There is no problem glow sticks can’t solve on Halloween night. Stock up and enjoy, the leftovers make a fun sensory bath the next day in a dark bathroom! Just activate and drop in a warm bath.
3. Toddler Halloween Costumes: Dress for safety & comfort
You’re toddler will have way more fun on Halloween if they are comfortable than if they have the most elaborate costume in the world. Skip the heavy masks, extra props, and anything that could get tangled in legs.
As a former preschool teacher, I can tell you this is so important. Our classes always enjoyed seeing the costumes on the big kids, but we always asked them to simply wear orange and black. Costumes are fun, but being able to move and play when you are still unsteady on your feet is way more important. I can’t tell you how many older kids I saw ditching their costumes mid way through for comfort.
The best advice? Keep it simple. These holidays seem to get bigger and wilder every year. For a toddler, Halloween should be about community, candy, and comfort. Enjoy your kiddo, explore the neighborhood, and don’t forget to collect the ‘parent tax’ on that candy bucket after they are in bed.
What is your little going as for Halloween this year? Let us know in the comments!
About the Author
Caitlin lives in Alberta with her husband, 2 little girls, and too many animals cause she is a sucker for a rescue. When she's not chasing kids and changing fluff bums she spends her time crocheting, gardening, and binging true crime docs.
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Such great advice! We are keeping it super simple for our toddler’s 3rd halloween costume wise, but we are having so much fun doing different sensory activities!
We loved washing and painting pumpkins, a great way to still decorate without carving or needing a candle.
This year our 1yr is a Dalmatian and our 4.5 is a firefighter.