As October begins and Halloween creeps closer, many of us wonder how to celebrate the holiday with our children.
by Laurel of Let’s Go on a Picnic!

As October begins and Halloween creeps closer, many of us wonder how to celebrate the holiday with our children. Planning for the holiday can depend on a number of things; the best approach is to factor in our child’s age. That way, we can find the best activities to participate in, without anyone being overwhelmed or left out. I’ve come up with some suggestions of what you can do with children in every age range.

Infant

Costume: Even though there are many adorable baby costumes for sale, sometimes the best plan is to put your little one in a Halloween shirt or onesie. Babies don’t generally care about the holiday.

Pumpkin: A pumpkin carving may be overwhelming for a baby, but try to find her a cute pumpkin toy to play with. It’s a great introduction to the themes of the season.

Trick or Treating: Think about spending Halloween at Grandma’s house instead of taking a cranky baby door to door. That way, you don’t have to eat all the candy!

Toddler

Costume: Most toddlers won’t tolerate a mask, so it’s best to keep their faces uncovered. However, there are many costumes that have a decorated hood, such as a cow or a cat.

Pumpkin: Let your toddler help decorate a mini pumpkin with markers or stickers. It’s fun without the danger of sharp tools.

Trick or Treating: Take your new walker to a few familiar neighbors instead of walking up and down the whole street. A happy child will enjoy Halloween!

Preschooler

Costume: This is the age where kids start wanting to pick their own costumes. Keep it simple by embellishing clothing to make a costume he will love!

Pumpkin: Simple carving tools are available for young children. With supervision, they can easily decorate a small pumpkin with holes to make a pattern.

Trick or Treating: Get a group together to go trick or treating in your neighborhood before dark.

Grade Schooler

Costume: The sky’s the limit at this age. Masks, face makeup, and detailed costumes start to become appealing. This is when store bought is easier.

Pumpkin: Most grade schoolers can begin to handle pumpkin carving on their own, save removing the lid. I even have trouble with that still!

Trick or Treating: Don’t be surprised if your child would rather walk the neighborhood with friends or visit a haunted house. You can always volunteer to drive her and her friends.

Tweens and Teens

Costume: While many kids this age are starting to forgo costumes, some will dress up for shock value or as favorite characters.

Pumpkin: I remember competing with my mother over pumpkin carving skills. You may just be surprised what your teen can do!

Trick or Treating: While he may not want to trick or treat on his own, your teen may be willing to take a younger sibling from house to house.

Halloween doesn’t have to be the same for everyone, but children of all ages can enjoy it together. With a little creativity and insight, it can be a holiday for the whole family.

Laurel is happily married with two spirited children. When she’s not homeschooling her children, she likes to read, sew, and cook. You can read more about her adventures in mothering at Let’s Go on a Picnic!. Laurel also can be reached on Facebook and Twitter.