Halloween is one holiday many children with special needs prefer to avoid. The unfamiliar sights and sounds increase anxiety and cause meltdowns in some children. Luckily, there are many ways to celebrate Halloween and let your child feel like she is part of the fun. Here are six alternatives to typical trick-or-treating.
1. Host a Halloween party
Invite family and/or friends over to join in traditional Halloween activities. Specify whether costumes are required depending on your child’s needs. Talk with your child about the games and activities she wants at the party. Activities to try are bobbing for apples, decorating pumpkins, telling ghost stories and playing Halloween trivia games.
2. Have a Halloween hunt
Just like an Easter egg hunt, hide sweets or prizes around your house or yard. Add spooky decorations and let kids find the treats.
3. Try an alternative trick or treat venue
Children do not need to go door to door in the dark to get treats. Many shopping malls, community centers, churches and other organizations have special trick or treat arrangements. Children can wear their costumes and get treats in a different environment.
4. Trunk or treat
This new Halloween trend is a great way for children to enjoy trick or treating in a safe and supervised environment. Neighbors or community groups decorate the trunks of their cars. The decorated cars line up in a parking lot and children go from trunk to trunk getting treats.
5. Official trick or treat helper
If your child does not want to go trick or treating, see if he will be your helper at home. In addition to giving out treats, your child can help with Halloween decorations, baking spooky treats, taking photos of the trick or treaters, making scary noises, finding scary music to play and whatever else you can think of.
6. Help a hospital or charity
Teaching your children to help others is always a wonderful lesson. Get in touch with a local hospital, food bank, church or charity and find out how you and your child can help with Halloween. Some ideas include making goody bags with or without candy, collecting canned food, donating Halloween decorations or costumes, baking Halloween treats, bringing bags of candy or just visiting children in a hospital to talk about Halloween. Be sure to check with the hospital or organization about the best way to help before making any definite plans.
This article was first published on Examiner.com.