Enjoy treats, not tricks, this Halloween
Halloween can be a dilemma for many parents. After all, who doesn’t want their children to have fun? But, then again, who doesn’t want their children to be safe? With a little preparation, your children can stay safe and still have plenty of fun while they’re out trick or treating.
First, it’s a good idea not to allow little ones to just run off on a solo mission. Trick or treating is a team game, so they should always stay with their friends or an accompanying adult. You could even add some reflective accessories to their bikes or outfits so they glow in the dark!
It’s a good idea to map out a trick or treat route with your children, when it’s light. This way, they will know where they are going and you will have a good idea where they should be at any given time. It also means you can agree on the best places to cross roads when it’s dark.
A few sugary treats for your own children are fine, as you can monitor what they eat. When it comes to handing out treats to others, it’s a good idea to consider some healthier options. Little boxes of raisins, popcorn or low sugar, nut-free cereal bars make great alternatives. There are also sweets made from natural ingredients that are free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.
Let there be light
Giving children a torch to take along with them is a great idea. You could even create a lantern with a torch (with a carved out pumpkin head) so young children find it more fun to carry around.
Have a green Halloween
Trick or treating is also a great time to instil environmental messages. A great way to do this, which is also cost effective, is to encourage children to make their own costumes. This can be achieved by dressing them in some of their old casual clothes, before finishing off their spooky look with an old bedsheet. Cut out holes for their eyes, drape over their heads and they are good to go. It’s simple, effective and, of course, reflective!
If you’re having a Halloween party – or inviting others to join your children on a trick or treat mission – send electronic invitations rather than paper ones.
When it comes to the party itself, think about using regular cups and plates, rather than the paper-based ones that end up in landfill. Or you could choose some of the recyclable or compostable alternatives that are available. It also makes sense to put out recycling bins for empty bottles and cans.
Don’t forget, you can lower your emissions by buying locally-grown pumpkins, which can be composted when you’re finished with them. Depending on where you live, it may be possible to pick your own pumpkins from the field, which little ones generally love doing!
Please remember that not everyone will want to get involved. It’s best only to visit houses with visible decorations as those householders are more likely to welcome your visit. This will help ensure you have fun with your children while being considerate towards your neighbours.
If any rogue trick or treaters cause you real distress, report their antisocial behaviour anonymously to police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.