Saturday, November 2, 2013

halloween recap

E's first Halloween experience
as a trick-or-treater
was a HUGE success!  ;)

We mostly people-watched and checked out decorations,
but Elise did some actual trick-or-treating, too.

She figured out the routine pretty quickly:
Find the person with candy.
Take a piece.  Drop it in the bucket.

As it turns out, 
Elise LOVES candy.

Here are my tips for making a confusing holiday like Halloween fun for a young toddler:
  • Try on costumes with friends and family before Halloween.  I set up a costume corner for Elise a couple weeks before Halloween.  She tried on costumes with friends and family, and had lots of fun. She also went to a Halloween party the day before Halloween, and played with other children wearing costumes.  On Halloween night, Elise didn't seem at all surprised or frightened to see people in costumes.  Occasionally, she squealed in delight when she saw someone whose look really struck her fancy!
  • Choose a costume that your child can relate to.  Next year, Elise will choose her own costume, but at 15 months, it was up to me and Hubs.  One of Elise's first animal sounds was a monkey, and she always gets really excited when she sees monkeys in books, so "monkey" seemed like a fairly logical costume choice.  
  • Include your child in the costume-making/ buying process.  Elise participated in putting together her costume from start to finish.  She went to the craft store to pick out the pattern and supplies, and she tried on the costume as my mom and I sewed.  If you're buying a costume, invite your child to go shopping with you, and if possible, let them try on costumes in the store to check fit and style. 
  • Give your child time to get used to wearing the costume.  As soon as Elise's costume was finished, it was available for her to wear throughout the day for a week or so before Halloween.  By the time the big day rolled around, it was covered in food (!), but she was also really comfortable wearing it.
  • Look at Halloween decorations in the daylight.  Not all Halloween decorations are as cute as my owls!  On Halloween morning, Elise and I walked our trick-or-treating route, and watched people putting up decorations.  Many of our neighbors explained to Elise what they were doing, and invited her to come by to trick-or-treat that night.  I was also able to see which houses would be too scary to walk by in the dark (i.e. the house with zombies crawling out of the yard).  
  • Take your time packing up the decor.  This applies to all holidays!  As an adult, I'm usually ready to put away the holiday the day after it's done, but I learned as a teacher, it's better for kiddos to do it gradually.  There's so much build-up before a holiday; putting things away over the course of a week can prevent children from feeling totally letdown.  Elise is still playing in her costume corner, and our jack-o-lantern is smiling at us from the nature table in our living room.  
Do you have any Halloween tips?  I'm looking for some suggestions on what to do about all that candy - scary!  It was out-of-sight, out-of-mind this year for Elise, but I have no idea how we'll approach the sugar rush next year...

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