By: Becky Post
Halloween is almost upon us once again and that means fun for children and adults alike. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, the average household will spend around $75 this year on candy, decorations, and costumes. It appears that Halloween is even popular with adults: $1.22 billion will be spent on adults’ costumes, while $1.04 million will be spent on kids’ costumes. Around 14 percent of people also plan to dress their pets in costumes.
Halloween isn’t all about consumerism, however. Many community centers and places of worship now sponsor Halloween events. These events often encourage attendees to donate to a local food shelf or some other worthy cause. Participating in these events is a great way to meet other families and build lasting connections.
The rituals of dressing up and giving out candy give families many opportunities to connect with people in their neighborhoods and communities. Here are 10 ideas to help trick-or-treating be a positive, asset-building experience for your children.
- Go trick-or-treating with your child or children to ensure their safety.
- To have a lot of fun together, wear a goofy costume yourself!
- Before leaving, talk to your child about being polite and respectful to neighbors.
- Encourage your child to talk to the neighbors—not just take their treats and run!
- Stop and visit in homes of people you know. Use trick-or-treating as an opportunity to introduce your child to your neighbors.
- Emphasize the creative side of Halloween. Make your own costumes together. Carve creative pumpkins. Make and decorate treats together. Or try out this fun Halloween Tree tutorial >>
- Make sure your child trick-or-treats in safe areas. If your child is going out with friends, find out where they’re going and when they’ll be back.
- Team up with another family in your neighborhood to go trick or treating together.
- Limit the amount of treats that your child eats at a time. Here are some tips for dealing with "sugar crazy" kids >>
- Introduce a giving side to Halloween by having your children also pass out treats in addition to collecting them.
Have a fun and safe holiday!
Rebecca Post is the director of content development at Search Institute. She has worked as a book editor for most of her career. She and her husband are successfully surviving the empty nest, now that their only child is in college.
National Retail Federation, “Ghouls and Ghosts Galore, 158 Million People to Celebrate Halloween This Year, According to NRF,” press release, Washington, September 23, 2013.