Sensory Friendly Trick or Treating! Tips & Tricks....
Trick or Treating can be tricky for any child, but for kids with sensory sensitivities it can be particularly tough. You have the face masks, spooky things jumping out at you, strange balloon like characters on people’s lawns, wearing funny clothes, etc. It’s easy to see how our kids can quickly become overwhelmed and want to go back to the car or back home.
It’s always good to help our kids explore and engage with others, for some families this includes going Trick or Treating. So how can we help our kids understand that masks aren’t real, the spooky things are toys and that you get candy in the end? Here are few things that may help.
1.) Read social stories, watch videos, look at Trick or Treat pictures. Talk about what your child might see while out. Build up a realistic expectation of what the experience is all about. Talk about the spooky masks, maybe make some masks and watch yourselves put them on in a mirror.
2.) Pick out a comfortable costume. No one likes to wear uncomfortable cloths. So maybe instead of buying a costume, you make one at home. Maybe is an Alvin costume with a red sweatshirt and hat? Try on the costume early, make sure it’s something they can easily move around in and most importantly like.
3.) It’s ok to leave early. You don’t have to go to every house or be out the entire 2 hours trick or treating. Sometimes a positive experience going to only a few houses is better then going to many houses and getting overwhelmed. This is ok! It’s what is fun for your family. Maybe next year they’ll want to stay out longer.
4.) If your child has dietary restrictions, bring some candy with you that they can have. Maybe it’s their favorite candy and you can put some in their bucket. You can also bring nonfood items, such as slime, squishy toys, etc.
There are so many things we can to help our kids enjoy trick or treating, but remember it’s whatever works for your family. Maybe trick or treating for you is passing out candy or even staying home and making Halloween decorations. In the end, it’s not always about candy or costumes, it’s about engaging as a family and having fun.