Preview: Tips and tricks to make Halloween less scary for toddlers and young kids
Halloween. Darkness, screaming, and monsters- oh my! As a parent, you can’t wait to dress your little one up in a super cute costume and parade them around town for trick-or-treating. As soon as the Halloween decorations start to come out, you realize there is a problem.
Monsters aren’t fun when your two. Halloween can be more scary than fun for toddlers and young children. It is hard to enjoy a holiday when you are cowering behind Mom’s leg to hide from ghosts and scary clowns. As parents, there are a few things we can do to help make it not so scary.
Tips to make Halloween less scary
- Talk openly about the holiday and parts that can be scary (i.e. Monsters are not real, there are people under those masks just like you are wearing your costume). Try to remember that when children are young, they really believe there are monsters and aliens! As adults, we may take it for granted that there is a person under that mask but children need to be reminded.
- Let your child know what to expect at events, school parties, trick-or-treating, etc.. Take time to run through the plan and list of activities they will be participating in to eliminate surprises and set expectations. Surprises are not fun when they have fangs and scary eyes!
- Allow your child to bring a security item such as a blankie or maybe a small flashlight/glow stick to parties and trick-or-treating. These small tokens have a big impact in helping your child feel safe.
- Skip the scary stuff. If you think your child may be very uncomfortable at a Halloween event, just skip it this year. There will be plenty of time when they are grown to do Halloween events but it isn’t worth your child being scared (even if an event is a tradition).
- Help them experience the not-so-scary parts of Halloween fun! Focus on decorating pumpkins, visit the pumpkin patch, making fun crafts, silly Halloween snacks, and preschool movies/books to make this holiday enjoyable. (see below!)
7 Movies and six books (Halloween 13!) to help prepare your young child for Halloween.
By showing them that Halloween doesn’t have to be scary, you can enjoy this holiday together tear-free! Leave it to their favorite characters and some fun stories to show that Halloween can be fun!
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Halloween movies for kids
- The Ultimate Halloween Tradition: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! How wonderful to share this holiday tradition with your own children, right? Do you remember your Mom prepping you days before then getting your pj’s on and anxiously awaiting the holiday movies to start with this classic? Do your kids get just as excited?
2. Sesame Street – Elmo Says Boo– What is less scary than Elmo? (don’t answer that). This is a personal favorite that plays in my vehicle for the whole month of October. It also teaches counting!
another Sesame Street Halloween: A Magical Halloween Adventure
5. Thomas & Friend: Thomas’ Halloween Adventure– Is your toddler obsessed with trains? Dressing up as Thomas this Halloween? This is a perfect addition to his/her train themed Halloween.
6. Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Halloween– Dora and Boots are helping their friends while they are out trick-or-treating:
7. Little Bear- Halloween Stories– The most innocent childhood bear could’t be scary if he tried! He has a movie to prove it! (I am really fighting a Hunger Games reference here).
Halloween books for toddlers
1.Where is Baby’s Pumpkin– A good place to start for the youngest of toddlers
2. Clifford’s Halloween– What could a big, red dog be for Halloween?
3.It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse! – If you give a mouse a pumpkin… Yep, it’s him. The mouse from the “if you give a ____ a ____” fame. He has found his way to a pumpkin patch!
4.Courduroy’s Best Halloween Ever!– My 1 & 2 year olds sat and listened to this book the whole way though. Halloween, friendship, and fun!
5.Disney Princesses Sweet and Spooky Halloween– Even the Disney Princess are celebrating Halloween!
6.The Monster at the End of This Book– Moster’s aren’t scary at all! They are lovable and furry! This is my very favorite book in the whole world.
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Using some open communication and fun preparation can help your toddler or preschooler be ready for a not-so-scary Halloween! Add a festive Breakfast Ghost and pumpkin shaped Halloween lunch and you are all set for a fun holiday!
I hope these movies/books and tips help your little monster prepare for a safe and not so scary Halloween!