How to Make Halloween Happy for your Preschooler
Do you have a child who is sensitive about Halloween? Maybe seeing the decorations feels scary? Maybe they feel unsure about putting on a costume themselves. I know that Halloween can be confusing for little ones. They are still figuring out the difference between real and pretend and Halloween can REALLY shake that up in them.
Many Preschoolers Want to Know:
Am I still me even if I am wearing a mask/wig/costume?
Is that still my mom/ dad/ babysitter when she puts on a costume?
WHY is everything so spooky and scary? Is it real?
Are those kids playing dress up or is that really a monster/ skeleton/ ghost?
Insert LOTS more of your own pre-schoooler's sentiments here...
Simple Ways to Support your Child on Halloween:
I set up this little corner for Sloane to “practice” for Halloween. There are a few Halloween books, a few mini pumpkins in a trick or treat sack, a mirror and some simple masks and costumes. It gives her an opportunity to practice and process what we are learning about Halloween.
1. People are still themselves EVEN when they are wearing a costume.
Talk A LOT about how people are still people, no matter what.
Show this concept to your child by putting on a simple, NOT SCARY wig and say, "Look! I am still Mommy, even when I am wearing this silly wig." Show them over and over. Invite them to try it on themselves.
When they've taken over, show them the mirror. "Look! You are still you, even with the silly wig on." You can make this more challening with masks and hats, etc.
2. Read lots of gentle books...there are a lot of great children's books out there. Go to your local library and get some. Here are some of our favorites...
3. Practice! Play Halloween. (This can be fun and really pay off on Halloween)
Let your child praçtice dressing up and knocking on the door (to your home or even his bedroom!)
Answer the door and let them try saying, "trick or treat!" You can wear different disguises each time you answer if you want, remind them that you are STILL you!
Have fun with it!
3. Remind your Child that you will stay near them and keep them (incuding their feelings) safe around and on Halloween.
Demonstrate by protecting them from tv shows or decorations that you know are too scary.
Remind older siblings and well-meaning adults that Halloween can be too scary for some young children and to keep their tricks age-appropriate.
Follow your child's cues.
Keep trick or treating short.
Only take them to parties and parades that are age-appropriate.
Most Importantly, HAVE FUN! Start some Halloween traditions that your family can enjoy year after year.
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