Trick or Treating @ Home

Trick or treating with a preschooler can be difficult. The weather may turn cold, October could welcome several inches of snow, and a late night for little ones can cause meltdowns. Not to mention the large amount of sugar children receive and having to dodge the many excited older children on the street; trick or treating on Halloween can quickly go from fun to done. Don’t stress! Below is a list of preschool friendly alternatives to traditional trick or treating:

  1. Backyard Trick or Treating– Place Halloween treats (homemade is a great healthy alternative!) or non-candy surprises (ie. pencils, erasers, small toys, stickers) around the yard or house and have the children search for “treats”. For a clever way to avoid arguments over who found the most surprises, mark each child’s “treat” with a different colour marker or sticker, so they can only take the treat if the one they found has their colour on it
  2. Scavenger Hunt– Either in the house or yard, have the children engage in a scavenger hunt for everyday (ie. collect three rocks, find one facecloth, etc.) or Halloween/fall themed items (ie. collect three mini-pumpkins, find one broom). Items can be collected together or individually depending on the age of the child. All participants can receive a prize at the end. Everyone wins!
  3. Halloween Dance Party– Get your ghouls grooving and have your own monster mash! Children love to move, dance and sing, so why not shake, rattle, and roll dressed as a skeleton!? Music can be Halloween themed but certainly not required. If several children are present, a costume parade around the house or yard is always a fun addition!
  4. DIY Carnival– Having your very own at home carnival is a fun and active alternative to trick or treating! Invite other neighborhood families with preschoolers to join in the fun as well!

Bean Bag Toss– Create a bean bag or ball toss using shower loofas or several pairs of balled up socks. Children take turns throwing the “ball” at several “targets” (you can use empty garbage cans, laundry baskets, or create circles on the ground using tape!)
Face Painting– Make dressing up for Halloween part of your carnival by creating clever designs or characters. Keep the paints nice and clean between children by spraying some rubbing alcohol on them (if they’re the stick or crayon type) and wiping them with a clean tissue.
Parachute– Create your own “parachute” using a sheet or tablecloth. Place small stuffed animals, loofas or balled up socks in the center. Hold the edges of the “parachute” and work as a team moving it up and down!
Piñata– Create your own Halloween piñata in advance by using paper-mâché, a balloon and some paint; or purchase from a local store. Fill the piñata with non-candy treats or homemade items and hang it at an age appropriate height. Have the children take turns trying to hit the piñata using a wooden spoon (or whatever is available around the house).
Craft Tables– Decorate your own mini pumpkin or scavenger hunt bag using paint, markers, stickers or glue on household items like buttons or dried pasta. Children may also enjoy decorating healthy cookies or muffins. Whip some cream to frost your creation and try using dried fruit to decorate!

Enjoy these trick or treating trade-ins and have a healthy, safe, and active Halloween!


References :
Jenna Birch. (2013). 11 Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating, In mom.me. Page viewed on October 14, 2015: http://mom.me/holidays/4489-11-alternatives-trick-or-treating/
Sara Smeaton. (2014). 4 active games to make Halloween spook-tacular for preschoolers. In Active for Life. Viewed on October 14, 2015. http://activeforlife.com/games-to-make-halloween-spook-tacular/#!prettyPhoto

Healthy Start has given me so many new ideas and just made my job easier.

- Educator (SK)