With Halloween fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about whether you'll let your children go trick-or-treating this year, and how best to prepare for the scary occasion. Put together your own Halloween checklist and talk to fellow parents in the area.
There's a lot of pressure on parents to spend money on kitting their kids out in the year's "trendiest" costumes. Often, however, the most impressive and scariest costumes are the homemade ones designed from household items, fabric scraps and alike.
Start thinking about a costume well in advance so you have time to acquire all the materials you need to make it. Decide on a character together with your child to see if it's going to be possible to design an appropriate costume.
Safety & Supervision
It's not adviseable to let your kids go trick-or-treating around the area unsupervised. If they're heading out in a bigger group, make sure there is always at least one parent or guardian accompanying them. Coordinate this with the other parents in your area.
Before heading out, brief your children on road safety. While having so much fun it's easy to forget to look out for cars and cyclists. It can also be harder to spot approaching danger in the dark.
Let your kids know that some people aren't the greatest fans of Halloween and might not be overly enthusiastic to find a group of costume-clad children on their doorstep. Tell them not to take this kind of behaviour personally. For this reason it's also worth advising your kids to check any sweets or other treats before gobbling them down. They could have been tampered with.
Don't let the weather ruin your plans for the evening. In October, rain is very likely so just make sure to dress yourself and your kids accordingly. Don't forget the chill factor either, and be sure you're all warmly wrapped up and ready to spend a few hours in the great outdoors, walking around the neighbourhood.
A simple and effective idea for warming up along the way is to bring a flask of tea or hot chocolate. Just a few sips of a warm drink can return smiles to unhappy, chilly children's faces.
If possible, integrate a waterproof coat into your little one's Halloween costume, or use waterproof materials such as bin bags to design the outfit. In terms of footwear, wellies for kids are the wisest decision. These are easy to integrate into a costume too.
A new trend for 2012 is the glow-in-the-dark welly boot. This could be perfect for anyone planning to dress as an alien or a skeleton.