Minimize the Fright for Little Ones on Halloween
Sunday, October 14, 2012
A couple weeks ago one of The Average Parent readers posed a great question. He wanted to know how you expose young children to Halloween without terrifying them. My kids scare easily, so I had some firsthand experience with that, but some of the other parents had some great advice as well. I thought I’d share some of their suggestions.
1. Let them feel the difference. It’s easy to tell children that a spooky decoration or costume isn’t real, but unless they can get up close and feel the difference, it won’t make much of a difference. Try walking down the Halloween aisle and check out all the different things, both scary and silly.
2. Read, watch and sing. There is no shortage of Halloween themed entertainment on the market these days, so it’s easy to find a book, movie or tv show with your child’s favorite character getting into the holiday spirit. Some recommendations are The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, There’s a Monster at the End of this Book, and The Runaway Pumpkin.
3. Get crafty with masks. Have everybody in the family make a scary mask, then demonstrate that even though they may look different, it’s the same person under the mask.
4. Go online to turn yourself into a monster. Check out this link where you can upload a picture of yourself and turn it into a monster (scroll up to see our’s). Or, if you want to get silly, go here to give your pet the Frankenweenie treatment.
5. Reminisce. Take a walk down memory lane by sharing old pictures and stories of what you did for Halloween as a kid.
6. Visit a light’s on “haunted house”. We recently had the opportunity to preview the haunted house at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and it was a great opportunity to see all the spooky decorations up close with all the lights on to minimize fright. There were even trick-or-treat stations along the way to give kids something to look forward too. And don’t worry, there were emergency exits in every room, along with staff members poised to sweep a frightened child out into the hallway away from the ghouls.