Halloween   children trick or treating in Halloween costume

Creating a fun Halloween with little ones

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How cute is this little dude here? (Answer: quite cute.) If you have young kids, or just had kids, Halloween is a special time. Kids love Halloween — then they maybe grow out of it for a few years around teenagedom, and then they love it again in their 20s. It’s one of the best holidays because, no matter how old you are (3 or 30), it channels childhood: dressing up, having fun, sweets/candy, and general playfulness.

With the young ones, though, what are some fun things you can do to make their earliest Halloween memories stellar? Here are about 10 ideas.

Dress up: This is obvious, and also a huge win-win for the parents. Why do I say “win-win” in this context? Well, first of all, the newborn/toddler won’t remember — until he/she sees pics years later, and by then it will be cute. So go all out here! Minions?!?!

Minions Baby Costume

The second win for the parents: if you use social media, and you’re OK with child pics on social media (this is obviously an issue of the modern age), you will absolutely dominate your friends’ thinking for at least 20 minutes to a full day. No one can resist a cute child in costume.

Here are 82 cute costume ideas, by the way.

Pumpkin Patch: Again, strong photo opportunities here. What’s more? It’s a good opportunity to begin introducing vocabulary around plants, vegetables, gardens, and the Halloween holiday.

Corn Maze: This is a fun thing to do with mom and dad. The newborn might not necessarily remember it, but it’s a good way to begin developing some problem-solving skills and even more vocabulary around fruits, vegetables, and other people.

Candy Shopping: Go candy shopping with mom! Explain what Halloween is, and how others will come and ask for candy. If you are unclear on the origins of trick or treating, read this. Show the newborn different types of candy and explain what each one is. On the night of Halloween itself, allow him/her 1-2 treats from the bowl (depending on allergies, etc.) Set up a situation — varies by parents/guardians — where candy can be used as a reward structure down the road.

Halloween Dinner Recipes: Here are 26 great ideas, including these “ghost pizza bagels:”

Halloween Recipes

(If you can’t tell, all the goods on that 26 link will look like “scary” or “spooky” Halloween elements.)

Charlie Brown: Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — and hey, it turns 50 this year.

Help give out candy: The newborn will be entertained, and other parental chaperones in your neighborhood will pine for the days of a toddler as opposed to a 10 year-old. Again, a win-win.

What other fun Halloween traditions have you seen in your neighborhood or with your friends? Or tried with your kids? I’d love to hear!

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