If your neighborhood is anything like mine, there are tons of families with young children. This means that there will be lots of little people running around and knocking on doors asking for candy or treats tonight. I remember one year my mom told some kids she wanted them to do a trick before she gave them a treat. Haha! They looked a little confused, but after a silly trick they got their treat. *wink*
I have a few suggestions to (hopefully) make the night more enjoyable for everyone:
Communicate with your neighborhood about start and stop times
Our neighborhood actually has a Facebook group where we can post questions, ask for help and even make people aware of suspicious activity. It's been a really great way to keep everyone informed and bring our neighborhood/community together. Every year around Halloween, someone will pose the question about when families are going to start trick or treating and after having people chime in, a basic time frame is established. By doing this, everyone is on the same page and people aren't surprised by trick or treaters coming earlier than they are ready for them. If you don't have a community page, you can also simply talk to your neighbors about start/stop times.
Give your kids a glowing or reflective item to wear
This time of year, it starts getting dark quickly by about 7pm. But many trick or treaters are still out and their costumes might make them hard to see. If you've got kids, you know that they aren't always careful when it comes to crossing the street. To help them be more visible, add something to their costume that glows or is reflective. We are giving out glow sticks this year that kids can put around their wrist while they are out. It's a little late or order some online, but I've seen reflective tape at Walmart that you could stick on their trick or treat buckets.
*Also, check out these other great non-candy alternatives to give out this Halloween!
Use your porch light to show you are/are not receiving trick or treaters
Most people probably do this, but when we ready to start receiving trick or treaters, we will turn on our porch light, even if it's still light outside. If we're not ready, we just don't answer the door. At the end of the night, we will turn off our porch light to indicate that trick or treaters shouldn't knock.
Leave a sign letting kids know the candy is gone
Without fail, we still have kids knock on our door after we're turned off our light. As an added deterrent, we tape a sign to our door that says something like, "No more candy." Most of the kids coming later at night are older and know how to read. If you are worried that turning off your light and putting up a sign won't be enough, see if there is a way to disconnect your doorbell for the night.
Also, if trick or treating isn't something that you like to do or don't allow your kids to do, you can always spend the night inside doing fun activities together with family or friends. Check out the following posts for ideas and activities you can do at home:
Preschool Halloween Party On A Budget | Sunshine & Munchkins (collaboration with Ford-Ology)
150+ Halloween Coloring and Activity Pages | Sunshine & Munchkins
39 Kid-Friendly Halloween Movies | Working Moms Against Guilt
Halloween Science Experiments | Science Bob
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I hope you found these tips helpful as you and your kids go out tonight! Happy Halloween!