How can I help my toddler have fun on Halloween?

Older children and adolescents may enjoy the ghoulish aspects of Halloween, but your toddler may find them frightening. Young children may prefer celebrations and traditions that emphasize the harvest season such as a visit to a pumpkin farm with corn mazes or hay rides. For little ones who want to join in the fun of trick-or-treating, check local events calendars for daytime trick-or-treat events organized by local shopping areas or for toddler-friendly trunk-or-treat events to see the creative ways families decorate their cars for Halloween. Some events designed for young children give out items such as stickers rather than candy. If you plan to take your child to a trick-or-treating event, you may find it helpful to talk to your child before the event to explain that not all of the items they are given will be appropriate for their age, and that you will remove items that do not meet your family’s dietary rules or items that are unsafe (such as small candies that can be choking hazards). Setting these guidelines can help you and your child enjoy the fun of Halloween.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.