Halloween is around the corner. It’s one of my favorite times of year. Fall weather, pumpkin patches, my kids leaping off furniture dressed as their favorite superhero. What’s been surprising to me lately is a small number of parents who are—let’s call them—Halloween haters. To sweeten their animosity towards this kid-friendly holiday, here are a few reasons to help any parent love—or just like—it again.
Unleash creative play. Kids have big aspirations. My son wants to fly a rocket ship when he grows up. We talk about going to the moon and what we would bring. He also wants to be a professional superhero. And that’s okay because he’s five years old. I have bins upon bins of costumes. Some are from garage sales and others are newer based on the kids’ interests. Dressing up is one of their favorite things to do. Our living room is transformed into a palace tea party for Cinderella and her friends. The teepee becomes a campsite for Indians. If I let them jump from the second story, they’d try flying in their capes. Bottom line: Halloween is a great way to trigger your kid’s imagination train.
Tap into your crafty side. There’s not a bone in my body that is crafty. Period. But that’s what the Target dollar bins and Pinterest are for. Little kids have a hard time keeping their focus so it can be something as simple as painting a pumpkin. Put their creations on display and boom! Halloween decorating is complete.
Make it a family affair. Last year my husband, myself and our three kids were the Wizard of Oz for Halloween. We hosted a Halloween party for my daughter’s birthday and she still talks about it. She still also makes me walk around with my Glinda dress and wig when we are at home. They love seeing mom and dad let loose and have some fun.
Set up a play date. Willa’s besty bought us tickets to Princess Trick or Treat this year. We picked out her Queen Candy dress from Marshalls (it doesn’t have to be expensive) and she picked out my “sparkly dress” and witch hat. As a mom of three it’s rare to have one-on-one time with my kids. This was a safe, fun and memorable event for my mini-me.
Let them be little. I don’t have a soapbox handy to stand on and tell you that our kiddos are growing up WAY too fast. There are handfuls of moms who are pushing their four-year olds into kindergarten. Want an iphone sweetheart? Happy sixth birthday! Can we please remember what it was like to be a kid? To become your favorite character? To cram handfuls of m&ms and sweet tarts in your mouth? Pretty soon they’ll be dressing up as a nurse—the mini-skirt, low-cut kind—and bar hopping with their friends. Let them be little.
Don’t be that parent. It’s hard enough for kids to fit in. Are you really going to be that mom or dad who makes your kid skip out on the class Halloween party and parade? Would I jump off a bridge if everyone else was? It depends on what’s in the hypothetical water below. And in this case, I don’t see anything about Halloween that’s incredibly terrifying or detrimental to my kids. Except for those houses that hand out raisins and tooth brushes. Please don’t be that parent either.