So you are getting geared up to go trick-or-treating with your little one. If it's your child's first time, welcome to the fun! If you're a veteran, then we hope you'll chime in with your stories and suggestions.
First things first: are you ready? What is the status of the costumes? Have the little ones made up their minds? Does everything fit right? Have the hairdos and make-up had a trial run? Do you have the right bags for all of the treats?
Once the little ones are all decked out, you'll also want to make sure that you, their devoted escort, have the essential gear ready for this momentous expedition.
After several years of freezing fairies, hungry Harry Potters, grumpy ghosts, moody mermaids, bleeding Batmen, sticky Sleeping Beauties and tripping Transformers, we've learned a few things. We know what it takes to have a happy, meltdown-free Halloween.
Here are the essential items we'll be packing in our tote or backpack when we head out with our kids for trick-or-treating this year:
1. Extra layers. In a lot of places it's cold on October 31. (It looks like it will be snowing in some places this year-a truly scary thought!) And let's just say that most costumes are not made with the highest quality fabrics. It's a fair bet that after the initial adrenalin wears off, your small treat-seeker will start to feel "shivery" (as my own flower fairy would say). If you've managed to sneak adequate layers under the costume, bravo. But if you haven't, a fleece or a pair of leggings dredged up from the depths of your bag will be greatly appreciated.
2. Camera. We doubt you'll forget it, but we also don't want you to say we didn't remind you! (Hint: take pictures before they put jackets on.)
3. Wipes. Sweet, sweet candies make for sticky, icky fingers. And probably sticky stuff on pretty costumes. Which their wearers do not like at all. Let us emphasize for good measure: Don't forget the wipes.
4. Plastic bags for garbage. We all know that our kids are picky. But picky about candy? Come on! And yet, they are. There will be candies that they try and immediately want to spit out. And there you'll be, at the ready, with your garbage bag, ready to receive all of the detritus of Halloween: rejected candies, wrappers, used wipes and we dread to think what else.
5. Water and nutritious snacks. Now you think we're crazy, right? All that candy and they need snacks? But what happens is that the kids are too excited to eat any dinner, and anyway, trick-or-treating happens right at suppertime. Candies don't make them feel full, and many prefer to save the stash for later. So they do get hungry and thirsty, and woe is you if you don't have a nice banana or sandwich on hand.
6. Band-Aids. When a child is sprinting down the sidewalk in a floor length ghost costume, tripping seems almost inevitable. But don't let the blood drip all over the outfit!! Who has a Band-Aid, quick? You do.
7. Safety pins. Costumes rip easily. Safety pins repair them. Easy.
8. Socks and sneakers. Princess slippers and zombie boots look great, but how they feel after an hour tromping up and down the neighborhood is another story. When their feet get sore, how happy the kids will be when you pull out their trusty socks and sneakers. Yeah for mom and dad!
9. Flashlight. You have every intention of getting the whole trick-or-treating business done early in the evening and getting everyone back home close to the normal bedtime. It's an admirable thought. But once you get out there with all of the other adorable goblins and start running into friends and playmates, the hour somehow gets late before you can say "boo." Suddenly, it's dark out, and the only light guiding those tiny footsteps is flickering from creepy jack-o'-lanterns. That's when the little ones start to get scared, and that's when you, mighty parent, pull out your flashlight and illuminate the way home, to bed.
Enjoy your Halloween adventures, everyone!
More from The Savvy Source:
• From costumes to candy, we're ready for Halloween.
• What will you do with that big bucket of Halloween candy?