With Halloween approaching and the excitement of costumes, candy, trick-or-treating, and “scary” movies, it can be a little overwhelming for children with sensory issues.
Halloween is a fun holiday, just like any other, and we want to share a few ways that you and your child can still have fun on the day of witches, ghosts, and pumpkins, without any extra stress or anxiety.
OUR TOP TIPS TO ENOY HALLOWEEN, THE SENSORY-FRIENDLY WAY
Tip #1 : Make sure your child will be comfortable in his or her costume prior to the big night.
Make sure the costume is loose & doesn’t contain fabrics that will make them itchy or scratchy. Pathways.org suggests having your child wearing their costume for a few weeks, so they can get used to the fabric or let you know if they aren’t comfortable, so adjustments can be made.
Tip #2 : Host a fun get together at home. If trick-or-treating may be too much, invite a few of your child’s friends over for a festive night in. Decorate pumpkins, read books, or watch a Halloween movie. You can even have your child “trick-or-treat” from room to room in your house.
Tip #3 : Go pumpkin picking. Carving pumpkins and having your child play with & touch the insides, can be a great sensory activity! If that proves to be too much, paint or draw on the outside of the pumpkin instead.
Tip #4: Prepare your child for trick-or-treating with visual aids and books. According to this site, “ Social narratives, visuals, videos, and photos are all great tools to help prepare for trick-or-treating. Consider using a visual schedule for the evening events in a similar format that you use for other activities at home and at school.”
They also suggest visiting the neighborhood/houses ahead of time, so your child can get an idea of where they’ll be walking, and you can see if there are any sensory triggers along the way.
Talk with them about what they might expect, read them children’s books on trick-or-treating, and work with them on getting excited about Halloween.
Tip #5: Remember to have fun and take lots of pictures! These photos can be used as visual aids for next year, and are also great memories to add to your scrapbooks.
Halloween is fun, so if your child is too overwhelmed with trick-or-treating, cut the night short, and have a fun movie night in, instead! Make some popcorn, get comfy on the couch, and have a mini movie marathon.
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