In no way do I take this pandemic lightly. I pulled my kids out of school in NYC before schools officially closed, we locked down at home for weeks before starting to slowly venture out to open parks in masks. Heck, I'm even homeschooling them this year!! It's been a LONG six months and it's really not likely to end any time soon (quite the contrary, it'll probably get worse with the 2nd and 3rd waves before we get the vaccine). That said, we've learned alot about how to prevent transmission and it really is fairly simple:
1. Everyone MUST Wear Masks
I'm talking kids trick or treating, parents escorting them, and people handing out candy. Nose and mouth need to be covered properly and masks shouldn't be touched or taken off until you're far from others and able to wash or sanitize your hands. Bringing a baby or toddler along who won't tolerate a mask? Consider putting them in a stroller with the rain cover on.
**Bonus - faces covered in masks = no face makeup this year! That stuff is so messy and gross anyway!!
2. Social Distance with Halloween Spirit
Have you seen this Ohio dad's idea of the Candy Chute (watch video below)!? BRILLIANT!!! We need more ideas like this!! You could also put a barrier or some sort of marker 6 feet from your door for trick or treaters to stop there. You can toss candy into their bags. You could leave a bowl out there for them to serve themselves (even better if you have a scooper so they're not putting hands into the bowl and touching all the candy, bonus if you also put a bottle of hand sanitizer next to the bowl). You could put markers and arrows along your walkway and driveaway to show them how to keep the line moving in a single direction and have kids waiting in line 6 feet apart (think caution tape, halloween luminaries, pumpkins, you name it). Of course, traditionally kids just all rush together in huge masses but I think they're getting used to lining up far apart at school, in the grocery store etc. This won't be anything new for them! But will definitely require chaperones to help them stay organized and safe.
3. Choose Your Group Wisely
The best idea would be to simply trick or treat with only the family you live with. Next best would be with a couple of friends from your child's school pod, since they're together all day anyway.
4. Quarantine the Candy
Most of us are totally over the whole sanitizing your groceries thing, am I right? I mean, to be honest, I never did that. But Halloween Candy? QUARANTINE THAT STUFF!! I'm serious. It could even kind of be fun, drawing out the Halloween Celebrations! They collect the candy, hopefully most being tossed in so they don't even touch it. Get home. Bag goes into a closet for 3 days. Boom. After quarantine you could have a little Halloween Candy Release Celebration! If you want to treat them with some candy on Halloween night or before quarantine ends, open it up for them and put it on a plate so there's no cross contamination. You never know who handled that candy before you. Ick. Not worth the risk IMO.
My family actually gets visited by the Switch Witch (see last year's video below). Traditionally I let them pick out 10 pieces of candy to save as soon as we get home from Trick or Treating. The rest gets left out for the Switch Witch who comes at night and leaves a toy or some sort of prize in place of the candy. It's actually really fun!! Switch Witch can still be done this year (it's probably best if you start when they're young, i.e. 3 years old which is probably the first Halloween they might remember). My almost 8 year old still loves doing it!
5. Avoid Large Groups
Depending on where you live, this may be tricky. It may mean trick or treating earlier than usual. It may mean not staying out as long as usual - just doing your block and calling it a day perhaps, rather than going out for 5 hours and collecting 2 pillow cases full. This year will not be like past years. Make sure your kids know that. It can still be fun, but it won't be the same and the rules aren't the same either. Try to stay 6 feet from other groups. If you start crossing paths with the same groups of kids switch it up and go to the other side of the street or try a different area.
6. Trunk or Treat
If traditional trick or treating leaves you super nervous, organize something different, something you can have a bit more control of. For example, you could do a Trunk or Treat through your school's PTA. Cars have to sign up so it would be limited to only be one per every other parking spot. Kids don't go up to the car but rather stand 6 feet back and get candy tossed. You could have a little dance party too, kids stay by their own car with music blasting from one car. Or get a DJ for the middle of the parking lot. Sounds amazing to me!
So, there are just a few ideas I have. The thought of canceling Halloween and Trick or Treating altogether just really really bums me out. I really have no idea why people are even tossing around that idea, it seems there are plenty of ways to make it safe. If someone in your home is immunocompromised, you could even just do trick or treating at your own house, kids get dressed up and take turns trick or treating and handing out candy to each other. Why not!!
If you have any thoughts on this or ideas for ways to make Halloween special and safe for the kids this year, please drop them in a comment!!
9/22/2020 06:13:15 pm
Great ideas! We plan on going trick or treating. My kids will have masks. Our house will have candy as well!
9/22/2020 10:15:42 pm
The chute idea from that Dad was genius , they should be selling at Walmart. But I havent seen trick or treaters in years.
Sheri Newell Anderson
9/22/2020 10:17:01 pm
This looks like a lot of fun and there is also the old-fashioned Halloween party at home idea and could do it outside for added safetly!
9/22/2020 11:52:17 pm
I know this year will not easy for all of use to take kids for trick & treating. Thanks for sharing all great ideas. These are going to be so useful.
9/23/2020 12:07:06 pm
These are great tips. This year will be super scary. I know on the news they were saying it wasn't going to be recommend to do this year in Canada
9/23/2020 05:35:02 pm
That candy shoot is genius!!!! We also love trunk or treating!!! These are so great to make Halloween safe!
10/23/2020 05:30:10 pm
Great ideas! We'll be following your 4th recommendation. We'll be staying home and watching a scary movie marathon with plenty of candy and popcorn.
6/14/2022 06:23:00 am
So, there are only a few thoughts that come to mind. I'm mortified by the prospect of Halloween and Trick or Treating being abolished entirely. I'm not sure why people are even considering it; it appears that there are lots of methods to make it safe.
6/14/2022 06:24:29 am
This epidemic is not something I take lightly. I took my children out of school in New York City before the school year ended, and we hunkered down at home for weeks before gradually venturing out into open parks with masks.
6/20/2022 04:15:55 pm
Thankfully the Covid-19 has ended and so we are here to refresh your mind with the latest TV shows to make your day!
2/24/2023 09:49:52 am
Thanks for sharing such great information. It was really helpful to me.
Leave a Reply.
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!