If you have grade school-aged kids at home, chances are Trick or Treating will be in the cards this Halloween. Or, at the very least, you might have a Halloween party or two to attend. Maybe you simply have a small Halloween-themed celebration planned at home. Whatever the case, you want to keep things both fun and safe for the holiday using some great home living and tech gear.
There are lots of things to keep in mind in this respect, and we have put together a list of the top 5 tips to consider.
1.Get the right Halloween costumes
Having the right costume is important if you want to impress and get lots of compliments from friends, family members, and neighbors. Kids might love selecting a character from their favourite movie or TV show or may prefer to go as something more classic like a ghost, witch, pirate, or cute animal. Whatever it is, make sure the costume is appropriate. Schools may not permit masks so consider a school-safe alternative option to go with a costume they will be wearing to school. In many cases, a simple hat or face paint can complete a costume that might otherwise require a mask.
For Trick or Treating, depending on where you live, Halloween night can be chilly. Find a costume that covers the full body, or plan to outfit the kids with thermals underneath. When my son wears one-piece superhero costumes, I usually have him wear a sweater underneath so he can be warm without ruining the costume. If it has a mask, a simple thin toque underneath will keep the head and ears toasty.
Don’t forget to take photos to add to the collection! While you can use a smartphone, consider a compact mirrorless camera that will yield wonderful keepsake images. Make prints each year and create an album or display them in a frame that you can put up every year on Halloween to revisit your costumes through the years.
2.Keep the house well kit
If you are handing out candy to neighbourhood kids, make sure to keep the house well lit with outdoor lighting, or even smart lights. Even with decorations, kids will quickly pass by a house without the proper outdoor lighting if they’re unsure if someone is actually home. This includes pathway lighting for the walkway leading up to the porch or front door, especially if you have steps. The last thing you want is for a child or adult in an elaborate costume to trip or fall on your property.
Go the extra mile with motion-activated lighting that illuminates as someone approaches. This is not only handy on Halloween but will also be useful throughout the year.
3.Check the Halloween candy
Before your child indulges in any candy, check it thoroughly. Sort the candy once you get home and check for ripped packages, homemade items from neighbours you don’t know personally, or anything else that looks like it could have been tampered with or might be stale.
Particularly for kids with allergies, check ingredients and separate items that contain common allergens, like peanuts and other tree nuts. Small Halloween candies like mini chocolate bars typically have a peanut-free label if they don’t contain nuts and were made in a peanut-free facility.
Of course, kids will want to have a candy or two as they walk, in which case you can do a quick check before they indulge!
4.Make sure younger kids are supervised on Halloween night
Young children should always be supervised while Trick or Treating. While you can stay a few metres back for older kids who want to run with their friends, younger kids should be by your side for the evening. For older tweens and teens who might want to go out on their own, make sure they head out in groups. At least one child should have a smartphone, or even a wirelessly connected kids smartwatch with GPS tracker. With one of these, you can keep on top of your child’s location as they go from house to house, and send/receive messages to alleviate any concerns, especially if it’s their first time going without parental supervision. Start a group chat with the other parents so you can keep on top of where they are and when they’ll be home.
Run through the rules with kids before they go, such as inspecting candy before eating, not going into anyone’s home, looking both ways when crossing the street, and being back home at a specified time.
5.Add music and other entertainment
For your own home, adding music can contribute to the ambiance and the whole Halloween look and feel. Kids will love hearing spooky tunes or sound effects as they approach the house that complement the fun decorations. It can be as simple as charging up and placing a portable Bluetooth speaker somewhere on the porch to play music or sounds, or, for a bigger impact, consider a party speaker that will pack a massive audio punch. These require a bigger upfront investment, but they’ll work great for other outdoor and indoor parties. Plus, you can take it up to the cottage, the beach, and other venues, too, all year ‘round.
Consider setting up a portable projector and sheet inside the front window or side of the house to play a Halloween-themed movie (nothing too scary!) or a compilation of fun images or themed videos. You can find downloadable Hallween content online from a variety of sources (a quick Google search will yield tons). You’ll need to set up an outdoor speaker for the audio and connect it, which should be easy to do via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It’s a simple way to make the experience more fun not only for your own kids but for neighbourhood kids, too.
Once you have gone over these tips for a fun and safe Halloween, check out plenty of home living and tech gear at Best Buy Online to enhance the experience. You’re one step closer to having a successful Halloween.