Sensory Friendly Halloween Tips!

Halloween is coming up and we know it is one of kid’s favorite holidays. They get to dress up in costumes, go door to door and collect lots of candy. For some it is a day for lots of family fun, but for others it can be the perfect storm of sensory overload. Costumes can be itchy or feel uncomfortable, there can be loud sounds, and bright flashing lights. Here are some tips on how to have a sensory friendly Halloween and what you can do to avoid sensory meltdowns.


1. Find a Comfortable Costume for Your Child:

Costumes are something that you can have the most control over to help make Halloween more comfortable for your child. Take your child with you to help pick out their costume. This way they can feel the fabric and see if the fit is comfortable. Depending on how sensitive your child is, try to avoid costumes with itchy fabric, uncomfortable masks or accessories, and messy face paints that can feel slimy. 

2. Plan Ahead:

Before going trick-or-treating make a plan of the route you will take in the neighborhood. You can also choose to only visit neighbors’ houses that your child feels comfortable with. You can also ask those neighbors ahead of time what their decorations will be like. You might also want to decide on going out a little earlier in the night when there may be less people out, and before any bright flashing lights are turned on. 

3. Practice:

Leading up to going trick-or-treating you can practice some of the traditional etiquette at home. Practice ringing the doorbell, what to say, taking candy and how to respond before going to the next house. Social stories and a countdown to Halloween can also help prepare your child and help them know what to expect.

4. Be Flexible:

Halloween is meant to be fun, if things don’t go perfectly that’s okay! If traditional trick-or-treating is too overwhelming for your child there are other options to keep in mind. Instead of going out to trick-or-treat, your child can help pass candy out at home. There are lots of other ways to celebrate Halloween too. Try going to a local trunk-or-treat event, trick-or-treating around your house or yard, or have a family night in with Halloween games.

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