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13 Tricks and Tips for Sensory Friendly Halloween

  1. Prepare your child for spooky or loud noises during trick-or-treating by exposing them at Party city or a Halloween store with similar decor

  2. Noise cancelling headphones can assist in an over-stimulating auditory environment when out and about on the day of - consider dressing up as a pilot, construction worker, or musician!

  3. Pumpkin carving alternative for tactile sensitive kiddo? There are great stencils and paint packs to inspire pumpkin decoration. For less mess, use markers, tempera paint markers, or stickers!

  4. Costumes! Prior to buying the costume, have your child feel the material of the costume and try it on (if possible) to be sure it’s a good sensory fit

  5. Wearing tight clothes (compression shirt/pants/shorts) under the costume and cutting off the tags can help your child feel more comfortable and secure

  6. Wear the costume a couple times leading up to the big day to stretch out the material, wear it in comfortably, and improve tactile tolerance

  7. Masks may add an odor that isn’t appealing for your child, consider face paint, headband or hats, hair-dos and other accessories

  8. There may be a lot of visual stimuli while trick or treating. You can go to Halloween stores, look up strobe lights on YouTube, and decorate your own house before the big day. If it continues to be too much, try a cool pair of shades to darken the mood

  9. Have your child identify the decorations that may cause stress and avoid those particular houses with said decor

  10. Make a code word or a simple signal for when your child may feel overwhelmed while trick or treating so you can head home pre-meltdown

  11. If your kiddo wants to be involved in the Halloween activities, i.e. pumpkin carving, slime, try wearing disposable gloves for extra protection

  12. Map out your route! Create a fun map for your child to adhere to. This creates internal organization for both you and your child, shows what to expect next, and a clear ending to their halloween adventures

  13. For the kiddo who needs some fun to focus! Make a scavenger hunt of the different costumes they’ll see, the kinds of decorations on the houses, and a prediction of how much candy they’ll collect along the way

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