It is that wonderfully spooky and eerie time of year, when little ghosts and goblins emerge in their finery to knock on doors and fill themselves with chocolate and treats.
By Katie Campbell
Of course, some little witches and warlocks may struggle to take part in traditional activities because they find the whole act of Halloween to be an overload to the senses. Maybe speaking with strangers makes them anxious and forget all the great jokes and tricks they’ve been trying to learn in the hopes of getting anything but a tangerine. That’s ok! We’re here to give you some ideas to make sure everyone can get involved, even mummies!
For some, the feel of a Halloween costume can be extremely uncomfortable and cause sensory overload. While it is of course in keeping to the season, not every costume has to be a creepy one! If your little monster has a favourite t-shirt or jumper that they enjoy the sensation of, there’s nothing to stop you incorporating it into their costume. Not everyone has to be a princess or a vampire – there’s no limit to who or what you can dress up as! For comic book fans, it’s never been easier to get onesies or hoodies with their favourite superhero’s logo on them, so children with sensory issues who can’t tolerate itchy polyester costumes or uncomfortable makeup can still dress up as the Flash or the Green Lantern in a comfy, cosy outfit. In the same vein, superhero jammies can give kids a well needed break from reality and allow them to zoom around as Batman or Wonder Woman. If children use a wheelchair or crutches, incorporate them into their costume! With a cardboard box, some tape, paint, and a little bit of imagination, you’ve got the keys to being the talk of your cul-de-sac this Halloween night.
It was a dark and stormy night…
Let’s face it – as residents of this great isle we’re going to have to face the prospect that the weather might be rubbish at the end of October. Who could possibly anticipate such a thing? You’re not obligated to hit the streets and pile up the miniature Mars bars on Halloween! For children who struggle with constant socialising, going door-to-door on Halloween will likely make them very uneasy and uncomfortable. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a night in, and Halloween is the perfect time to cuddle up on the sofa with the kids and take in a few spooky films. As parents, you’ll know what your kids can handle in terms of scares – so no-one’s suggesting the family sit down to a marathon of the Saw movies – but there’s loads of family-friendly movies to choose from that suit the season. The Addams Family is a pure and silly ride for older children, Casper is full of silly spooks and laughs, Hocus Pocus is a Disney classic, and the Hotel Transylvania movies are perfect for younger kids.
Do you want to play a game?
Games are a great way to get into the spooky mood! There’s the traditional bobbing for apples and feasting on sweets, but you can start your own tradition of making some scary feel boxes is a fun sensory game. The Spruce has some great suggestions of what you can pop in your own sensory boxes to give them a nice Halloween feel. Old tissue boxes, cereal boxes or shoe boxes work well – all you have to do is cut a hole in it and you’re ready to get started. Boxes can be decorated with glitter, cobwebs, paint and spiders to give them that authentic Halloween feel, and then contents added. The Spruce has some great ideas for what can go inside: ears (dried apricots), spider’s legs (fuzzy pipe cleaners), ear wax (peanut butter), teeth (popcorn kernels), and brains (a large steamed cauliflower head). Bobbing for apples can be a bit of a danger but bobbing for strawberries is a much easier way to get little mouths involved. Getting creative can also be great fun – pumpkin carving is ideal, obviously with close adult supervision! Getting kids to help scoop out the mushy, pulpy inside and draw on the front of the pumpkin is great fun (plus, you can turn the insides into pumpkin pie, the greatest of all pies). Making ghoulish little cakes, like cake pops or cupcakes, can also be great, messy fun, and combines a huge variety of colours and textures to play with. Pinterest is, of course, the best place to go for all your Halloween recipes – don’t worry if they turn out looking a bit homemade – it’s all in the spirit of fun!