Parenting Hacks to a Stress-Free Halloween
Updated: Jul 11
Some people go ALL OUT for Halloween…
...they spend hours hand-sewing the perfect costume for the entire family...
...they trick or treat in every neighborhood around their house…
…we do not. We are not Halloween people, but we do have kids, so….
We have all the hacks if you’re a non-Halloween parent like us! If it’s you we’re talking about, keep reading, this blog is for you! We will be sharing our best four hacks to make your Halloween as simple and stress-free as possible!
Trick or Treat Hack
If the idea of walking around with your little ones this Halloween brings every emotion except joy, it’s okay to ditch the idea. Instead of going door-to-door asking for candy, opt for a Trunk or Treat event instead!
Honestly, a Trunk or Treat is all-things-harvest-season in one fell swoop. Many have animals to pet, trunk or treating (trick or treating around a parking lot instead of around a neighborhood), pumpkins to decorate, apples to bob for, etc.
Your child won’t get cranky and tired from walking around in their itchy costume for hours. You won’t get tired from the inevitable pushing or carrying you’ll end up doing. Many will also have areas for photo opportunities, so it's a great chance to snap a few fall photos of your little ones!
Your child won’t know any different, especially if they’ve never experienced Halloween before.
Make it a tradition from the start, and in years to come, they’ll look forward to all the experiences they have with you during a Trunk or Treat event.
Pumpkin Carving Hack
Whoever thought that young children, knives, and slimy pumpkin guts was a good idea?!
Seriously, the time commitment and mess that comes from pumpkin carving is enough to make any parent cringe at the first sight of pumpkins during the fall season.
We’re here to make your life easier! Still messy, but for sure easier.
Have your little one paint a pumpkin instead of carve one. It won’t get rotten as quickly, it’ll keep them busy for a while, and you won’t have to worry about anyone getting cut by a knife.
And you can get as creative as you'd like! You can let your little ones finger paint (or not) and make "clothing" for their pumpkins out of construction paper.
There's also a really fun activity to track the life cycle of a pumpkin that goes along with the book "Pumpkin Jack" -- essentially, you put your pumpkin in a clear container and watch as it decomposes and grows again over time. This could be a fun learning activity that spans the months! Of course, if you don’t want a decomposing pumpkin sitting on your counter year round, we don’t blame you!
BONUS ACTIVITY: Set up a pumpkin washing station before you paint the pumpkins. Put pumpkins, soap, water, and sponges in a water table. Let your kids get to work! This will take them at least an hour. Then your pumpkins are ready to paint!
Pumpkin Patch Hack
Go to the local pumpkin patch early in the season…but don’t buy a pumpkin yet!
Go, have fun, and do all the fun pumpkin patch activities when it’s not so crowded and cold like it is later in the season.
Then, towards the second half of the season, buy your pumpkins at a grocery store for much cheaper. They won’t rot on your front porch before October 31st if you wait and get your pumpkins later.
Trust us, we learned this one the hard way - there’s still a stain on my porch from last fall!
Instead of spending your money on an overpriced pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, you can instead use it on a hayride or a caramel apple – something your little one will likely appreciate more than a pumpkin, anyway!
THE BEST Costume Hack
Instead of spending hours searching online for the perfect costume or browsing Pinterest for tips on creating your own, make it easy on yourself!
Find a pajama costume!
Instead of buying a $50 costume made from the uncomfortable itchy fabric that you've never going to use again...buy pajamas.
You can start by finding a base - a solid pajama color - and then add accessories. Or, if it's a character, you can often find character pajamas. It's usually cheaper AND you'll get more use out of it.
One year my son was a dog. We bought plain brown pajamas and added ears, a tail, and a little face paint. And he got to wear those pajamas for a hot minute until he grew out of them.
This year, he wants to be a pumpkin. Orange pajamas, here I come!
So, if you are looking for a little more simplicity and don’t want or feel the urge to go all out this Halloween, take a few - or all - of our hacks and see how it goes. Truly, there’s enough to be stressed about in motherhood, and Halloween doesn’t have to be one of them! Instead, focus on creating fun memories for your family that don’t leave you resentful or utterly exhausted.
Then, send this to your other like-minded mom friends! Invite them to the Trunk or Treat or the pumpkin patch with you.