Most children look forward each year to selecting Halloween costumes, carving pumpkins, and collecting delicious treats from their neighbors. However, due to the risks of COVID-19, Halloween may be a somewhat different experience this time around. Fortunately, there are still a number of ways to enjoy the season without added danger of viral exposure or spread.
Perhaps the most obvious way to keep Halloween healthy is to continue the ongoing practices of maintaining six feet of social distance, utilizing face masks, frequently washing hands, and steering clear of crowded gatherings. The paragraphs below offer several other tips for ensuring that Halloween is fun, but also safe, for all involved.
A creative idea for celebrating the holiday while keeping a safe distance from others is to make use of video conferencing apps to hold virtual costume parties in which children have an opportunity to show their friends their festive apparel. Alternatively, consider hosting an outdoor costume parade, making sure to allow for sufficient space to maintain social distancing at all times. It must also be remembered that costume masks do not take the place for a cloth face mask if it does not contain multiple fabric layers or provide coverage for both the nose and the mouth.
Some additional ways to bring Halloween fun to the home front this year includes having a spooky-themed movie extravaganza complete with costumes, decorations, and homemade Halloween treats. To set the scene, consider a pumpkin decorating party for the purpose of carving or painting several of the seasonal gourds.
Even though the way Halloween is experienced must be adjusted this year, that is not to say communities have no options when it comes to celebrating together. Outdoor events such as those held in neighborhoods, parks, or similar venues can be a great way to experience the joy of fellowship while remaining appropriately socially distance. Look for events that require facial coverings, implement one-way walking plans, and offer lots of hand-sanitizing stations.
The Question of Trick-or-Treating
There may be parts of the country in which traditional trick-or-treating is either discouraged or altogether banned. However, there are ways to make sure that children still have an experience that mimics the fun and excitement of this tradition. Plan a home-based scavenger hunt in which treats are hidden for kids to find. Even if conventional house-to-house trick-or-treating goes on as usual, remember to steer clear of large clusters of kids on porches or walkways, and always allow lots of space between groups.
When deciding how to hand out treats, think about the option of putting together individual goodie bags that can be grabbed from a table set up on the porch or pathway. For treats brought back by children from others’ homes, take some time to either wipe down the items before opening, or give them time to sit, perhaps in the garage, for several days. While is in unclear whether contact of this sort plays a significant role in the spread of COVID-19, it seems most would agree that a policy of “better safe than sorry” ought to apply.
Though many children may experience a feeling of disappointment upon learning that Halloween will not proceed in exactly the same way it usually does, this is a great chance to show youngsters the importance of adaptability and openness to the creation of new traditions. By demonstrating the ability to have fun despite unusual challenges, parents everywhere can teach their kids a truly valuable life lesson while having a great time and showing concern for the health of others along the way.