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One way to create a checklist...

Your preparation checklist for Halloween will vary. Here are some starting thoughts...

For going trick-or-treating

  • Decide on and make or buy a costume (see "For a costume" section below)
  • Make sure you have appropriate reflectors, flashlights and other devices that make it safer to wander around after dark
  • Have something to carry your treats in
  • Arrange for appropriate groups
    • Younger trick-or-treaters generally have a parent, grandparent, older sibling or other care-giver accompanying them.
    • Older children may travel in groups. (See ideas for group costumes)
  • If you're new to an area, learn the locally acceptable times and places for trick-or-treating
    • Some places have a Halloween parade.
    • Some places have set start and curfew times for trick-or-treaters.
    • Other places have a trick-or-treating party or "fair". Everyone gets together in a school, park, parking lot or other spot. The "adults" set up stands, booths or maybe use the back of the truck or a small wagon, and the trick-or-treaters wander around from booth to booth. If desired, security can be set up around the perimeter to ensure children don't wander off without the proper adult and to make sure that only screened treats are given out.

For receiving trick-or-treaters

The ideas about what are "acceptable" treats may vary by location.

  • wrapped, store-bought candy is common
  • "party favor"-like or inexpensive toys are a good alternative
    • For instance you can sometimes buy bags of small Play-Do™ canister. Each canister costs less than a regular size candy bar bought in bulk.
    • Small bouncy balls (often found in the party favor section of a store)

For holding a party

In addition to normal party preparations, such as sending out invitations, planning food and drinks, entertainment, a Halloween party provides "scope for imagination".

Try a few "scary" foods: recipes
Have a supply of apples ready for apple bobbing
Consider entertaining with thematic : ghost story, pumpkin carving contest (or painting for younger guests) or haunted house
Ideas for Halloween decorations

For a costume

Decide what to be, buy, make (or combination of purchases and creativity) a costume See ideas on this wiki for costumes, and in some cases, how to make them.

Related

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