Bring your little ghost or goblin down to march in your local Halloween parade. It's a festive way for the whole family to get into the spirit of the holiday -- and little ones who may be too young to trick-or-treat will enjoy it, even if the "march" only lasts a block or two. Have fun preparing for the parade by planning the costume together. Ask her about favorite book or television characters or what she wants to be when she grows up. Bonus: if your child wants to dress up in a career-inspired costume, such as a doctor, you could use the opportunity to teach her a few very basic things about the profession.
Browse through the inventory at your local Halloween store. Or head to a craft or fabric store to get the materials necessary for a homemade costume. Keep these costume safety tips in mind:
- Avoid masks, especially for younger children who may find them uncomfortable to wear or have difficulty breathing in them. Try face paint instead.
- Make sure the costume is burn-proof, especially since your child may get close to jack-o'-lanterns with candles in them.
- Choose brightly colored costumes to make sure your child can be seen by you and others, especially when it becomes dark.
And remember, try not to stress if your creation doesn't turn out perfect. Remember, the point is to have fun, not to make an expertly crafted costume.
Some parades provide prizes for every child, while others only award top costumes. If your child doesn't win, you could save her from unnecessary heartbreak by having a homemade award ribbon -- pumpkin-shaped, of course -- to present at home after the parade.