By Kari Tanta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Manager of Valley’s Children’s Therapy
If you are like me and read headlines last year such as “CDC says no trick-or-treating” or “Halloween is cancelled,” your heart likely sunk. In our neighborhood and so many others, Halloween is a festive time of year that young and old look forward to. Houses are lit up and on the 31st hoards of happy “treaters” spend hours going from house to house.
Is there any way to safely proceed this year? The good news is, yes, thanks to a Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, green light, creative people, and holiday spirit! But there are some things you should know to keep yourself, your children, and your neighbors safe this year:
Activities to reconsider or ones to consider taking extra precautions:
- Costumes with costume masks—costume masks are not a substitute for face masks needed for the virus and the two should not be used together as it can make breathing difficult
- Door-to-door trick-or-treating without masks, if unvaccinated (both for those handing out and those receiving treats)
- Trunk-or-treating (where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots”)
- Indoor parties
- Indoor haunted houses
- Hayrides and tractor rides with others, unless vaccinated and masked
Modified or safer activities to consider:
- Wearing Halloween-themed fabric masks, or creating a fabric mask to match your costume—click here for ideas
- Decorating your house all out, with lights and music—no candy required for a great time
- Halloween scavenger hunt
- Give children lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
- With your household members, hunt for things in or around your home rather than going house to house
- Small, outdoor costume parties, particularly with a limited number of kids and families you know
- Pumpkin carving
- Baking and cooking Halloween-themed foods
- Bike or walking parade
- Visiting a pumpkin patch, click here for local patches
- Outdoor haunted forests or mazes
Numerous South Seattle neighbors have come together to create safe and fun Halloween 2021! See this Google map. This map shows the location of houses hosting Halloween fun: includes Halloween activities and how treats will be handed out, as well as if there is a special display.
Check out the links below for more Halloween resources (a special resource for kids with sensory challenges is included) and things to do! As for me and my family, we are all in for safe trick or treating and visiting the corn maze and pumpkin patch this year! A happy, safe Halloween to all!