How To Have A Happy Halloween With Special Needs Children

Do you celebrate Halloween? I would say that most people do in some form, especially if you have children.

I believe the general mood is that every parent wants their children to have a Happy Halloween.

If you have special needs children it can be a holiday that you have to give some extra thought into.

Depending on the degree of needs your child has will definitely dictate how much participation you will be to do.

I want to be able to share our experiences and show you how we celebrate and still make sure the kids have a Happy Halloween.

Our two youngest didn’t have much interest in Halloween until they were around seven years old.

I never pushed them into participating until they told us they wanted to do something.

They would dress up when therapy had an event for that day but that was the extent of it.

We used to live in a neighborhood that had a lot of trick or treaters. So I would hand out candy and they liked seeing all the costumes.

So when they started asking about dressing up and wanting to participate in Halloween I wasn’t for sure how we were going to accomplish it.

Both of them have sensory issues. Don’t like loud noises or crowds. A whole lot of what is Halloween is noisy and lots of crowds.

Knowing I needed to find a better option than going door to door or attending a carnival. So I really wanted my kids to have a Happy Halloween.

I just knew it would look a little different than when our older two girls participated in Halloween.

Then there was an issue of finding costumes that were not too restrictive or didn’t take a lot of prep. Yes, we could do store-bought costumes but at the time there wasn’t a lot of characters they were interested in.

Judah loved Thomas The Train and Gabrielle loved Sponge Bob. So not a whole lot to go on.

But we did come up with costumes and Judah was a Train Conductor and Gabrielle was a panda. We found a place to go and it was a very positive experience.

Ideas On Where Your Child Can Have A Happy Halloween

So I mentioned above that we found a place and had a good positive experience. Well the next town over from us host a trick or treat on their town square.

It started early, so it was geared for younger kids. It was perfect because everybody lined up and went around the square so it kept the festivities more organized.

The kids really had a lot of fun and we had no meltdowns or high anxiety. It was great!

So now that we had a positive Happy Halloween with the kids I wanted to be able to do it again the next year.

I started to ask around and ask other mothers where and what they do for Halloween with their kids.

We don’t live in a big city so the options are very limited.

After asking around I found out that the Embassy Suites in our area host a Trick Or Suites event for Special needs kids and families.

What they do is have 3 floors where sponsors decorate the rooms and set up games and had out treats and candy. A lot of the sponsors are therapy clinics and bigger corporations.

This is a good safe environment where your child can feel free to be who they are. They have calm down rooms for kids that may get to over stimulated.

We have gone for four years. You do have to be in the know because you get tickets from the organizer’s site. It is free.

I’ve heard that there are other Embassy Suites in other cities that do the same thing. Oh, and also it’s usually a few days before the 31st so if you have other plans for Halloween you can do both.

Another good option for special needs kids is church carnivals. There seem to be a whole lot fewer people and they usually have fun games for kids to do.

Check with therapy clinics your child goes to because they would know if there is something going on in your area. If they don’t attend therapy check your local chamber of commerce also.

I hope this helps you find other alternatives for your child to have a Happy Halloween!

happy halloween

Family Traditions We Do For Halloween

We don’t usually go out on Halloween. But instead we stay at home and I fix fun specialty food and we watch fun Halloween movies.

Eat tons of candy and have a really good time as a family.

We no longer live in a neighborhood where we get trick or treaters anymore. I love it because we can enjoy our time as a family and don’t have to be bothered by the doorbell.

We fix popcorn balls usually earlier in the week and snack on those. Kids usually make cut out sugar cookies and decorate those.

I usually make a Halloween themed food. Last year I made spider pizza and bloody eyeball pizza. The year before last I made a giant meatloaf in the shape of a monster hand.

I’ve never really been a Halloween lover so I really never decorated. But the kids like to, they like the fun of it.

I take them to the Dollar Tree and give them Twenty dollars and let them pick out whatever they want to decorate with.

It really brings smiles to my face to see them participate and have fun with it. They are really enjoying the season and have a Happy Halloween.

Some years we have done the corn maze thing and hayride depending on how everybody is feeling and what the weather is like. Not always a must-do every year.

This is usually a good and safe family activity to do though. We have been to ones before that even have a small petting area of barnyard animals.

You know it is the little things that mount up to make great moments and traditions for your family. These are the times you need to hold dear and treasure.

I do have another post I wrote on making that Parent Connection with your kids.

Halloween Crafts For Kids

There are so many Halloween crafts out there to choose from. How do you decide as a parent what to do?

This is what I do with our kids.  Go through Pinterest and look for different crafts that will help them with some sensory issues they have and some crafts that build their OT skills.

Usually, I show them about 6 options and they get to choose 2 crafts to start out with. I don’t like to give them many options because it gets too hard to decide.

Too many choices lead to anxiety for our youngest daughter.

Here are some great options to choose from:

Halloween Playdough

Pumpkin Carving Ideas For Kids

This is what we did last year with our pumpkins. It was a lot of fun, a little messy but well worth it.

I don’t care too much for carving and it’s really hard for our kids to do it.

The project was very easy and the outcome was great! Instructions are very easy and very little materials are needed for this pumpkin project.

Here is a list of what we used to do the project. I hope you like and enjoy the video of the kids decorating their pumpkins.

I want to add that I did buy an extra set of Crayola Acrylic paint in a different color to go with the pumpkin paint set.

Here is another great idea you can do for Halloween. We make gingerbread houses for Christmas so why can’t we make Halloween Houses for Halloween.

The kids call them Monster Houses! I went to the Dollar Tree and bought all the Halloween themed Candy and let the kids use their imagination.

They had a ton of fun! I did use meringue powder for the royal icing just to make it extra safe. I also used the recipe off the Wilton container.

Creating Fun Happy Halloween Food

There are a ton of great ideas on Pinterest for themed Halloween food. I like to keep it simple and stick to what my family likes to eat.

For the monster hand meatloaf, I just used a basic meatloaf recipe and free-formed it on a lined sheet pan. I did use white onion to make the fingernails with.

The next Happy Holloween images are pizzas I made. Instead of making homemade meatballs I took a shortcut and used store-bought meatballs.

I used pepperoni and olives to make spiders for the other pizza. So what you see here is a Bloody eyeball pizza and a Creepy spider pizza.

Creating Costumes They Want To Wear

Halloween costumes can be tricky if your child has a sensory issue. It wasn’t until last year that the kids felt ok with having face paint.

These costumes were a lot of fun coming up with and seeing it all come together was exciting for everyone to see.

The theme the kids wanted to do was a Nightmare Before Christmas.

For Gabrielle’s dress, we actually had found it at goodwill and that’s what gave the kids the idea.

I just ordered her a wig from amazon and her outfit was easy done. Judah’s was a little more complex but still easy to make.

We found a suit at Goodwill that had pinstripes on it but there were no pants. So I ordered him some pants and just freehanded the stripes on them.

I used a fabric pencil for the stipes. Well I tried using a paint pen but it would have taken a whole lot of them to finish the project. I was trying to be a little thrifty with creating his costume.

FYI the pencil didn’t rub off.

For the bowtie, I just bought felt and freehanded the design and used a white fabric paint pen for that.

Our oldest daughter did their makeup. She is a Cosmetologist and did an awesome job!

Whatever you choose to do for Halloween make it fun, create an abundance of memories and let your children have a Happy Halloween!

I hope you really liked this post and that you can pull some ideas from it.

Domestic Engineer Mom

Robbin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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