Are your kids too old for Trick or Treat?
As a parent it’s sometimes not easy to tell. Our kids love to trick or treat. They look forward to trick or treating. They love to dress up for Halloween and celebrate the holiday.
There is no black and white answer for when your kids are too old to go trick or treating. Some kids trick or treat right up to teen aged years. But most kids stop around middle school. Part of this is because your kids heard the dreaded, “aren’t you a little old to be trick or treating” question last year.
Maybe your child’s friends aren’t trick or treating anymore. Maybe your child feels the peer pressure of other teasing them for wanting to go. Maybe your kid thinks it’s too babyish.
Part of the answer is going to depend on your location. In some neighborhoods kids trick or treat right up through high school. However, I think that is the exception and not the rule. In my area, kids usually stop trick or treating at the end of elementary school, 5th grade.
Making that transition is a little bit sad for you and your child. Most kids don’t stop trick or treating because they don’t like dressing up and getting candy from every house in the neighborhood. And there is no reason they should give up costumes and candy.
There are some ways your child can still celebrate Halloween and still wear a costume and eat candy.
My daughter was in 5th grade when she learned that she could stay home, wear a fun costume and hand out candy. It was only a couple years later when I learned that she would shut the outdoor lights off as soon as she thought I was far away enough not to see. Then she would watch movies and eat all of the Halloween candy by herself. That was pretty devious. Smart, but devious. LOL Still makes me chuckle.
However, it wasn’t quite as easy with her older brothers. They really enjoyed trick or treating. For a while it was enough for them to dress up and take their younger siblings trick or treating. To make it a bit easier, we instituted a chaperone tax. The tax included a 25% profit of all of candy received by his younger siblings. There were some additions to the verbal contract such as not black licorice or root beer barrels.
He quickly learned to have fun with this. He taught the little kids to empty their bags into a pillow case that he would hold. He would leave each kid with one piece of candy in there bag. When the little ones would go to the door, the owner would see such an empty bag that they would give them extra candy. Again, devious. Smart but devious.
The day comes when they don’t want to walk around the neighbor hood. They don’t want to be responsible for kids jacked up on sugar. So what’s a tween/teen to do?
Well, there are lots of options.
Get your kid involved with making your yard spooky.
This is an awesome chance for your usually less than creative boys to let that crafting side out. Boys are so often embarrassed to do anything that involves the word crafting. But they enjoy a good haunting. Have them brainstorm some ideas. If they are a little slow to start, pull up Pinterest or offer a few ideas. Before you know it, your yard will be covered with skeletons, mummies and spooky jack o lanterns.
Build a haunted house.
Let your kid design a haunted house. Or a path to the house that is in the fashion of a haunted house. Let them invite friends over to work in the haunted. Remember to enforce the idea that they shouldn’t scare the pants off any little kids. You don’t want to be that house in the neighborhood.
Let your child make a haunted audio soundtrack for your front porch, or a light show.
Buy extra candy that you know your kid likes so that they will have some treats left for them.
Let your kids have a Halloween party.
Let your kids have a Halloween party. An open garage, decorated for a spooky night is a great place to host a tween/teen party. You can let the neighborhood keep an eye on them without them feel like mom is hovering.
Really, the possibilities are endless for your ‘too old to trick or treat’ kids.
Instead of you making the holiday fun, let your child make it fun and enjoy the work they are putting into the spooky holiday. It will be the beginning of their own traditions and something they look forward to instead of dreading.
A haunting we will go.