Now that October is here, we’re sure you are looking forward to carving pumpkins, designing costumes, decorating houses, and trick-or-treating. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering around, Halloween will be very different this year.
But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to enjoy and have a great time with your loved ones while practicing social distancing.
We Are One! Incorporation, CA, aims to create awareness about how to keep safe on Halloween. Our purpose is to help military families and supporters make the most of this time.
So, keep reading to find out how to ENJOY Halloween while staying safe!
General Safety Tips for Halloween
1. Drive Extra Carefully
Halloween is an exciting time for children since they get to go on a candy hunt! When you drive around residential areas, especially during trick or treating hours (5:50 to 9:30 PM), please be very careful. Drive slowly and watch out for children on the roads. Pay extra attention when you drive around intersections. Avoid all distractions, like your phone, while driving and pay attention. Keep your headlights on.
2. Avoid Costume Masks
Choose non-toxic face paint over costume masks whenever possible. Masks, especially those that cover the whole face, including the eye area, can distort a child’s vision. As a result, your child could get hurt or seriously injured. Make sure your child’s headgear does not obstruct their vision.
3. Be Careful While Carving Pumpkins
Carving pumpkins requires the use of sharp objects like knives and blades. Please do not let your child use sharp objects, even if you are holding their hand in the process. The blade or knife can slip and cause serious injuries. Let your child draw on the pumpkin, and then you can carve out the shape.
4. Go Trick-or-Treating in Groups
No matter how safe your neighborhood is, it is never a good idea to let your child go trick-or-treating all alone. Make sure your child is in a group of at least 3 people or more. Set a curfew time by which they need to be back home and tell them which route to follow. Give your children and their buddies a flashlight so they don’t get lost if it gets dark.
COVID-19 Safety Tips You Must Keep in Mind!
1. Avoid Indoor Gatherings
An essential tip for staying safe on Halloween during the pandemic is to avoid hosting or attending any indoor gatherings. Outdoor activities are much safer than indoor ones since an indoor event can get too crowded and might not have adequate ventilation, increasing the risk of spreading germs. Be sure you are familiar with the CDC’s guidelines for hosting social gatherings and events before making any plans.
2. Wear a Mask
We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing a mask. Please wear a surgical or fabric mask during Halloween, even when you are handing out candy from your porch. Please encourage your children to wear one with their costumes when they go trick-or-treating. You can decorate it with harmless solvents or stickers so that wearing a mask does not ruin their Halloween look!
3. Ditch the Candy Bowl
Handing out candy to every child from one bowl can cause germs to spread, as many children will put their hands in the same bowl. Candy bowls are not contact-free. Instead, set up a table on your front porch. Decorate it nicely and layout all the candies at a distance. Let kids come one by one and choose their favorites without touching the pieces they do not want.
4. Maintain Cleanliness
Use a sanitizer to clean your hands and kill germs more often during Halloween. Offer it to every child that shows up at your doorstep or keep one on a table outside your door with a “Please Use!” sign. If you want to be creative, you can decorate the sanitizer in a spooky manner!
Clean and disinfect your home according to the CDC guidelines at least twice a day, focusing on the commonly touched surfaces.
Halloween Spending Tips: Buying Costumes and Candy!
With limited resources and high costs of living expenses in Southern California, it can get tough for military families to set a budget and keep money aside for the holidays. Besides focusing on ways to stay safe on Halloween, it would be best to look for cheap alternatives to expensive Halloween costumes and candies.
Here are some tips on how to enjoy Halloween on a budget.
1. Buy on Sales
Please do not rush to the store when the first signs of Halloween start to appear. Wait for the last few days before Halloween. That’s when you get terrific, slashed prices on candy and costumes!
Look out for supermarket price drops and buy-on-get-one offers on candy. The best time to buy Halloween candy in bulk is late September till mid-October. Another option for spending less could also be to follow installation dates for families to go trick or treating. There are usually posted dates for installations, units, and MWR.
2. Save Candy All Year
Most candies have a year-long expiration date. This means that any candy leftover at Valentine’s Day or Easter can be given out on Halloween! Save up leftovers. Most kids do not care about what candy is shaped like as long as it is delicious!
3. Visit Thrift Stores
Many consignment and thrift stores have great outfits and accessories that can be used as Halloween costumes. For example, if you want to create a Frankenstein bride look, get a wedding dress from a thrift store! Thrift stores have outfits starting as low as $0.99.
4. Do Costume Swaps
An excellent idea that we are in total support of is costume swaps. Swap out costumes with your friends and family members. You can repurpose what your friend wore two years ago into something better. Get together with people and see if you can trade costumes for yourself or your children. Be sure to disinfect, wash, and dry your costume before trading it!
Getting Creative on a Budget
Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Here are some easy ways to make the most of Halloween without spending much!
- Need a family night game? Make a Life-Sized Pumpkin Memory Game! All you need is dollar store paper plates, an orange color, and a black marker. Find out more by clicking here.
- Are you looking for party games? Design a Candy Corn Ring Toss game using glow-in-the-dark necklaces and old traffic cones! This idea is not just a great game but also works great as decorations. Click here for instructions.
- Out of decorations? Make a DIY Candy Bucket Halloween Wreath! Find out all about the material you will and the instructions here.
Time to Get Spooky!
Now that you know how to enjoy Halloween while staying safe, it’s time to have a blast!
To all our board members, volunteers, supporters, donors, and military men and women— we wish you a very Happy Halloween. We hope that you will stay safe on Halloween and keep your loved ones out of danger as well.
We Are One aims to make the holiday season a joyous time for the military families in Southern California who try hard every day to make ends meet. Please visit our website to donate or send non-perishable goods and clothing items to PO Box 976, Sunset Beach, CA 90742. Your support and kindness can bring a huge smile to a child’s face this Halloween!