Trick or treating has seen an upsurge in popularity in recent years. Some neighbourhoods and communities have dozens of houses offering treats for costumed kids.
Although it is often seen as an American tradition, the origins of Halloween are believed to go back 2,000 years to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated on October 31. Trick or treating may have evolved from a ritual where people dressed as ghosts and demons and received treats to appease spirits.
In modern times, it’s all about the costumes and the candy! Trick or treating can be fun – what kid doesn’t love dress ups and the chance to pretend to be someone else for a few hours, plus the lure of those treats! But to ensure that your trick or treaters have a Halloween to remember for all the right reasons, follow these safety tips.
Trick or treating safety tips
- An adult should always accompany kids when trick or treating
- Time your trick or treating before it starts getting dark
- Ensure the kids’ costumes are not going to affect their mobility or vision, to avoid trips and falls
- Only go to homes where you know the residents, or if your community has organised trick or treating, those that are displaying a trick or treaters welcome sign
- Never enter a house
- Do not enter a property if there is a dog that isn’t tied up
- Only accept treats that are wrapped
- Stay together, don’t run, and be wary of cars in driveways
- Stick to the safe crossing rules
- Remain on well-lit streets
- Use a footpath when available. If there is no footpath, walk as far away from the roadside as you can, facing traffic
- Always remain respectful of those who are not taking part in trick or treating
Trick or treat signs
Got candy to share? Stick up a ‘Trick or Treaters Welcome’ sign to let the kids know that you’re happy to take part. Let your kids create one or use our ready-made version.
Trick or treating isn’t for everyone so if you’re not wanting visitors to your door pop up a sign on the letterbox or gate to let the kids know that there’s no sweets waiting.
You can also get your neighbourhood in on the fun of Halloween by doing a mailbox drop of the Trick or Treaters Welcome sign with a note that the kids are planning to trick or treat but will only visit those homes that have a sign up.
Written by Julie Scanlon
Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire.
Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”