As Halloween is fast approaching, with Covid the question on many parents and children’s lips is “can we or should we trick or treat?”
The government guidance for England now depends on your post code and so you must find out the restrictions in your local area. In some places you can still meet socially in groups no larger than 6 persons, provided this rule is not broken than it could be possible to trick or treat but, should we?
In practice trick or treating usually involves walking around the neighbourhood, touching doorbells, door knockers and buckets of treats, which all could be contaminated with the virus. From experience, I also believe social distancing will be an issue in these circumstances, especially with enthusiastic children attempting to travel down narrow paths in the dark. One of the best things is the neighbour or friend who has arranged a disgusting and often slimy trick which the children get to experience, however these will all be off limits this year unless you make it for yourself.
My personal plan having checked the current Covid alert level via the NHS COVID-19 app is to take out my own sweets and play a spotting game. Anytime we see anything Halloween, my children will get a sweet from my own bag. This way we will not be touching anything else and should we get close to anyone else we will have masks at the ready to move past. Depending on where you live, social distancing may not be as possible so you must factor our own surrounding into your decision.
Dr Chris Smith (virologist at the University of Cambridge) told the BBC that unwrapped sweets are to be avoided but wrapped sweets could be left outside for trick or treaters to find. Leaving a bucket to forage from would mean that everyone who visited would share the same touch point and so these should be avoided. Instead, the same wrapped sweets could be prepackaged up and left in small bags on the fence or else in small piles on the door step.
We should all be mindful of those shielding and so door knocking is definitely to be avoided. However, in order to maintain the tradition, arranging with friends or neighbours to have a single door nocking experience could safely be achieved. Provided it’s permissible within the restrictions in your local area, with face masks worn, which can rightly be part of the costume, you can still have a scare or two.
My overriding guidance is if you are not sure or have a concern, don’t be afraid to say no! There are many ideas to make the event just as fun
- A Halloween treasure hunt around the house, you could find both tricks and treats!
- Make your own DIY paper decorations, redtedart.com has some great free ideas to keep the kids busy during half-term
- Have a Halloween Scavenger hunt to find the spooky decorations around the house
- Make this year’s party a virtual party, you can take it in terms to apple bob, tell scary stories, compare costumes and decorations, Halloween themed Charades, Pictionary or even the “What Am I game” where the contestant as to guess what they are by asking questions
- Knock on your own door and take it in turns to scare mum & dad, just don’t forget the keys or find a door inside!
What our kids will remember is spending time with the family, so I plan to turn off the telly and put away the phone. Then we will all get creative as there is no reason why this cant be a fun event for all. So long as there is a treat and so fun at home I am not sure how much the kids will missing walking around in the cold hunting for sweats. After all the Easter bunny delivers the chocolate to your house and that’s fun too!