No Tricks, Just Tips for a Sensory-Friendly Halloween


Spooky SeasonIt’s spooky season again! Halloween is a very exciting day for most kids. However, without a little preparation, it can be stressful. Below is a list of strategies to make this Halloween fun and enjoyable for you and your child:

These tips are brought to you by our partners at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital,  Kaitlyn Metzger, MSOT, OTR/L Occupational Therapist

  • Practice your Halloween routine in advance. Have a trial run for trick or treating by carrying your bucket/bag around the house or neighborhood. It can also be useful to practice the routine of having your child say or even use sign language for “Trick or Treat” before holding out their bucket/bag. Talk about what your trick or treating schedule will look like with your child. Removing the mystery of the routine for trick or treating will help your child feel more confident on that day!
  • Try on your costume early. Costumes can be uncomfortable and itchy. Have your child practice wearing their costume at home. If they are uncomfortable with the fabric or attachments, try wearing everyday clothing under the costume such as soft cotton shirt. Also, practice wearing any face paint or hairstyles prior to trick or treat night!
  • Pack your noise cancelling headphones or practice listening to Halloween sounds. Loud noises can be difficult, especially unfamiliar loud noises. Noise cancelling headphones can be helpful for kids with noise sensitivity. Preparing your child for the sounds of large crowds or doorbells will help them know what to expect that night.
  • Prepare your body before/after trick or treating. Heavy work or movement based activities can help prepare your child’s body for all the sensory input that is involved with Halloween. Activities like animal walks, pushing/pulling heavy objects or baskets, eating crunchy foods, climbing, swinging, or jumping on the trampoline can help make Halloween night more successful.

We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!


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