Tips to Make Halloween Less Scary For Kids

If your kids are scared of things that go bump in the night, check out our tips to make Halloween less scary!


Halloween has the potential to be one of the most exciting holidays of the year. Kids get to dress up as their favorite characters, go to fun parties, and Trick or Treat for goodies. Unfortunately, for some children, the excitement is often over-shadowed by fear. With ghosts, goblins, and other spooky characters around every corner, children who are scared of such things may not want to even leave the house on Halloween. You can bring the excitement back by following a few tips to make Halloween less scary for your kids.

Make Halloween Less Scary

  • Know before you go. Most stores have at least a few Halloween aisles during September and October, and some of them can have really frightening masks or décor. Know where the aisles are, what they contain, and how to avoid them when your child is with you. On Halloween itself, many stores allow their employees to dress up, so you may want to either avoid stores that day or check out the costumes before you enter.
  • Browse costumes online.  Browse for cute costumes for your child online and bookmark a few that you think she will like. That way, you don’t have to take her into the stores past all the creepy costumes!
  • Don’t push the issue. While your child’s fear of a fake spider or plastic mask may seem to border on hysteria to you at times, don’t try to push her into getting over her fear. If you want to work on her fear after the holiday passes, do it slowly. Trying to get her over it while the scary stuff is out in full force isn’t really going to work, though, because she’ll be on overload.
  • Have a Halloween Party. Skip Trick or Treating this year and host a party at home instead. By controlling the environment, you can make Halloween less scary for your kids without going out of your way to do so.
  • Organize a non-scary Trunk or Treat.  If you don’t want your child to miss out on the fun of Trick or Treating, but still want to make Halloween less scary, organize a Trunk or Treat. Other parents are dealing with the same fears, so band together in a community parking lot (get permission first) and let kids go from car to car. Decorate the trunks (with non-scary décor, of course) to make it more exciting.
  • Use neutral décor. Skip the werewolves, ghosts, and vampires. Instead, focus on the colors of Halloween. Decorate pumpkins with silly faces, make friendly looking bats, and incorporate your child’s favorite characters into the décor. Let children get involved as much as possible in decorating.
  • Monitor Halloween specials on television. Even some of your child’s favorite, most un-scary cartoon can sometimes feature themes that can be upsetting to children who fear monsters. For example, my son loves SpongeBob, but one Halloween episode used to send him screaming from the room when it came on. Screen them in advance and choose those that aren’t frightening in any way to your child.

Following these tips can help make Halloween less scary for your child while still giving them a piece of the excitement that comes along with the holiday.

11 thoughts on “Tips to Make Halloween Less Scary For Kids”

  1. Thanks for this post, I am taking my 3 year old nephew and am a bit nervous about how he will do because sometimes he is really brave when I expect him to be scared and other times we come across things that don’t even occur to me that he might be afraid of and he’s terrified.

    1. I know how that goes! My son was super brave when he was 3. In fact, he loved monsters. I took him to a Halloween shop thinking he’d love it. One evil looking leprechaun later, and now five years have passed and my son still freaks out over anything scary. He slept with my for two years after that day. It’s so hard to know what is going to freak them out. I always say that I broke my kid in that one stupid decision to take him into that one small store. LOL, I’m probably not helping!! You won’t break your nephew, don’t worry! Have a great time trick or treating with him!

    1. Exactly, and even if it’s completely “kid-friendly,” if it has a theme that tends to freak your child out, even the most mild show can cause nightmares. I learned that the hard way!

    1. LOL, me too! My son, on the other hand, loves it for the candy but freaks out over certain things because I broke him. See my reply to Emily for how that happened, lol! He’s coming around though. He likes zombies now. Vampires, for some reason, freak him out.

  2. These are great ideas! I especially like the suggestion to browse costumes online, because we will probably come across some very scary ones on Halloween.

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