Halloween is probably second only to Christmas on your kid’s list of favorite holidays. It’s full of candy, costumes, and more candy, so what kid wouldn’t like it? But for parents it might not have the same allure. As a parent of a kid with a disability, your brain may have to work in overdrive to problem solve issues like how to make your child the perfect, functional Halloween costume and where the accessible Trick-or-Treat route is. But the clock hasn’t struck midnight, so don’t turn into a pumpkin just yet. Let us help you create a healthy, fun, and fully inclusive Halloween.
Taking a quick look online, it’s apparent that costumes have come a long way since my childhood. There are even multiple sites available that will give you ideas to incorporate a wheelchair into your little super hero or princess costume. Here’s one of my favorites http://www.buzzfeed.com/babymantis/20-creative-wheelchair-costume-ideas-for-halloween-1opu
I must say there are some pretty creative parents out there, and I have seen some ingenious ways to incorporate different mobility devices. Fortunately, today the image of the wheelchair itself doesn’t get quite as bad a rap as it once did and kids can actually pick television or movie personas to imitate. For example, Artie the kid from Glee, the injured military man from Avatar or Professor Xavier from the X-Men. For your kids with a visual impairment, there’s always Daredevil. Nowadays, the only limits are how much time and money you are able to spend making the costume.
Taking the "Trick" out of Trick-or-Treat!
Because finding an accessible route can be just that – a trick! And if your neighborhood is anything like mine, finding houses that don’t have stairs leading to their front door can be even trickier! My suggestion: either host the party at your house or find a local Trunk-or-Treat!
Hosting the party can have all kinds of benefits, from the obvious, an accessible house, to broader benefits such as increased safety and healthier food options. You can have other parents bring candy as well so the kids don’t feel like they missed out on the big stash! To get some healthy fun Halloween recipes check out our Nutrition Corner. For some games to play at your “Monster Mash,” check out the Halloween Games section.
Trunk-or-Treats are a fabulous way to enjoy the holiday. Typically found in local church parking lots, folks line up their cars and trucks with tailgates down and trunks open while kids walk or roll from car to car to get their treats. This provides the perfect accessible venue while your kids are still able to enjoy all the fun of dressing up and Trick-or-Treating. It also is safer than having your kids out on the streets.
If handing a large knife over to your child isn’t your idea of fun, here are some alternatives to actually carving that pumpkin.
Cookie cutters work great, just use a rubber mallet to hammer them in. It might take a pair of pliers to pull it back out but, hey, at least it’s not a knife!
Paint it! I have seen some very nice paint jobs on pumpkins, from going outside the norm and painting it something funky (like the blue Cookie Monster) or simply painting on a face. Either way can have a dramatic effect and make any pumpkin worthy of adorning a front porch.
Mr. Potato Head it, which happens to be my personal favorite! Use the Mr. Potato head parts to make a face or a ghost as seen in the picture… and if you don’t have a Mr. Potato Head you could always just use stickers or bust out the old BeDazzler!
For a couple more no carve options check out this link. Regardless of your method, pumpkin decorating parties are always a big hit. In our household it has become a tradition that leads to some pretty heated competition. You never know what hidden skills someone in your family might have.