We started a tradition on our block when the kids
were little. Every Halloween, we'd all meet at a neighbor's house,
take pictures of our Trick-or-Treaters, then walk the neighborhood
together, pulling a wagon for when small legs got too tired or
candy bags got too heavy. Then we'd return to visit, swap candy and
share chili, cornbread and snacks.
Now our kids are almost teens. How do we stay involved in
Halloween, but still give our growing tweens the independence they
Start with the costumes. Even if you haven't been a
`hands-on' costumer before, it's a great way to do a project with
your tween and ensure a super cool costume that's completely
unique. If popular Internet memes and video games inspire your
kids, use them!
I've made Patapon characters from hula hoops and black
cloth and a Nayn Cat out of paint and cardboard, complete with an
iPod speaker to play that annoying song as our son ran around. A
friend's son became Domo, the lovable brown creature from Japanese
If your tween has a favorite TV show, use it for
inspiration. A neighbor's daughter loves Doctor Who. With her long
red hair, she was a natural to portray the Doctor's popular
companion, Amy Pond. A thrift store outfit and a `Hello, my Name
is' badge and she had a great costume to show her fellow
This year we updated our party. Adults still walked the
neighborhood, but we lingered behind, visiting and letting the kids
A science teacher mom brought a great new treat to the
`after party'-dry ice! Even the coolest tween couldn't resist wacky
science with dry ice, colored water and plastic cups.
If this was our kids' last `official' Trick or Treat, I'm
glad we got to share it with them and be `cool' parents at the same
See more of Bronwyn's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.