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Halloween Without Trick or Treating? Your Special Needs Child Will Love This!

Halloween for children with special needs

A post by AngelSense, a GPS & voice monitoring solution designed for children with special needs.


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Isn’t it funny how Halloween seems to sneak up on one without any notice? Before you can say pumpkin spice, you’re making a visit to Walmart in a last-ditch effort to find something that could pass as one of the child’s favorite characters from Frozen. You curse yourself for leaving it to the last minute, and then spend the rest of the day wondering: do you want to build a snowman? Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. The good news is that this year can be different.


Happy Halloween from AngelSense

As a special needs parent, Halloween may seem like more stress than it’s worth, but it doesn’t have to be. Halloween isn’t just another task to add to your ever-growing to-do list. With a little effort and some planning, Halloween can be a fun holiday for the whole family and a great opportunity to bond with your special child.


And the best part is that even if you haven’t started planning yet, Halloween can still be a day to remember. To get you started, we’ve put together some simple ideas for alternative, hassle free ways to celebrate this holiday. Many of which you can even prepare with your child. Happy Halloween! Here’s to doing things unconventionally and with a smile.

1. Create handprint ghosts

This is great for developing a child with special needs’ fine motor skills. It’s the ideal activity for parents to do with younger kids. After painting your hands, place them palm downwards onto a clean sheet of paper. Be sure to press your hands onto the page so your handprint appears clearly.

Ghost hands activity for Halloween

Do the same with the other hand, so that the palms of both hands are touching the page. This creates a handprint ‘ghost’. Now it’s time to decorate, and be sure to draw in the ghost’s eyes. You and your little one can have fun experimenting with different color paint and paper. Get more fun craft ideas here.

Get the most out of this activity: This is a good opportunity to talk to your child about ghosts. Once you’ve both completed your ghosts, you can, for example, ask your child whether or not  they think ghosts are real and can be touched or seen.

What you need:

  • Non-toxic paint

  • Blank sheets of paper

Difficulty level: Easy


2. Have a trick or treat night at home

For some children with special needs, trick or treating may not be an option. And that’s okay. You can easily host a trick or treat night at home with the family. This is easier to control and is often a less overwhelming experience for kids with sensory processing disorders. It’s also a great family bonding activity.

There are several ways you can approach this activity. You can purchase a few treats and hide them around the house. This puts a novel spin on traditional trick or treating, and makes it seem a bit like a scavenger hunt. The other option it to bake tasty treats together as a family. All kids love helping out in the kitchen, and this can be an especially rewarding experience for special needs kids. Once you’re done, the entire family can sit down to a freshly baked feast. It doesn’t get better than that.

Get the most out of this activity: You can use this as an opportunity to teach your child to bake something specific, for example chocolate chip cookies. Depending on the age of your child, you could also use this exercise to talk to your kids about the meaning behind trick or treating.

What you need:

  • A selection of sweets and treats

  • Baking supplies

Difficulty level: Intermediate


3. Create a spooky sensory bin

While some special needs parents may be reluctant to try sensory bins, a carefully created bin can help expose your child to different sensations without being overwhelming. To avoid sensory overload, it’s important to choose the items in the bin carefully. They shouldn’t be too colorful or too small and there shouldn’t be too many of them.

Ideally you should start with one carefully chosen object. It’s also a good idea if this is an object your child is already familiar with. You would then place the object in an appropriately sized container and cover it with paper or cotton wool without your child seeing. The idea is for your child to reach into the box, pull out the object and guess what it is. Over time as your child develops confidence and grows comfortable with the idea, you can add additional objects.

Get the most out of this activity: You can use this as an opportunity to develop your child’s language skills. When your child identifies an object correctly you would repeat the name of the object and then add a verb. For example: block … tap, tap,tap the block.

What you need:

  • A box

  • One object your child is familiar with (to start with)

  • Tissue paper or cotton wool

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Halloween doesn’t have to be stressful to be enjoyable. And once you get started, you’ll soon see how easy it is to tailor almost any traditional Halloween activity to suit your child’s specific needs. Happy Halloween from the AngelSense team.

How are you planning to celebrate Halloween with your kids this year? Share your ideas in the comments below.

This post is brought to you by AngelSense GPS and voice-monitoring.

AngelSense creates a safer world for children with special needs, with a wearable GPS tracking and listening device, a web app and smart analytics.

AngelSense is committed to creating a safer world for those with special needs and providing peace of mind to their families.

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