• Candy, candy and more candy. Halloween is just around the corner, and some of us like to offer a non-candy alternative to our door-knocking ghouls and goblins. Here are three that I have been successful with: pencils, erasers and glow sticks/bracelets. — JoAnn
• Post-Halloween sales are a great time to pick up imagination-stimulating accessories and outfits for the dress-up bin.
• “Young children often love the act of pumpkin carving, but apart from letting them scoop out the seeds (which is fun!), there’s not a safe way to let them help with the cutting. I recommend purchasing a small pumpkin for the little ones to decorate with markers or paint.” — W.F. in South Carolina
• “Baby lotion is great to have around on Halloween, because it can be used to remove face paint. Masks can restrict children’s vision when trick-or-treating, so face paint is a better way to go. Use a washcloth and baby lotion to get that paint off quick.” — A.V. in Oregon
• Choose a batterypowered candle for your carved Jack-o-lanterns. You can leave it on longer, even when you aren’t home. And it’s much safer than a true flame.
• “Give any costume that your kid wants to wear for Halloween the “dance test.” Have him or her put on the costume and dance around. If the child is tripping over the hems or the accessories are cumbersome, a change is in order.” — M. in Michigan
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