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This year’s Halloween festivities will be unique and more imaginative than usual.

“This year, Halloween invites us to be creative and try out new traditions as a family,” says Jessica Sánchez, a learning facilitator. “Children need to understand the importance of continuing to protect themselves and others—and we can still have fun.”

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Sánchez told The Americano it’s very important for parents to involve their children in the planning of festivities in order to avoid frustration. This way, false expectations are not created. 

“Ask children age 5 or older what they would like to do,” Sánchez said. “If they want to go out, you can explain that this year they can’t because of the pandemic.” 

The learning facilitator, who has experience as a clinical psychologist in her native Venezuela, said she sees three different types of parent behavior in dealing with the situation. There are those who do not care about COVID-19 and head out with their kids as usual, those who are afraid and stay at home, and those who stay home and do something fun to celebrate.

“It’s a beautiful opportunity for the whole family to get involved and do something fun,” said Sánchez, who is also an event coordinator.

One idea the expert gave is to decorate the house, or an area of the house. “On Halloween night, all family members can wear costumes,” Sánchez suggested. “They can create a game like ‘Halloween Hunters,’ where they hide treats and find them. They can take turns and do things they enjoy.” 

Another option is to make the most out of a patio or backyard by setting up an obstacle course.

“It could be a matter of setting up a virtual gathering with classmates,” Sánchez said. “Children can dress up and hide from the camera, and they can guess who is wearing which costume.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many Halloween activities are considered high-risk for spreading the virus.

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Some of the CDC’s recommendations are to avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters, give out treats outdoors, wear a mask, and set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.

“In the end, we are the best example for our children,” Sánchez said. “If we have fun and make it happy, our children will enjoy it just the same.”