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60% of American parents still plan to trick-or-treat this year

Will you bring your kids out on Halloween?

60% of American parents still plan to trick-or-treat this year
@nikmock/Twenty20

The days are flying by and before we know it Halloween will be here...but what will it look like this year? It depends a lot on where you live.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging families to skip trick-or-treating during the pandemic, but local governments are all over the place on this issue, and so are parents. Some states, like New Jersey, have said "Halloween is on" and issued guidelines on how to trick-or-treat safely. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, city officials backtracked on banning trick-or-treating, softening the language to say the activity is "not recommended."

A new survey of 1,500 parents in the United States finds 60% of parents plan to let their children trick-or-treat this year. Meanwhile, a poll of Canadian parents shows 52% plan to skip trick-or-treating in 2020.


In both nations, cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, but parents on either side of the border are deeply concerned about preserving some sort of normalcy for their kids in a year that has been anything but normal.

Dr. Tista Ghosh is an epidemiologist and senior medical director at Grand Rounds, a digital health care company in San Francisco. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Ghosh explained that she was not surprised by the tone of the CDC's guidelines, but says "there are ways to participate in Halloween that could minimize risks."

Ghosh wants people to "balance the risk of whatever activity they're doing with mental health risks as well, and look for ways to minimize risk rather than reduce risk to zero because that's just not possible."

"I think completely taking away Halloween could be detrimental to some of the mental health issues that kids are facing right now," Dr. Ghosh said.

As Motherly previously reported, "If your family really, really wants to trick-or-treat (and you are comfortable with more risk) the CDC recommends 'participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).'

Some parents are choosing not to change much about their plans. That new survey of 1,500 U.S. parents (Real Estate Witch + Clever) finds that while the CDC has categorized trick-or-treating as a moderate- to high-risk activity, more than 1 in 4 U.S. parents (27%) plan to trick-or-treat as normal, without additional safety precautions.

A third of parents plan to trick-or-treat with extra precautions. More than 70% will require their kids to maintain social distancing and 68% plan to have kids sanitize their hands frequently.

But if you are feeling like trick-or-treating just isn't safe enough (like that 52% of Canadian parents) your kids can still have fun without going door-to-door.

According to the CDC, the following lower risk activities can be safe alternatives to trick-or-treating: 


  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

No matter what you choose to do this Halloween, we hope it is as safe and as fun as possible. We all need a little fun right now. The world is scary enough.

14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

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