Halloween is around the corner!  One of my favorite Halloween activities is practice trick-or-treat.  This can be as simple or elaborate as you like.  All you really need is a door, a bag and a treat, but it might be fun to incorporate dress-up clothes or have a Halloween dress rehearsal.

Trick-or-treating involves some basic rules:

–          Knock/ring the door bell

–          Say “trick or treat!”

–          Take one piece of candy

–          Say “Thank you! Happy Halloween!”

Trick-or-treating also involves some inhibition.

–          Wait for the candy to be offered

–          Take what is offered without comment

–          Don’t go into the house

–          Wait until you are home to eat your candy

Strategies for teaching rule following and inhibition can be found in the Skills® curriculum.  Visit to learn more.

Practice trick-or-treat is a great activity to do with siblings and peers – with built in reinforcement (the treat and the recreation of one of the most exciting nights in a child’s life), it is very motivating.  If your little one isn’t speaking yet or is feeling shy, a parent or sibling can help with the speech.  Encourage any vocalizations your child makes.  Practice can help your little pumpkin shine on Halloween night!  (…and don’t be surprised if this remains a favorite activity throughout November either.)

When it comes to actual trick-or-treating, consider a costume that makes your child comfortable and is related to one of your child’s interests.  If trick-or-treating in the neighborhood is overwhelming, consider going to a few familiar places or have your child trick-or-treat at home – either at the front door or going door to door in the house.