How old is “too old” to trick-or-treat? According to a poll taken by Today.com, most people think that kids are too old by age 12.
Really? Twelve-year-olds are still babies! I get it though. As a person who is less and less inclined to open her door (on a regular day), I don’t enjoy the late-night knocks on Halloween. Never mind the fact that most teens barely attempt a costume, there should be no one ringing doorbells past 8:30 p.m. Once, my friend and I opened the door to a woman carrying a new born. We gave her the candy. She must have needed it.
But 12…? Who can even tell anymore? There are 5th graders taller than me! I feel bad that the “cut-off” for children’s activities seems to be getting earlier and earlier. They already grow up so fast.
Here are some ideas if you find your children in the “tween” stages where they still want to go around to houses (but worry about them getingt the cold shoulder):
1. Go with them! It’s still OK to go around with your children and look on as they go up to the door. Seeing a parent at the end of the drive puts people at ease. Make sure your children put some effort into a costume. Dress up with them (at least a little). This is probably the last time trick0-or-treating for your tween, why not make it an event.
2. Throw a fun party at your house. Your tween doesn’t need something elaborate. Have him invite a few of his friends, order some pizza, and put on a a scary(or not so scary) movie. Alexandra always has tons of great movie ideas here and here and here. Everyone can participate in passing out candy to the little ones that come by. Depending on your child, you can have a few pumpkins for carving too. Even though you might get an eye roll, tweens still love those kinds of activities deep down.
3. Tail gate in your driveway. Grab the opportunity for togetherness and have a haunted tail gate. Set out some chairs, play Halloween tunes, and watch the festivities. You can even grill! Some families go all out, dressing in costume and setting up a scary scene in their yard.
4. Trick-or Treat for charity. As a sophomore in high school, my friend organized a great event. She sent fliers out to her whole neighborhood for a canned food drive. We all took wheelbarrows and wagons around collecting the canned food instead of candy. It felt like we were participating in the holiday, and we were doing some age appropriate community service too. Her parents drove the food to the food bank the next morning. We all had a great time and the people we really responsive. With a little advanced notice, the houses had food ready to go(and weren’t put off by a group of teens at their door).
If a teen DOES comes to your door this year, just give them the candy without the, “Little old for this, aren’t we?” speech. Life is short. Save yourself from the leftovers anyway.