Getting Ready for Halloween with Pretend Play

With Halloween around the corner, now is a great time to prepare kids for trick-or-treating fun using pretend play to reinforce good manners, important safety tips, and proper Halloween etiquette. Here are some of our favorite ways for getting ready for Halloween with pretend play with lots of imaginative playtime fun thrown in! A BIG thank you to our friends at Melissa & Doug for sponsoring today’s creative play activity!

Getting Ready for Halloween with Pretend Play

1. Practice Good Manners

Use this opportunity to show kids how to knock on the door, say “trick or treat” nicely, and reinforce the habit of making eye contact and saying “thank you”. My daughter thought it was great fun to dress up, go outside, and knock on our door (or even better ring the doorbell) pretending it was Halloween! Give them play food/treats they would like, but also give them something you know they wouldn’t like and compare the differences in their reactions. When I pretend to be the little old lady who forgot it was Halloween and can only give out rotten lemons to trick or treaters, it’s an exaggerated example, but it’s also a good time to practice the art of saying “thank you” no matter the treat. Tip: Melissa & Doug have plenty of costumes (with props included) for Halloween or pretend play fun all year long!

2. Practice Crossing the Street Safely

Get little ones in the habit of crossing the street with a trusted adult, and show them to look left, right, then left again before walking across.

3. Practice Choosing Treats

Our neighbors sometimes present the kids with entire bowls of candy for them to choose whichever one they would like. Teach them to choose whichever one is closest to them, and to not change their minds after the fact.

4. Take Turns Giving Out Treats/ Trick or Treating

My kids think it’s hysterical when I pretend to be the rudest trick or treater ever. (Banging loudly on the door, demanding treats, taking forever to choose the right candy, then changing my mind and complaining about it, etc…) After a bout of silliness, I then show them the proper way to trick or treat. This is a safe way for them to learn what proper trick or treating looks like.

Have fun!!

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Melissa & Doug. There are a ton of other kid-friendly crafts, activities, and creative play ideas on theMelissa & Doug blog, so be sure to check out their blog too! All opinions are my own.)


  1. Dear Valerie,

    Two things:

    1. If you are in a left-hand traffic country, make sure to look right, left, right!
    2. Clara wearing a wedding dress? TOO SOON. 😉


    • I don’t think I would last long in a left-hand traffic country — old habits are hard to break! :-O

  2. Beautiful 🙂

  3. Thinking about trick or treating and practicing great ways to do it is such a great idea!

  4. Thanks for the good suggestions. We also make our kids road test their costumes to make sure they’re not too stiff or long to hinder their climbing of steps, and they have good visibility through their masks. We don’t want any more falls than necessary. (We’re in New Orleans and always go all out with costumes because of Mardi Gras, the other big masking day.)

    The Creativity Institute