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Five tricks to help Halloween go down a treat in your neighbourhood.

1. Monsters are tougher in packs

If you’ve got some little monsters keen to go trick-or-treating, chances are they won’t be up for hand-holding while they’re acting ‘scary’. So don’t go along as Mum or Dad, join in the fun too. Every Batman needs a Robin after all! That way, everyone’s happy and safe.

2. Even superheroes have rules

Your young teens might be old and responsible enough to navigate the neighbourhood on their own, but you’ll still want to know they’re safe, right? Before they set off, lay down some rules about where they’re going and what they’re doing. For your own peace of mind, give them a list of ‘safe streets’ to go door-knocking. If you can plan out a specific route it’ll be easier to keep tabs on where they should be at what time – and you’ll know if you should be worrying. It’ll be like an amazing race for them and peace of mind for you.

3. A bit of sweet competition

Kids love a competition, and you love having peace of mind knowing that they’re safe right? Make sure your kids are safe in what they’re eating from trick or treating by turning it into a competition - no one is allowed to eat anything until they’re home and can compare who got the best stash! That makes it less like a rule, and means you can see what they’ve got before they dig into anything questionable or unwrapped. You can even keep the game going, and avoid a 9pm sugar rush, by challenging kids to see how long they can make the sweets last for. Easy.

4. Be kind monsters

Trick or treating can cause a bit of upset when it comes to footpath and road use. Prep your kids for road safety and footpath courtesy by making sure they know to use their eyes before they cross and look around them for people coming their way as they walk - big clusters of kids can be rather frustrating for elderly on scooters, joggers, and people leaving their driveways.

5. Eyes peeled for tricksters

Back at your own place, remember that Halloween is up to you. If you don’t want people on your property or knocking on your door all night, leave a sign out the front to let people know. You might even want to leave some fruit out on offer instead of sweets - that should be more than enough to deter sugar-hungry kids.

You might be able to plan ahead with your neighbourhood and set up a ‘Halloween friendly’ signal. In Christchurch, some people put balloons on their letterboxes to let trick or treaters know they’re welcome. What a way to make it easy!