A Sensory Friendly Halloween

Halloween is a day many kiddos look forward to each year. Yet for a child with special needs, such as a sensory processing issue, the holiday can be a bit tricky to navigate. But, that doesn't mean a lot of fun can't be had on the spookiest night of the year!

But first, the costume!

Halloween may look different this year, but the fun of dressing up doesn’t have to change. In fact, due to COVID restrictions in some communities, dressing up may be the center of the day. The good news is that there are more costumes available than ever before for children with special needs:

Target has a fun sensory line of Halloween costumes with a good selection to browse.

Etsy is a great place to shop around for a wide variety of ideas that is sure to engage your child. Just search for adaptive Halloween costumes and you’ll find lots of options.

If your child is into Disney, the company has a pretty extensive line of costumes to browse. If your child has a favorite character, this may be a website you can't miss.

If your more of a creative type, look no further than sites like Pinterest to spark the imagination.

Sometimes parents get so worried about finding the right costume to accommodate the needs of their child, they forget to make sure the child has input into what they would like to dress up as. It’s supposed to be fun after all! Spend time brainstorming together by making a list of possibilities or coloring pictures of potential costumes. Make the decision making process fun and you’ll be sure to come up with a costume idea that you are both excited about.

Celebrating Halloween

We all might be limited in partaking in traditional Halloween festivities due to COVID. If that is the case in your community, consider these sensory friendly ideas that will still make the day fun.

Spooky Dinner

Make a Halloween themed dinner with your child’s favorite foods. Work together to plan the menu, go shopping and help prepare the spooky treats the entire family can enjoy.

Walk the (Black) Catwalk

If you have other little goblins in the house, consider holding a costume fashion show. Everyone can get dressed in their costumes (even mom and dad) and take turns walking the “runway” with the rest of the family cheering on.

Halloween Movie Night

A great idea for after your spooky dinner. Get the family together for a Halloween themed movie night. Curl up in your costumes, grab some popcorn and watch a few family friendly Halloween movies. It’s a low key way to enjoy the holiday together.


If you live in a community where Trick-or-Treating will be taking place, it might be a good idea to practice trick-or-treating at home a few times before heading out. Practice knocking on the door, saying “trick-or-treat” and “thank you.”

No matter how you spend Halloween, the important thing is that you are together as a family and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the process, get creative and have fun. It will guarantee everyone has a great time!


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