Is there an age by which kids should stop trick-or-treating? And, for that matter, is there a particularly good time for them to begin?
We asked Circle of Moms bloggers and members to weigh in on these questions, and they not only shared a variety of helpful perspectives, they suggested some fun alternatives for kids who aren't going to be trick-or-treating at all this year — whether it's becase they're too old, too young, or that you'd just plain rather not have them out collecting candy.
"Kids Should Stop Trick-or-Treating By Age 13"
"I'm thinking grade seven or eight [is a good time to stop trick-or-treating]. I really hate when the teenagers come to the door with their pillowcases. Part of me would like to berate them at the door, but the part that doesn't enjoy having my house egged gives them the stinky candy." –Tristan L. of The Middle Aged Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
"I agree with many of the other moms that seventh or eighth grade is about the time they should stop. Now, that does not mean that the older kids can't still dress up and help pass out candy or help their younger brothers and sisters out!" –Tina from Shopaholic Mommy
"When kids are more interested in pulling pranks than having good clean fun, it's time to stop trick or treating, in my opinion." –Heidi L.
"My 16-year-old daughter doesn't trick or treat anymore. She usually goes to parties on Halloween or something. She stopped trick-or-treating once she got into high school because that's when all the parties started happening. My 13-year-old daughter is not going to trick or treat this year for the first time. She's going to her friend's house for a sleepover and they're going to watch scary movies and eat candy and what not." – Rose M.
"There's No Age Limit for Trick-or-Treating"
"I love Halloween, so I think a child can start [trick-or-treating] as soon as they can fit into a cute costume!" –Sapphire K.
"We brought our daughter around [trick-or-treating] when she was two. We of course had the candy, but it was nice to take her around our new neighborhood. If we lived closer to family I'm sure we would have brought her when she was only a few months old." –Amanda M. of Creative Family Cooking
"At my house, trick-or-treating has evolved as the kids have grown. When my son was only eight months-old, he wore a costume and went to grandma's to show off for his biggest fans. He was the treat that year! When he was one and a half, we took him out in our very small neighborhood, mostly to see neighbors in costume and check out the Halloween decorations. He spent 15 minutes playing with a toy black rat on a neighbor's front porch. When he was two and a half we went with a large group of kids and moms and he learned to say 'thank you' through repeated practice at every house. At three and beyond I think trick-or-treating really becomes fun – both because kids are excited about the candy and because they're scared by decorations. It gives them a chance to practice social skills and face some fears head on (like ghosts and zombies)." –Heidi L.
"I think it is absolutely preposterous when houses turn down my teenage sister in her neighborhood because it is such an awesome and innocent activity for youngsters and they are still children. To say that they can go to parties so they shouldn't do it anymore is extremely naive because what do teenagers do at parties? They get into trouble. In my opinion, if you're dressed up in a costume and don't have diabetes, trick-or-treating should never have an age limit!" –Tabitha G.
"As long as the kid is dressed in an actual costume, I don't think there is a specific age to stop. I do not care for teenagers with no costume showing up at my door, though." –Sandra of Vegan Mother Hubbard
"I Don't Want My Kids Trick-or-Treating at All"
"My children are nine, eight and six, and I haven't started them with trick-or-treating and don't intend to.
I remember getting dressed up for the event as a kid and I didn't always like it. When the children were very little I knew I wouldn't be taking them around. As they got older we found other events to participate in or made it our own special family night. Some may ridicule and say I'm taking away from their childhood experience, but I've never felt them being resentful because of my choice." –Grace D. of Reflexions of Grace
What's your take on when it's inappropriate for kids to trick-or-treat?