4 Ways Halloween Brings Out the Best in Dads

Halloween week is here! It’s the only time of year when zombies, princesses, and giant T-Rex’s can walk the streets in harmony. On its surface, Halloween is an easy holiday; snag a costume, and you’re done. But a lot goes into making Halloween a safe and successful night for your kids. Put on that superhero cape (or whatever costume you choose). It’s time to jump in and make this Halloween a spooky night to remember!

The Costume

First up is the costume. The right costume is a big part of what makes Halloween special. But, if you’ve ever asked a five-year-old what they want to be for Halloween, you know the answer can change by the minute. Dad – you’ve got to get that kid hyped up about ONE choice. This is where you pull out your powers of planning and positive support.

  • Planning – Spend some time talking about costume options. Set a decision deadline that gives you enough time to complete the costume.
  • Positive support – Did you make the costume, and your kid changed their mind? Remind them of all the great things about the costume you have. You may have to repeat this step a few times.

If time gets away from you and you need a last-minute costume, don’t stress! This is where you can showcase your resourcefulness. The internet is full of quick costume ideas you can throw together with things you’ve got around the house.

Carving Pumpkins 

What’s Halloween without carving pumpkins? This favorite Halloween activity gives you plenty of opportunities to bond and create fun memories.

  • Nurturing creativity – There’s no wrong way to carve a pumpkin. Some kids like to do simple faces, others want to create works of art. Help them create and carry out a plan to make the pumpkin they want. Or let them dive in and see what they can make!
  • Learning new skills – If you have a more advanced pumpkin carver, it might be time to learn new skills. The internet is full of tutorials that can teach you and your kid how to create a more intricate pumpkin. Learning a new skill together is a great way to strengthen your bond!


Trick-or-treating is the star of the show. It’s also an excellent opportunity for you to encourage independence!

  • Younger kids – Help younger kids take those first few steps on their own by hanging back and encouraging them to do the talking.
  • Older kids – Depending on the age of your older kids, give them a little more responsibility by letting them trick-or-treat on their own. Scheduling regular check-ins or meet-ups can help give kids a little cushion while they learn to trick-or-treat without you.

Every kid is different, and yours may not be ready to fly solo. That’s okay. It’ll mean a lot that dad is there to support them.

Eating the Candy 

It’s November 1st. Your kids want to know if they can have candy for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Now is your chance to teach about healthy eating, budgeting, and encourage charitable giving.

  • Make a candy bank – Work out a plan with your kid about how much candy they can eat each day. Store it away, then they get to make candy withdrawals from the candy bank.
  • Donate it – Halloween is a great time to teach kids about sharing and charity. Let them hold on to some of their favorites and donate the rest! Keep it local by donating unwrapped candy to a food pantry or a nursing home (call ahead to see if they accept it). Or send it to the troops through any one of the several groups that collect candy to send overseas.

The costume is ready. The pumpkin is carved. You’ve put in a lot of hard work, now get out there and have a great Halloween!

Fatherhood is challenging, rewarding, exhausting, and a lot of fun, and you’re not in it alone. Listen to the Positively Dad Podcast for more tips, advice, and encouragement.

About the author, James

Thank you for joining me for the Positively Dad journey! My name is James Shaw and I'm a husband and father. I live in the Tampa Bay area with my wife, Terri and our young daughter, Naomi. The goal with Positively Dad for us to think, learn and grow. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day and miss opportunities to become amazing fathers. I trust that the conversations we have on Positively Dad will help you see that fatherhood is truly a journey and that we are better together than figuring it all out on our own.

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