Spooky Fun for Everyone!

Make this Season Extra Special with Accessibility for All

Halloween is right around the corner, and for families that celebrate, it’s a time that’s both frightful and delightful! Scouting out the best-decorated houses, attending local farms and carving pumpkins are just some of the timeless activities that can get you in the mood for spooky season, and for those who feel up to hosting their own bash, this month’s newsletter has you covered! Read on for ideas to incorporate into a Halloween party that is inclusive for any little guest that attends. Also note our recommendations for allergy-friendly treats and non-food trinkets that you may choose to pass out to those who ding-ding at your door.

Be sure to ask your therapist about some of the ways CTC has been celebrating this Halloween season, and feel free to send your child to therapy in their costume throughout the whole week of 10/31!


Room on the Broom

This book, destined to be regarded as a classic for many years to come, is a super fun and lyrical book to read with your child as you snuggle up with them on a chilly autumn night.

Product: Teal pumpkin

A teal pumpkin, when displayed on your front porch for trick-or-treaters to see, is generally regarded as a signal that your home is distributing non-food trinkets or allergy-friendly treats. For many families with children suffering food allergies, it’s a welcoming sight to see!

Quote of the Month

When everyone is included, everyone wins.

– Jesse Jackson

Inclusive Activities for a Halloween Bash

Plan a Party That Everyone Can Enjoy

Regardless of their abilities or special needs, all children should have an opportunity to enjoy the spooky delights of Halloween! This season, consider hosting a get-together for your child and all their beloved friends. Whether or not your child requires special accommodations due to medical needs or physical or cognitive disabilities, host a get-together that is inclusive for all. Read on for some suggestions on making this Halloween one that can be enjoyed by any little ghoul or goblin!

Sensory-Friendly Haunted House

There are usually two camps of Halloween fans: Those that are into the dark, twisted and gory images and movies, and those that prefer more wholesome props and films, featuring jolly pumpkins and friendly ghosts. Both camps have fun, yet sticking to the latter set of decor is a wiser decision for little ones. Try to avoid the use of animatronics altogether, as they can be jarring for many children. Instead, consider creating a haunted house that contains many different fabric textures, soothing sounds and gentle lights.

Halloween Movie

Stream a Halloween movie or two during your party, free for guests to come and go as they please. Some options to consider: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; Hocus Pocus; Coco; E.T.; Scooby-Doo; The Nightmare Before Christmas; and The Haunted Mansion. Provide age-appropriate treats and drinks to make the experience feel more like a movie theater!

Craft Table

Provide a station with crafts to promote creativity and fine motor practice! Simple and engaging craft activities such as dot marker ghosts, jack o’lantern stickers, and paper plate bats or witches’ hats will keep little hands busy. Provide a variety of textures and easy-to-grip tools, ensuring that all children can participate and enjoy.

Pumpkin Decorating

This classic Halloween activity is great for sensory exploration! Discuss the textures you feel as you help your child and/or your little guests, using terms such as wet, sticky, dry, cold, smooth, bumpy, etc. to help with language comprehension and development. Provide adaptive tools and assistance as needed. Consider eliminating carving to promote a safer experience, instead providing materials such as paint, stickers, textured paper, googly eyes and pipe cleaners.

Storytelling Circle

Halt the activities at some point of the night and have all little guests gather round for a story time. Choose a Halloween-themed book or two and read aloud, encouraging questions and input from curious listeners. For non-verbal participants, prompt them with simple questions that they can answer on any personal AAC device they have, or provide a simple communication board including yes, no icons and any core words from the book you choose (i.e., characters in the book, actions, colors, or other pertinent vocabulary). Some fun options include: Room on the Broom; Five Little Pumpkins; It’s Halloween; How to Catch a Witch; and Ten Timid Ghosts. Make sure everyone gets an opportunity to contribute to the discussion!


Allergy-Friendly Items and Treats

Ideas for both food and non-food items to pass out to trick-or-treaters

Food items (*designates ítems that are also gluten-free)

  • Dum Dum lollipops
  • Rice Krispie treats
  • Starburst
  • *Hershey’s chocolate (plain)
  • *SweeTARTS
  • Mini oreos
  • *Smarties
  • Red vines
  • *Pirate’s Booty
  • Kit-Kat bars

Non-food ítems

  • Bubbles
  • Clapping hands
  • Mega punch balloons
  • Packets of hot chocolate
  • Halloween erasers
  • Wind-up toys
  • Halloween stamps
  • Super balls
  • Mini notepads
  • Slap bracelets

Costume Parade

Designate a time of the night for a costume parade for your guests to showcase their creativity and interests! Avoid using flashes to take pictures, as this could be overstimulating for some and make participation optional, as some guests may be too shy or overwhelmed. For those who do enjoy the limelight, encourage them to verbally discuss their costume, give a twirl or point to their favorite part of their ensemble.

Allergen-Free Treats

Make your get-together especially inclusive by making sure any sweets and treats not containing peanuts, tree nuts, gluten or other common food allergies or sensitivities are labeled as such and have a designated spot. That way, your guests’ parents can easily spot what their child can and cannot enjoy.

Quiet Zone

Designate a room or small space to be a quiet area during your soiree, placing a chair, pillows and soft blankets inside. Many children with sensory sensitivities may need a break from the stimulation of activities and noise, making this room helpful for preventing any possible meltdowns. If you have any spare noise-dampening headphones that children can borrow, you can place them in this space with a note asking them to be kindly returned after exiting the area.

However you decide to celebrate this year, whether it be a large gathering or a small get-together with a few friends, make sure to consider the unique needs of those you’ll be hosting and go out of your way to make them feel seen, welcome and appreciated. The appreciation will likely be mirrored back to you!

Content of this newsletter was written by:
Megan A. Miller, M.S., CCC-SLP

Please contact Megan with any questions or comments at: megan@ctctherapy.com