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We're new parents (again) with a little girl and we're wondering as she gets older how to balance / mix the trick or treating with being able to also run the yard haunt and give out candy. This was a non-issue for our oldest as he was more interested in scaring the trick-or-treaters than actually going out and getting candy in his later years...

so, ok parents, how do you guys do it? Do you take turns taking the little one out? Do you take them trick or treating early? Do you both go and get someone to hand out candy for you and make sure the place doesn't burn down? What system works for you? Inquiring minds want to know! :)
 

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In past years it's just been me to man the haunt so I stay and watch over it/hand out candy while my wife and daughter go TOT. This year I'll have my brother to man the fort so I'm looking forward to going out with them around the block. I have to say though that even though she was only 3 last year my daughter, once she had done 6-7 houses, wanted to get back and help with the candy and see all the other kid's costumes. She wasn't so keen on my zombie mask though. :)
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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I'm in the same boat as Uruk. I have stayed home to keep an eye on things and my wife has gone on TOT rounds with our kids until they were old enough to go alone. This will be the first year that my youngest son is staying home to help work the haunt, which mean my wife is also staying back too. It's a trade off for sure, but as our display grew, we had to have someone at home all evening.
 

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Undead Handyman
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I always take my kids out and leave my wife at home with a completely automated haunt. Occasionally we get to hear the screams from the other side of the block:D
 

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CANNIBAL
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Sadly we just didn't do it. My husband and I wanted to both go with our daughter (i think her being our only child had something to do with it). Too many punks around here to set it up and leave it or so I thought. I set up a small display last year, left candy out in a bowl on a tv tray on the sidewalk outside of our property so there was no reason for anyone to come into our yard. We came back about 3 hours later most of the candy was gone and all of our props were still here. It may have been because there was a football game the same night and the older kids weren't around. A few years ago someone vandalized 23 cars on our street, ours got the worst of it, so I was on pins and needles but thankfully nothing happened. This year we are staying home and going all out.
 

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Reaper
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Sadly we just didn't do it. My husband and I wanted to both go with our daughter (i think her being our only child had something to do with it). Too many punks around here to set it up and leave it or so I thought. I set up a small display last year, left candy out in a bowl on a tv tray on the sidewalk outside of our property so there was no reason for anyone to come into our yard. We came back about 3 hours later most of the candy was gone and all of our props were still here. It may have been because there was a football game the same night and the older kids weren't around. A few years ago someone vandalized 23 cars on our street, ours got the worst of it, so I was on pins and needles but thankfully nothing happened. This year we are staying home and going all out.
Good idea to set up a candy dish at the end of the drive so you don't have o worry about your props. Too bad people have to be stupid on a fun night and destroy/ vandalize things.
 

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Hubby and I always take turns but seems we're never out long. Our son likes to do a little tot'ing but is always in a rush to get back home and see the action and hand out candy. He's so grown for 6 yrs old! LOL
 

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Luckily my parents live nearby and take them to their house to help pass out candy and go to a few houses. My kids are 5 and 7 and don't seem to care much about trick or treating. Before Halloween I take them to several events where they can dress up---trick or treating at the mall, at the zoo, and the YMCA so they do get a chance to wear their costumes.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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Good thread. Kids all develop at different rates, and the worst thing a parent can do is foist his/her values on them. My own grown children were 12 and 11 when they first got involved with the home haunt. They went out, but kept coming by our house to check out the action. The next year they were fully involved, in costume and make-up with parts in the production. I now have a ten-year old daughter. She plans, this year, to go out for an hour as a witch, then rush home and get into Zombie mode and help out for the rest of the evening.
 

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Creepin When Your Sleepin
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Seems most of us are in the same boat.
I had stayed home last year while my wife took out the kiddo now mind you she was just over 1 so this year shes gonna be 2 wife again will take her with my mother in law and I will stay at home and take care of the scaring!! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
 

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My wife and I have talked about this extensively...we don't have kids yet, but I know we won't stop the haunt when we do, but I have such fond memories of my parents both taking me trick-or-treating when I was younger that I definitely don't want to miss that in the early years!

Hopefully by the time we have to worry about that we'll have lots of friends who want to help out and they can watch the haunt while we run around with the kids. Right now our friends are more of the "Holy crap thats cool! When's the party?" kind of people...not exactly the "I'd love to be part of your haunt while you take your kid out TOTing for a bit!" sort of friends...maybe we need new friends. ;)
 

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We're really lucky because my parents drive in from the next town to watch our haunt while we take the kiddos TOTing. They usually bring pizza, too! Our haunt is fully automated so we just give my dad instructions on refilling the fog machines and off we go. It's great fun to be several streets away and hear people talking about our haunt.
 

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This is an issue for me too, because my hubbie has ZERO interest in either TOTing or handing out candy. We might do a trade off half way thru the night, with our 4 year old.
One parent takes the kid around a few blocks, then come home and switch parents for the other half of the neighborhood.
Good luck!
 
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