Tips for Timid Trick-or-Treaters

Tips for Timid Trick-or-Treaters

Admit it. You’ve been counting down the days to Halloween ever since you bought that perfect costume for your preschooler. You’re drooling over the picture taking possibilities!

But as an early childhood educator who’s worked with preschool children for more than 20 years, I am here to warn you: I’ve seen many children decide that, come the big day, they want nothing to do with Halloween. And I’ve seen shocked and disappointed parents caught up in a power struggle.

She may have loved the whole idea of Halloween a few days ago, but come October 31st, your little one might decide she’s not ready.

So prepare yourself with a couple of back-up plans so you and your timid trick-or-treater can enjoy the festivities.

  • Don’t be shocked if your trick-or-treater decides his costume is too itchy, too hot, too heavy or just too freaky. Maybe it’s a comfort thing or maybe it’s all about fashion. But if he refuses to wear his costume, make a ‘costume’ from some of his favorite clothes. Add a tool belt and a toy hard hat to his favorite jeans and T-shirt, or let him wear his Spiderman shirt and a pair of sweatpants. Let her wear her favourite dress, or even her jammies with the princesses on them. Add a pair of tights and a tiara and she’s all set to party! If all else fails, let her wear what she wants and give yourself a little talking-to. Halloween is supposed to be fun; let her enjoy the day in whatever she feels the most comfortable in.
  • Preschool children pick up on the excited buzz in the air as Halloween approaches, but they can also become stressed from the bombardment of scary surroundings. Remember, they’re still trying to figure out the difference between fantasy and reality. Common fears for two- to three-year-olds revolve around unrealistic things such as monsters and witches. So when it comes to trick-or-treating, let your child take the lead. If she’s game to go outside, plan on leaving before dark and keep your route short.
  • If you’ve planned to hook up with friends, let them know you may be cutting out early or not joining them at all. If your child wants nothing to do with going outside, have a fun movie and treat planned. Let him fill up the candy bowl and pass out candy to the trick-or-treaters at the door.

As your child develops and matures she will be more than willing to participate in Halloween. Before I knew it, my own timid trick-or-treater was destroying a perfectly good dance costume so she could go out as a dead cheerleader!

But for now, let your preschooler take the lead on just how much she wants to participate.




I couldn’t be more thrilled and honoured to have WILLOW FINDS A WAY amongst the list of terrific books nominated for the 2014 Blue Spruce Awards! I’m counting the days until I get to meet all of these terrific authors and illustrators!
Here’s the official list:
A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton & Karen Patkau
I Dare You Not to Yawn by Hélène Boudreau& Serge Bloch
If You Hold a Seed by Elly MacKay
In the Tree House by Andrew Larsen & Dusan Petricic
Mr. Zinger’s Hat by Cary Fagan & Dusan Petricic
Oddrey by Dave Whamond
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Uncle Wally’s Old Brown Shoe by Wallace Edwards
Willow Finds a Way by Lana Button & Tania Howells


Willow Finds a Way


2014 Blue Spruce Nominee

2012 Publisher’s Weekly’s Selected Listing for Bullying Resources

Willow is thrilled the whole class — including her! — is invited to classmate Kristabelle’s fantastic birthday party, until the bossy birthday girl starts crossing guests off the list when they dare cross her. There are many books on bullying, but Willow’s story offers a unique look at how to handle the situation as a bystander.


Chapters, Indigo

Praise for Willow Finds a Way

The Globe and Mail “It’s easy to forget that my kids think their problems are as massive as I think my own are. Button never does. To her enormous credit, she’s written a book that speaks directly to their experience.”

WILLOW FINDS A WAY. Text copyright 2013 by Lana Button Illustrations copyright 2013 by Tania Howells. Kids Can Press Ltd.


The Debut of a Book Trailer

I finally have a book trailer for WILLOW’S WHISPERS (Kids Can Press, 2010) ! And I couldn’t be more proud!!! A book trailer has been on my list of things to do for years. But I never could get myself started. I couldn’t figure out how to capture the essence of a story that means so much to me, in a 45 second Youtube link. But yesterday someone created one for me. And I guess it’s only fitting that the trailer be created by someone who stuck with me, inspired me, and pushed me to keep reaching for my dream through many years of rejection letters. Yesterday, my daughter Jane surprised me with a Youtube link- and it’s absolutely perfect!

My girls grew up with the story of WILLOW’S WHISPERS. As young girls, Jane, Jordan and Carlyn would climb on the couch and listen to every new draft. (“Hey, where’d the Grandma go?” “Oh I changed the Grandma to a Dad. What do you think?”) And as the rejection letters piled up over the years, I kept submitting. How could I not? I had three girls watching me, believing in me and in this story.

And as much as my girls encouraged me during those years of rejections, they celebrated with me when the story showed promise…and then finally an acceptance from Kids Can Press. They were there to help me cut cheese, create magic microphones and pass out balloons at my book launch. And the four of us spent a glorious day at the 2011 Blue Spruce Awards Ceremony.

So I shouldn’t be surprised that Jane was able to capture Willow’s quiet struggle and her triumph so beautifully in 45 seconds. She and her sisters know the story almost as well as I do. That she took time out of her very busy schedule to put it together and surprise me with it, means more than I can say!

As parents we try to inspire our children. Tod and I have always encouraged our girls to find their passion, reach for their dreams. Luckily we’ve been on the same page when it came to scheduling and financing- prioritizing dance classes and competition fees over vacations and upgrades. I hope that our love, encouragement and support will allow our daughters the fortitude to never give up on their dreams. But I know this for sure- it was their love and support for me that allowed me to reach my own. That is one of the gifts of being a parent. I’m one lucky lady!