It’s the time of year when kids are deliberating over which costumes they’ll be wearing when trick-or-treating on Halloween. But while teens and tweens may be deciding between dressing up as zombies or vampires, parents are making a different decision — how old do kids have to be before they’re considered “too old” to trick-or-treat?
More than 2,000 readers responded to TODAY Parents’ non-scientific poll about kids, their ages, and where they fit in when it comes to hitting up neighbors for candy. And while parents did not agree on an age range when kids are too old for trick-or-treating, 73 percent of those surveyed agree that somewhere between the ages of 12 and 17, kids should call it quits.
Still, not all parents agree with the masses. Wendy Copley, a mom-of-two from California, told TODAY Parents that her seventh-grader will be trick-or-treating this year, and she is looking forward to seeing him have a great time with his friends.
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“As a candy-hander-outer, I have no problem with teens coming to my door,” said Copley. “I say let them have fun as long as they can. And really, what would people prefer teenagers do on Halloween? Trick-or-treating seems like a really great option when you consider what else some kids get up to.”
Alabama mom Tiffany Thomason agrees, adding that kids of all ages should be allowed to have fun while they can.
“Let the teens trick or treat,” said Thomason. “There are so many other things they could be doing, like drugs, drinking, or blowing up pumpkins in your front yard. Let them enjoy their youth — there is way too little of it when you become an adult.”
Proving Thomason’s point, nearly 60 percent of adults surveyed said they do not dress up for Halloween. Adults are still enjoying the holiday, however, as nearly 70 percent feel that Halloween is a holiday for both children and grown-ups.
More parents also buy their kids’ Halloween costumes, with only 40 percent admitting to being crafty enough to make them. And it’s those Halloween costumes that some homeowners look for when making their own decision about whether a kid is the right age for trick-or-treating.
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“The kids that put in an effort get the good bucket — the best candy — even if they are older, but worked hard on their costume, that is OK with us,” said Phil Tompkins, a Pennsylvania homeowner who hands out candy every year in his neighborhood.
Still, even Tompkins has his limits.
“If you can grow facial hair or have more than a training bra, you might be too old.”
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