Looking for creative ideas to keep Halloween from being hollow this year? We’ve got your back. Here is how we are out boo-ing the pandemic!
By Sarah Mill
Let’s face it, kids have suffered a lot throughout this pandemic. Between a limited summer and the stress of kicking off the new school year in the midst of chaos and ever-changing plans, kids need some extra love this fall.
If you’re a planner like me, you’re already anticipating the worst and scrounging the web for ways to make this Halloween extra special.
Fear not! So much fun is still to be had. So, turn up the volume on that Monster Mash and bring on all the boo-it-yourself fun! It’s time to kick up the energy this Halloween and bring on all the spooktacular magic.
First stop? The decoration station!
It’s Time to Level-up Your Decorations This October.
Think Christmas, but a whole lot spookier. Hit up your local store (or open your Amazon cart) and grab all the orange and black construction paper you can. Help the kids cut out Halloween symbols like witch hats, spiders, ghosts, black cats, and bats. Alternatively, you can use printable templates like this! Try making candy corn garland out of paper plates, a little paint, and some string.
If you’re looking for something a little simpler, make Halloween-colored paper chains to drape around the room. To add a little extra spook, look for black, orange, and purple lights to string around railings and doorways.
Want to take this decorating party outside? Dress up your front door to look like a mummy or jazz up your steps with some jack-o-lanterns.
Consider decorating a tree or two with some lights and cobwebs. That way, everyone in the neighborhood can enjoy your spirit. We have a full article on how to create the perfect spooky stoop, check it out!
Next stop? To the kitchen, we go!
Make Tasty Treats that are Spooky and Scrumptious.
All month long you can serve up savory dishes and sweet treats to help get the kids in the Halloween spirit. Try out-of-the-box dinner ideas like mummified hot dogs, mummy mini pizzas, jack-o-lantern quesadillas, or spaghetti and “eyeballs”.
For something on the sweeter side, try making ghost cupcakes or chocolate covered pretzel pumpkins. Consider putting a ghoulish twist on some Christmas classics. Decorate bat and pumpkin shaped cookies or turn a gingerbread house into a haunted masterpiece.
With a little imagination, the possibilities are endless! Check out these spooky sweets for more inspiration.
Now, let’s get celebrating!
Create New Traditions- 8 Spooktacular Activities for Kids of All Ages!
Get the neighborhood (safely) involved with this fun little game of guess who! “Booing” is a great way to spread Halloween fun by anonymously leaving little tricks and treats at your neighbor’s doorstep.
Check out this guide to doing your very own boo!
Keep an eye out for local trunk-or-treat events. These are a great way for your kids to dress up and get their candy fix while staying safe and socially distanced, trick or treating from car to car. If you’re worried about safety, have adults (equipped with hand sanitizer) hand out the candy at each car.
Consider organizing your very own trunk-or-treat in your neighborhood! Step up the competition by making it a trunk decorating contest! Need some inspiration for decking out your trunk? Check out these fun ideas!
3. Glow in the Dark Pumpkin Hunt:
Put a spin on an Easter tradition and organize a glow-in-the-dark pumpkin hunt. You can buy small gourds at your local grocery store, craft store, or farm. Let the kids in on the fun, decorating the gourds with glow-in-the-dark paint. Hide them around the yard (or neighborhood) and have a nighttime search party!
4. Halloween Pinata:
There’s no doubt that kids look forward to their candy fix each October. If your town is forgoing trick-or-treating, buy (or make) a Halloween-themed pinata and fill it with your kid’s favorite candy. You know you’ll want to toss in a few varieties you love too.
5. Virtual Costume Party:
As a kid, one of the best parts about Halloween is showing off your costume to your friends. If they can’t be together this year, consider hosting a virtual costume party. Turn up the spooky soundtrack and have a dance party. Better yet, make a guessing game out of it. See if the kids can guess who is who behind the masks and face paint.
6. Movie Marathon:
Grab the monster munch and turn off the lights! Pick a night (or several) to watch some of your family’s favorite spooky stories play out on the screen. From Hocus Pocus to It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, there are plenty of Halloween movies appropriate for every age. Check out this movie cheat sheet, categorizing Halloween movies by age.
Looking to bring it to the next level? Grab a projector and some good speakers to create a backyard “drive-in”! If your yard is big enough, feel free to invite some of your kid’s friends over to safely enjoy the show. If you have any connections in town, see if the school or local library is willing to host a movie night in their parking lot for anyone to enjoy.
Our Favorite Halloween Movies for the Family
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- Monsters, Inc.
- Hotel Transylvania
- Nightmare Before Christmas
- Hocus Pocus
7. Spooky Science:
This is a perfect way to weave a little Halloween fun into remote learning. Get creative with the classic vinegar and baking soda volcano and try the experiment inside a pumpkin. Mix the same ingredients in a water bottle to inflate a balloon ghost. Slime is another great experiment and there are plenty of DIY slime recipes out there. Spookify your slime by adding some food coloring, Halloween confetti, or (plastic) creepy critters.
8. Face Mask Decoration:
Why keep the fun contained at home? This is a great activity to do in the weeks before Halloween so your kids can spread Halloween joy wherever they go. Alternatively, you can buy one of these Halloween themed masks to help get spooky!
With the growing presence of masks in our lives, this is an opportunity for your kids to stay safe while showcasing their spirit.
How will you celebrate this year?
If you or your kids are anything like me when it comes to tradition, all the changes brought on by this pandemic have been a tough adjustment. After taking a deep breath, I saw an opportunity in this madness. For most, traditions provide a sense of comfort and joy. Look at this as an opportunity to teach your kids (and remind yourself) the power of resilience, showing them how change can lead to new traditions that can be just as fun, if not more so.
Who knows? The kids might have such a blast, they’ll be begging you to make these activities a regular part of your annual spooky season celebration.
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