How to Make Halloween Fun During Covid-19
In the past two years, Covid-19 has put a damper on many activities we take for granted, including summer vacations, school graduations, and now, it looks like Halloween is the next issue we face. As parents, we want our children to feel included at all times, and Halloween is often an area of concern. This year, more than ever before, it is up to us to get creative to ensure that our children have a fun Halloween.
That is why we have put together this Covid-19 Halloween guide to help you create a magical and fun experience for your entire family.
The good news this year is that Halloween falls on a Saturday. You can make an entire day of it rather than just an hour or two of trick or treating at night. Even better, that is also the night that we turn back the clocks. You will get an extra hour of sleep (or more time to clean up) after the big day.
Children of any age and ability can have a safe, fun Halloween that will not break the bank or make them feel as though they are missing out on any activities this year. Check out the cost-effective ways you can make Halloween memorable for the entire family.
Decorating your home for the holidays is always a fun task. A recent trip to the dollar store led to decorations for the walls, windows, doors, and stairs – all for only a dollar each. Some children are ok with scarier sights, such as witches, skeletons, and bats. Others may be less afraid if you use pumpkins or their favorite cartoon characters as a theme.
Here are some ideas for Halloween decorations you can do at home:
Decorate not only the outside door to your home but some of the inside doors, as well. You can make each door a different and unique theme, often using their favorite cartoon characters as the main attractions. You can also use colorful cobwebs to create fun doors in a matter of minutes. Colorful vinyl tablecloths also make excellent covers for your doors.
Decorating the inside doors will also provide another benefit for children who cannot go outside trick or treating this year. They can still dress up and go from door to door in your home, knocking and receiving candy or other safe treats you provide. Of course, it will help to have another adult on hand to walk them around the “neighborhood” (home) while you run from room to room to get in place behind the door.
Dollar stores have excellent metal molds, colorful lace, garlands, and florals that you and your child can transform into vibrant wreaths for your front door. You can also use clothespins, popsicle sticks, tissue paper, beads, and pipe cleaners to create inexpensive decorations.
If you want to take your décor to the next level, and your child enjoys twinkling lights, pick up some orange, black, and white lights to string up around your home.
Using felt, construction paper, popsicle sticks, and crayons, you and your child can make assorted Halloween art crafts such as black cats, white ghosts with black eyes, orange pumpkins, green ghouls, and fun items to decorate your Halloween house.
One of the food things to do is spend time in the kitchen with your child. For those who are unable to help, having them nearby while you explain step by step what you are making includes them in the fun. If your child can participate in the baking, mixing, or preparation, find simple tasks that they can accomplish.
Here are some fun Halloween foods you can make at home to make the holiday special:
- Start the morning off with Halloween pancakes using molds, icing to make faces on round pancakes, or a slice of banana with chocolate chip or raisin eyes to look like a ghost.
- Make a spooky pizza by cutting olives and pepperoni into slivers and pieces that you can use to make spider shapes on the pizza.
- Get some Halloween cookie cutter molds and bake pumpkin, ghost, and spider-shaped cookies. Colorful orange and black sprinkles can add to the holiday fun.
- Dip strawberries in white chocolate and add three chocolate chips for eyes and a mouth – instant edible Halloween ghosts!
- Dip marshmallows in melted chocolate and then in colorful Halloween sprinkles!
- Sneak some carrots into their diet by making carrot cake muffins topped with frosting and fun Halloween decorations.
- Create spiderweb pretzels by melting chocolate and swirling it over pretzel sticks.
- Dip pre-sliced apples into melted chocolate and caramel to use in the “bobbing for apple game” in the Halloween fun section below.
- Mix up a cauldron of witch’s brew or another fun Halloween beverage. Use orange or green colored beverages for holiday themes. Float some colored sherbet in the punch to make it festive.
Halloween Day and Night Fun
If trick or treating outside the home is out of the question this year, you can still have fun by creating a Halloween Party for your family.
Here are some ideas for exciting fun at home:
- Create your own Halloween costume parade – you can even let your children change their costumes a few times for more fun. Since Halloween is on a Saturday, they can have morning, afternoon, and evening costumes to make the day extra special. That also solves the problem of them not being able to decide which costume to wear.
- Have a Halloween movie marathon – there are plenty of fun, animated, life-action, and even scary movies and shows you can watch together – depending on your child’s age and likes. You can tape many of the Halloween cartoons throughout the week and save them to watch that night. Toy Story, Charlie Brown, and Winnie the Pooh, Shrek, and Bugs Bunny are some of the ones you can find on TV as well as for sale online. Older kids might enjoy Goosebumps, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or Hocus Pocus.
- Put on some Halloween music and have a dance party – see who can do the Monster Mash, the Thriller dance, and the Time Warp the best!
- Create a Halloween scavenger hunt throughout your home. You can order Halloween themed eggs and small cauldrons online and fill them with candy, toys, and other items that your children can find.
- Get a Halloween themed pinata and fill it full of treats. Let everyone have fun hitting it or get one with strings so that you can help your child “pull” the string to empty the pinata.
- Play some Halloween games such as “bobbing for apples” by stringing the chocolate-dipped slices from a stick and holding them over your child to catch.
- Carve pumpkins or create a fun explosion in a jack-o-lantern with baking soda and vinegar – do this outside!
Halloween Fun with the Neighbors
Although traditional trick or treating might not be possible, there are some other “safe” ways to get in the fun with the neighbors.
Here are some ways you and your friends and neighbors can prepare a safe and fun Halloween this year:
- Turn your garages into a haunted house. They do not need to be scary, but with some simple decorations, music, or spooky sounds, you can create a fun way for families to visit and walk through –one family at a time. Remember to have hand sanitizer or wipes on hand for everyone before and after their visit.
- Create a trunk or treat event, with everyone visiting each other’s driveway for candy from the trunk of the car. Remember, one family at a time, with safe distancing. Prepackaging the candy in individual bags makes it easier to hand out.
- Have a Halloween zoom party – getting everyone together for an online event, complete with costumes.
- Create fun Halloween games in each driveway. One family at a time per driveway. You can toss vinyl beanbags into plastic pumpkins or have fun crafts that are easy to sanitize after each use.
- Arrange for a bicycle, stroller, and wheelchair costume parade in your neighborhood. This year, many companies have come out with awesome costumes to decorate wheelchairs. Or get creative and come up with your own fun designs.
- Another fun way to trick or treat this year is reverse style. Here, your children remain in their yards, and friends, neighbors, and family drive by and throw candy from their cars.
One thing to remember is that you want to safely clean the wrappings of the candy before opening it and giving it to your children to eat. Also, ensure they have clean hands whenever eating.
As you can see, there are many ways to make Halloween memorable for your family this year. Do not let Covid-19 ruin your fun. Get creative, look around the house for supplies for crafts, and enjoy the preparation. Go ahead, start early, and get in the festive holiday spirit now.
We look forward to seeing your Halloween photos on our Facebook page.
- 10 Halloween Safety Tips for Children with Special Needs
- 5 Ways to Help Children with Sensory Challenges Participate in Halloween Festivities
- Create your own Disguises for Halloween
- Are You My Mummy?
- No Carve Pumpkin Ideas
- 7 Easy No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
- The Scary Truth about Halloween Candy
- Alternative Sweets for Your Child During the Holidays
- Can I Get Help with My Child’s Behavior?
- Do It Yourself Calming Bottle
- Fall Means Pumpkin GFCF Recipes to Enjoy this Cozy Autumn Season
- Cooking With Kids: Spooktacular BOO BARK Breakfast Yogurt
- Cooking With Kids: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Cooking with Kids: Black Bean Brownies
This post originally appeared on our September/October 2020 Magazine