Shows like Fear Factor. Movies like Scream. These are common fodder for children and teens today. We don’t even have to talk about the news. Everyday kids hear about things horrible and terrible. So when Halloween rolls around, you can find the Scare Factor to be off the charts. As the mother of a child with Apsberger Autism, I find it impossible to let my child be involved in general Halloween activities. Strobe lights, fanged creatures, blood and guts send my son, Ryan into a tailspin. We had to find Halloween Alternatives. His little spirit just can’t handle all the ugly that comes out on Halloween.
One year, when he was about four, against my better judgment we tried to participate. He had his red Power Ranger Costume and his candy bag ready. We made it to two houses. He cried and hid behind me screaming while a perplexed neighbor couldn’t understand why his rise from the coffin gag didn’t go over so great. I smiled anyway and gritted my teeth, carrying my screaming child home. That year I knew we had to have Halloween alternatives.
As a child we celebrated Halloween by making our own costumes. I loved Halloween. I love walking through the crunchy leaves on a cool fall evening with my friends. Smelling the burning leaves and grilled hotdogs in the air. We would tip toe to the doors of our neighbors and with sticky hands knock and yell, “Trick or Treat!” We would go home with our candy bags and watch Linus sitting in the Pumpkin Patch. The tiny church we attended drew crowds with Corn Shucking contests, Pie Eating Contests and a Scare Walk through the Church’s graveyard. Those were the things I loved as a child and I wanted to make those memories for my sons as well.
I have put together a few suggestions and links for you to create for your family a Halloween Alternative. Some of these links are Christian and some are not. Take a look and pull together what works for you!
We have Ryan’s Fall Party. Other than his birthday, this is Ryan’s big day. We make invitations out of construction paper. I always put instructions in the invitation not to wear scary costumes. We have a costume contest and play games. We have orange Kool-Aid or soda and orange cupcakes with pumpins on top. We decorate the house with pupkins (no jack o lanterns or at least no scary ones). We bob for apples. Some years we make caramel apples. We invite some friends from school and family members. And we have a party!
We bundle up and have a family walk with our flash lights on my dad’s farm. We crunch around in the leaves and listen for owls. We roast weenies and marshmallows which are his favorite.
We volunteer at the church and he helps me with a booth. We have overcome the Scare Factor and have found Halloween alternatives that work for us.
Here are some links to sites that have crafts and activity ideas for you and your family. There also some that have party planners on them.
AmazingMoms.com has Autumn activities and Halloween alternatives. Party aids and ideas, games and recipes.
Daneille’s Place has tons of fall crafts
Annie’s Home Page More ideas
Christian Tools of Affirmation
Celebrations.com Easy kid friendly ideas for Halloween alternatives
:Let’s put the Happy back in Happy Halloween! Enjoy!