The kids are back in school. A chill begins to settle into the air. The leaves on the trees begin to turn their wide array of colors. It must be fall. That means Halloween is right around the corner! If you happen to be a part of a family that has children, trick or treating is definitely on the agenda of things to do this Halloween season but there are many other Halloween traditions that you can add to your family’s to make the enjoyment of Halloween last for more than one night.
At my house, Halloween is almost as eagerly anticipated as Christmas. Even before my children were born, Halloween held a special place in my family. My husband proposed to me on Halloween during our yearly Halloween party with friends. It was only natural for us to create our own Halloween traditions as our family grew.
To start off the Halloween season, every year we visit the Spirit Halloween Superstore. We do this for a couple of reasons. First, it really helps us get into the Halloween spirit. Seeing all of the costumes and Halloween decorations gets my family fairly excited for the impending Halloween holiday. While we browse around the store, we get ideas for Halloween costumes and decide what Halloween decorations we would like to include in our ever growing collection of Halloween props.
Once the shopping for Halloween costumes and Halloween decorations is done, we get to work on kid friendly Halloween crafts. One of mine and my children’s favorites is tissue paper ghosts. They are so easy to make. The kids have an absolute blast decorating them and deciding where they should hang.
To make this super easy Halloween craft, all you need is tissues or tissue paper (if you would like ghosts of varying colors and patterns), cotton balls, twist ties, markers, along with whatever other decorations you would like. Don’t forget string and tape to hang them with!
Once you’ve assembled your supplies, lay the tissue out on the table. Take as many cotton balls as you’d like to shape the head and place them in the middle of the tissue. Gather the ends together, making sure the cotton balls stay in the center. Wrap a twist tie around the tissue to hold the cotton balls in place, making the head of the ghost. The dangling ends of the tissue are the ghost’s body. Decorate the ghosts however you like, being sure to draw a face for it. Cut a length of string and tape it to the top of the head. Voila! You’re done! Your tissue ghost is ready to be hung and start scaring others.
Once the children have contributed their Halloween crafts to our growing collection of Halloween decorations, we start decorating our house. My family prefers to take a scary, haunted house feel to our Halloween decorating but there are many cute, kid friendly Halloween decorations and Halloween props available to purchase if you would prefer to go a different route. We busily set up our gravestones and spread the cottony packages of fake spider webbing through the trees in our yard. Fake skeletons and other Halloween props quickly get added to the mix in order to gain the spookiest effect possible.
Another fun thing to do is to go through a haunted house or take a hayride with your family. My family really enjoys doing this every year. A hayride followed by apple cider and caramel apples never fails to warm bellies as well as hearts on a chilly, fall day. If you decide to take your children to a haunted house, be sure to ask in advance if it would be appropriate for the ages of your children. If your child is scared, don’t force them to go through. Find another fun activity to add to your list of Halloween traditions. I have seen too many parents tease, bribe, cajole, or otherwise force terrified children to go through a haunted house. It breaks my heart and never ends well for the parent or the child.
Fall festivals are good alternatives to haunted houses should you have very small children. A lot of PTAs will host school carnivals around Halloween. Rides, games, contests, and yummy food are all school carnival staples. Attending one is a lot of fun, not to mention a great way to support the school.
A few days before Halloween, my family takes another shopping trip. This time it’s to pick out Halloween candy and pumpkins for carving. Bulk candy can be purchased fairly well anywhere to be used as Halloween candy to give out to trick or treaters. Pumpkins are also easy to find. If you have the time, taking the family to a pumpkin patch is the most fun when it comes to picking out pumpkins. Many pumpkin patches offer games, mazes, and hayrides in addition to pumpkins. Take the opportunity to enjoy your family in the chilly outdoors and make a day of it!
The night before Halloween is when my family typically does our pumpkin carving. Once carved, pumpkins tend to deteriorate quickly. Needless to say, a squishy jack o lantern that looks like it’s melting isn’t overly attractive. When you’re finished with the pumpkin carving, roast the pumpkin seeds for an extra special treat later.
Halloween itself is reserved for trick or treating and our annual Halloween party. Obviously, the kids love to trick or treat. I take them out shortly after dinner. We make a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, just generally enjoying the night and each other’s company as they trick or treat. Later in the evening, after the kids are in bed, the Halloween party starts. My friends come over for a relaxing evening filled with mulled cider, popcorn, and a horror movie marathon. It’s nothing extravagant but it certainly is fun.
I hope these Halloween ideas have sparked your imagination and given you new Halloween traditions for your family to enjoy. What these Halloween ideas all boil down to is creating traditions that will help foster fond memories that your family will treasure for years to come. I would love to hear about your Halloween traditions and any Halloween craft ideas you might have! Please, share by leaving a comment on this article. Perhaps your tradition will become one of mine!