FAMILY & PARENTING

Halloween Isn’t Canceled: 10 Ideas For Making The Holiday As Fun As Possible For Young Kids

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

This year, I asked my 3-year-old what she wanted to be for Halloween. Across the room, my husband gave me a “look.” All parents know the one.

It’s the “maybe you shouldn’t be talking about this right now” look. But honestly, based on all of the heavy topics we could talk about, Halloween seemed like the best bet.

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. It’s simple and creative. You knock on a door, get some candy, and call it a night. Very few memories will be greater than Halloween in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when my sister and I would dump our plastic pumpkins on the living room floor, sorting the contents by tastiness.

And, of course, making sure none of the candy had razor blades stuck inside. That was a big fear back in the day. These days, other types of fears are taking over.

I told my husband that Halloween isn’t canceled. Nothing will stop my daughter from dressing up in an elaborate costume. No virus can keep the fun-sized candy bars out of our house. It may look a little different, and we may not get trick-or-treaters, but the holiday remains.

Here are a few fun activities you can do if you’re still trying to keep the spooky spirit alive.

1. Create Paper Bats

What’s Halloween without a few bats? Crafting some bat decor is really easy for kids. You can hang them indoors or out. According to Little Crafties, you don’t need much to get started. Just some black paper, a pencil, some scissors, glue, and googly eyes (because, of course) will get you there. Of course, the bats are just step one. You can also make googly-eyed ghosts, or even dress up your bats in costumes of their own.

2. Visit the Pumpkin Patch

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If you wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others, you can probably still hit up a local pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin to carve. Pumpkins make excellent decor, but there’s actually a lot you can do with them. Feel free to pick out a few. If anything, it’ll be a reminder that it is, in fact, fall.

3. Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Remember how I said that pumpkins are pretty versatile? Well, you can also eat them. Roasting pumpkin seeds is a great way to get the most out of your pumpkin. Plus, they’re pretty tasty. Not many things can serve a double purpose of being both a snack and cool home decor, so take advantage of it. Just make sure that an adult is present when you pop them in the oven.

4. Make Spooky Appetizers

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It doesn’t matter if there’s no Halloween party this year. You can still bake your own treats at home and make Halloween memorable (and delicious) with the right equipment. Consider making mini ghost cakes for dessert, with this pan by Wilton. It may turn into a Halloween tradition for years to come.

5. Buy Some New Halloween Books To Read Together

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If your kids like to read, you should encourage them every step of the way. It’s always a great idea to update their library, as there’s also a big chance that you, yourself, could benefit from a book refresh. Hoot Howl Halloween is a good choice for younger kids since the book comes with sound buttons. For slightly older kids, they may like 5-Minute Spooky Stories, especially if they’re big Disney fans.

6. Create a Mummy Bowling Set

Do you like bowling? Do you miss going to the bowling alley? If that’s the case, this craft may be perfect for you and your family. The good thing about mummies is that they’re pretty easy to create. For most of us, we can fall into the “mummy” look using some toilet paper. (So if that’s something you hoarded, all the better.) The tutorial by Brent Dowd uses much classier materials like tape and gauze, which is excellent — since these preferably should last throughout the whole season.

7. Make Spooky Designs With Chalk

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It could be something simple, like a slithering green snake leading up to your doorway, or just a design that’ll help the mood. Chalk isn’t only for the summertime. And if you happen to have a few trick-or-treaters, they can at least get in the Halloween spirit with your designs to create a bit more normalcy to the situation.

8. Bake Monster Cookies

The best part about monster cookies is that they can look any way you want them to look. Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, so even mistakes may end up being wins. One of the cutest recipes is from FunFoods. The frosting on these cookies have a little bit of texture that resembles fur. This would make a great (and tasty) project for kids of all ages.

9. Watch a Bunch of Halloween Classics

Of course, Hocus Pocus is one of the biggest films that shouldn’t give your children nightmares. But also make room for titles like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Casper, and Halloweentown. You and your kids can watch one movie a night leading up to the holiday, or just choose a fun-filled weekend to binge. Wearing a costume while watching the films is optional.

10. Creative Festive Halloween Wreaths

Wreaths are fun for kids to craft, especially since they can make their wreaths personal. Collect some good materials they can use that really get the essence of the holiday. You can use ribbons and pipe cleaners or even Halloween candy to really get the point across. Just make sure that if candy is used, it’s properly disposed of afterward. Otherwise, you may have a sugary mess on your hands when November arrives.