pumpkins on a window sill

Halloween ideas

We have a bit of a halloween conundrum this year, don’t we?

We would usually be having fun dressing up the kids, heading out to collect sweets, knocking on doors and although us parents might roll our eyes at this American tradition whilst hoping to get in before the rain starts, it’s actually great fun seeing the effort that people go to with their front doors and costumes!

This year is going to be a bit different, without being able to wonder through the streets shouting ‘trick or treat’ (does anyone actually have any tricks up their sleeves?) or collect loads of overly sweet treats we may be lacking inspiration on what to do instead, but there are few things you can still do to make it fun without too much effort.

Here are five simple halloween ideas for what you could do:

Halloween Hunt

It’s like an Easter egg hunt but without the chocolate eggs and the sunshine! For this you can use satsumas as mini pumpkins – you can even draw some faces on them if you like and use a bit of foil for the stalk – hide them around the garden, house or flat and have the children find them. They can then exchange them for treats, if a satsuma doesn’t pass as a treat in your house!

Fancy dress competition via video call – with a twist

If there are a group of friends or family who can’t get together an easy idea is to have a fancy dress competition via video call. One way to make this more fun is to agree some normal household items that you are all allowed to make your costumes out of – such as an old sheet, toilet roll, some foil, ribbon, safety pins, cardboard and a felt tip pen. You can also add a theme such as scary films, ghost stories or pick a particular letter to add a bit more fun. Give yourselves a set amount of time to make something and then all get together (over video call) to vote on who has made the best costume.

Pumpkin/squash Carving

This is pretty obvious, it’s literally carving pumpkins but you can also carve squash to make a family of lit up faces of different shapes, sizes and colours and for the smaller kids let them use pens to decorate them as well. Adding a competition element always adds a bit of extra fun, perhaps who creates the most spooky ‘family’ of squash. For the older ones you could ask everyone to carve their pumpkin or squash to look like someone in the family, then everyone else has to guess who it is.

Have pumpkin or squash pie as a celebration afterwards (please check your pumpkin is an eating pumpkin first)!

Spooky stories evening

Depending on the age of you kids you might want to do this in the afternoon. Draw the curtains, grab some treats, a torch and get ready with some spooky stories.

These can be ones that you know or you can make some up. You can include the kids by collectively making up a story – each saying a sentence or scenario then the next person takes the torch and has to add to the story. You can guarantee you will create something fantastical, spooky and probably quite hilarious too! Don’t forget to eat some treats when you aren’t adding to the story.

Painted stones treasure hunt

This is two activities in one! Kids love painting, so get them painting some halloween themed stones. Collect them from the park or the garden then grab some paints so that they can decorate them with spiders webs, ghosts, haunted houses, spooky faces – anything they like.

Once they are painted and dried head to the park, the garden or anywhere you have access to and hide them. For older kids you could give them some clues to work out where they are, for younger kids set them off to find the stones. The useful thing is that as the children painted them they know what they are looking for!

Agree what they get for each one they find or this could be based on the number they find from a theme – ghosts, spiders etc; or for the older children leave some ‘treasure’ at the spot of the last clue.

Have some halloween fun

Hopefully these five ideas will have given you a few ideas of how you can still have some fun, and treats, this halloween. But if you need a couple of kids stories to read them instead check out The Tale of Mrs M’Grady for an old fashioned fairy tale with a twist or The Peculiar Power of Vegetable and Fruit to hear some spooky vegetable poetry!

Happy home treating!

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Photo credit: Bee Felten-Leidel on Unsplash

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