Fall has arrived, which means Halloween will be here before we know it. Of course, it will not look or feel exactly as it has in the past due to COVID. But with a little bit of creative, out-of-the-box thinking, we can still make this holiday extra special for our kids with COVID friendly Halloween ideas. Now is the perfect time to start planning your safe — yet still super fun — Halloween celebration that your family will look back on in a few years and smile about.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. The goal is to keep kids socially distanced and prevent them from all touching the same candy. It is also a wonderful chance to start new family traditions and try celebrating in a way you never even considered.
Say Boo on Zoom.
When my daughter’s eighth birthday rolled around in April when COVID had just started, we had to think fast to make sure she did not miss out on an enjoyable party with her friends. We had planned to have an animal-themed birthday at a local nature center, so we took the party online. The kids absolutely loved seeing all the creatures on their computer screens and asked tons of questions. For a COVID friendly Halloween idea, you can set up an online party with family and friends and play lots of games. Some ideas include trying to guess who everyone is in their costumes, having a costume contest, doing a quiz like Name That Tune and playing Halloween Bingo.
We have seen many families over the past year celebrate special occasions like birthdays and graduations with a socially distanced parade either on foot or from their cars. My neighborhood held a meaningful parade for all the graduates in May. All the kids wore matching grad shirts and stayed the recommended six feet apart from one another as they made their way through the community. This can easily be done as a COVID friendly Halloween idea as well. A car parade would also be a hit since all the cars could be decorated in a spooky way. You can also look for a parade already planned like some local neighborhoods have done the past couple of years.
Dig into Some DIY.
Take the focus off your kids missing the trick-or-treating by working on several creative projects together as a family. Let this be the year you plan ahead and make all of your costumes from scratch. This will be such a rewarding experience for your kids as they get to choose exactly who they want to be and wear what they worked so hard on. You can also fill the day with many enjoyable arts and crafts projects that you typically do not have time for if you are running around your neighborhood and off to Halloween parties.
Have Your Own Haunted House at Home.
Many kids look forward to walking through a haunted house at school or in their neighborhood. This may not be possible again this year. A great project for your kids is to set up their own haunted house. Not only will this be a creative endeavor, but it will also take up lots of time and keep them very busy. Depending on your own family’s COVID rules, maybe you can invite grandparents or cousins over for a fright night.
Focus on Fall Foods.
We can so easily get sucked into all the sugary sweets during Halloween. In my house, that candy ends up sitting in the pantry for months anyway. Plus, so many kids these days have bad reactions to junk food. This can be the year we focus more on all the wonderful fall foods that go along with Halloween time. Stock up on apples, pumpkins and different types of squash and turn them into tasty dishes. We always love toasting our own fresh pumpkin seeds after we finish carving our jack-o’-lanterns. If you feel comfortable and live in an area near an apple orchard or farm with pumpkins, you can head over and pick your own.
Make it a Movie Night.
Another wonderful way to distract your kids from missing out on typical activities like trick-or-treating is to set up the big screen to scare them silly. Well, we don’t really want to scare our kids too much. Look for age-appropriate movies for Halloween that they will love, such as ”The Addams Family,” Ghostbusters,” ”Hocus Pocus,” ”Hotel Transylvania,” ”Beetlejuice,” and, of course, ”It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” Read our list of Not-So-Spooky Halloween Movies here.
Go Against the Grain.
With so much upside down this year due to COVID, this might just be the best time to go contrarian and ditch all the sugar and spook. Why not make it a healthy family night by putting together colorful, delicious treats out of fruits and veggies? Just hop on Pinterest for endless ideas to turn fresh produce into incredible creations that your kids will love.
I know this year feels different yet again, but there are so many ways to make it even better than before. Take advantage of this opportunity to spark some creativity for your family, test out an array of COVID friendly Halloween ideas, and you all may be thrilled with the memories you make that you will cherish forever.