Keep the FUN in Halloween 2020

By: Beth Gillem
| October 27, 2020 |

Across the country, many cities and states have canceled the traditional Halloween door to door trick or treating or have placed strong limits on what can be done. This is extremely disappointing to children (and many adults!) We are pushing through as we always do with fresh ideas to keep the FUN in Halloween 2020. 

Party with Your Pod

Many families will be celebrating Halloween with their “pod.” During quarantine and socially distanced times, families have a small group of others that they have interacted with continually. This “pod” may consist of cousins, neighbors, or close friends. They are limited in size of course and parents are still conscious of sharing germs outside the pod and what they may have been exposed to that they could bring into the pod. This pod helps tremendously with coping with stress during the year.

Parents are planning Halloween Pod parties and some are planning Halloween scavenger or candy hunts in their backyards. One of my favorite memories from when I was little was when my dad made a “treasure map” and took me hunting in the backyard. He even roughed the paper up and made it look old. Pinterest has a host of Halloween scavenger hunt clues you could use to make something fun right in your own home. 

Fire pits, s’mores, and spooky stories are always a hit with kids too. Is there a family you could invite over for Halloween themed treats and soup? Don’t worry about your home looking perfect. Bite the bullet and just do it! Doing something special even if it is small may make all the difference to your kids. 

Trunk or Treats

Churches and community centers who have hosted traditional festivals have found creative ways to stay safe and sanitary. Some have opted for drive-thru trunk or treats. Others have limited groups and used scheduled times to go through the different stations. This allows time for cleaning in between and ensures social distancing.

We attended one just like this recently. I never felt like we were too close and my kids had a blast! Do a little research into what is happening in your hometown and the precautions they are taking. You may be surprised at the steps these volunteers are taking to make sure your family has a safe and fun time!

Door to Door Trick or Treating

Word across social media is divided. Some say just do it the same way we have always done and allow door to door trick or treating, but others are adamantly against it. Some parents plan on dressing the kids up and taking a walk through the neighborhood to look at Halloween decorated yards without knocking on doors. Some even plan on giving their kids candy they bought themselves randomly during the walk. (This sounds kind of silly but kids REALLY enjoy the surprise and anticipation of the treats) 

Why not grab some candy and let your kids go through your own house knocking on the door (with you on the other side of it of course) and get different treats from you. You could pretend to be a different character at each door (different voices maybe different hats) and since you splurged a bit on some nicer candy or tiny toys- your kids will be amazed at your silliness and prizes! Grab some glow necklaces from the dollar tree and turn the lights down for even more spooky fun. 

If you really want to hand out candy yourself, there are some safe ways to do it to limit contact. Some have built tubes with PVC pipe to slide candy down to trick or treaters and still maintain the 6 ft distance. This sounds odd but I bet the kids will LOVE it!

Others have placed candy out in muffin tins or cupcake wrappers so the children can easily grab a treat without touching all the candy. One mother jokingly said she was putting a sign up to “Meet at the Doggy Door” to hand out candy with the door between them! Remember candy has been the tradition but tiny toys (especially ones that light up or glow) or something art related has always been a hit with kids too. 

DRESS UP!

The idea of dressing up may seem silly as an adult but to children wearing a costume is one of the best things ever. Halloween is my son’s favorite holiday and he has been planning his costume for months (and my costume and his dads!) While the joy in wearing a costume has dwindled a bit for me as an adult, the joy I see it bring to my children makes me want to do it every year.

This year I purchased some butterfly wings for $12 and I wore it with black. Nothing fancy. My kids really wanted my husband to be “Dadcula” (a play on Dracula) and because he knows how excited they were about the idea of him dressing up, he happily obliged- Dracula teeth and all! Even if you do not leave the house on Halloween, DRESS UP! Even if it is simple- it will magnify the fun in it for your kids. 

With a little planning, intentionality, and silliness, Halloween 2020 can be a memorable holiday for your kids no matter how you choose to do it. We spell the word “love” L-O-V-E, but children spell the word “love” T-I-M-E. Choose to spend the time with your kids, be fully engaged in whatever you do, smile and laugh, take pictures, and tell them how amazing they look in their costumes. That is what keeping the fun in Halloween 2020 is all about!

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