Boo! The spookiest night of the year is almost here. And, while there’s nothing quite like All Hallow’s Eve, younger children might find the hubbub surrounding the festivities just a little bit daunting. Here are five cool ways to make Halloween spooky – not scary - for kids under eight years old.
Make individual Haunted “Gingerbread Houses” from school-size milk cartons, chocolate graham crackers and frosting. Marshmallows and black, food-safe gel pens become ghosts while assorted colored candies and sprinkles add a wickedly delicious touch.
GHOSTS IN THE GRAVEYARD
Create a funny graveyard in the front yard. Decorate with foam board, wood or store bought “gravestones” – plastic and wooden stakes make for easy ground anchors – bearing kid-friendly epitaphs. Think: Frank N. Stein, Barry M.E. Deep and Ima Goner. Spider webs draped over shrubbery and windows plus a few skeletons and purple string lights complete the silly/scary scene.
Pumpkins in all shapes, sizes and colors can be found at your local patch. And, since the kids will be too tired to cut up their picks after running through the corn maze and eating kettle corn, why not skip the carving completely and craft with paint and glow-in-the-dark decals instead? Coat pumpkins in white and add black Sharpie-made faces or decorate with stick-on decals for a stellar scene once the sun goes down.
Lots of towns host a school or neighborhood parade. If it doesn’t happen where you live, consider starting one with help from your local police or fire department and school administration. Encourage kiddos to really get into the spirit of things with homespun costumes made from found items around the house. Felt can easily become a no-sew cape and finds from mom and dad – or even grandma’s closet – can make for some memorable get ups.
TRICK OR TREATING
There’s nothing more exciting than roaming around the neighborhood and asking for treats on Halloween night. That being said, keeping safety top of mind makes the occasion much more spooktacular for everyone involved. Have children carry a flashlight, wear a glow bracelet or necklace or well-fitting, light-up shoes. Otherwise, reflective tape does the trick, too. Plan a route in advance, and stick to familiar blocks or areas. Make sure little costumes don’t drag on the ground and consider avoiding heavy masks. Don’t forget to make costumes bathroom-friendly, too, since little ones might need a pit stop now and again.