In these hectic times, parents are always looking for ways to spend time and bond with their children. While anytime of the year is a great time for bonding, Halloween is a particularly fun time with many activities, games and events that children and parents can do together. Halloween is the one time of the year that parents can let their hair down and be a kid again as they eagerly plan Halloween costumes, hang Halloween decorations and pass on favorite Halloween traditions to their children. There are so many activities to do together that parents may have a hard time choosing which ones to do. To help make that choice easier here are thirteen of my favorite Halloween activities that parents and children can do together.
Thirteen Halloween Activities That Parents And Children Can Do Together
1. Make A Scarecrow
Making a scarecrow is a fun fall activity that’s easy for parents and children to do together. All you need to make one is some old clothes, something to stuff the scarecrow with, a stuffed paper bag or old Halloween mask to make the face and a chair to sit your scarecrow in.
Decorating for Halloween is a fun activity that my children look forward to every year. We usually put our decorations up on October 1 and leave them up the entire month. If you don’t own a lot of Halloween decorations or can’t afford to buy any don’t worry one of the great things about Halloween is that you can make your own decorations out of just about anything. Bats and spiders can be cut out of black construction paper and hung from windows, sheets draped over bushes can become ghosts,cardboard boxes can be cut into tombstone shapes for a mock cemetery and old clothes can be stuffed and splattered with red food coloring to make a scary figure.
3. Pick A Costume
Picking out a Halloween costume can be a lot of fun for parents and children to do together. Parents may even want to pick a theme and pick costumes for parent and child that go together such as a witch and her black cat. To help in choosing a Halloween costume visit the costume shop together or look at one of the many online shops to get an idea of what kind of costumes you can choose from.
4. Make Halloween Treats
Cooking activities are a great Halloween activity that children and parents and children can do together. Besides making a yummy treat and strengthening the parent and child bond, cooking also helps develop math, science and literacy skills in children. You can find a lot of great recipes for Halloween treats on Family Fun’s website www.familyfun.com
5. Visit A Pumpkin Patch
Instead of just picking up a pumpkin to carve for Halloween at your local grocery store find a local pumpkin patch and plan a visit for you and your child to pick out the perfect pumpkin together. Many patches have animals to pet, bouncers, tractor or hay rides and many other fun activities which will make your visit even more special for your child and something they will remember long after Halloween is over.
6. Make Halloween Crafts
Children love to make crafts especially if they are themed around a holiday or special event. With just some construction paper and glue you can make bats, spiders, witches, ghosts and Lantern paper crafts with your children. If you want to make something a little bit more elaborate Oriental Trading www.orientaltrading.com has some great inexpensive Halloween craft kits you can purchase.
7. Go To A Halloween Festival
Many towns have Halloween or Fall Festivals during the month of October. Usually these festivals have arts and crafts for sale, games and activities for kids, lots of different kinds of food to sample and often costume or pumpkin carving contests. You can spend a couple of hours at the festival or all day depending on your schedule. No matter how long you stay its a great way to spend some quality time with your children.
8. Visit a Haunted House
Close to Halloween many areas set up pretend haunted houses or mazes for Halloween thrill seekers to visit. Depending on the child’s age haunted houses are a great Halloween activity that parents and children can do together. Many cities also have kid friendly houses where the scare factor had been brought down a few notches and is more appropriate for children. To find a haunted house near you try www.hauntedhouseonline.com
9. Plan A Halloween Themed Dinner
Planning a Halloween themed dinner can be a lot of fun and something that parents and children can do together. Hot dog sections wrapped in biscuits can be renamed monster toes, ketchup can be called Vampire blood, spaghetti can be called bloody guts etc. For more ways you can turn ordinary food into Halloween themed food you can go to the Halloween food section at www.familyfun.com .
10. Watch A Spooky Halloween DVD
Watching a Halloween themed movie together is another great way for parents and children to share some quality time together. In my house we make movie night a big deal and pop popcorn, have soda and licorice, just like we would at the movie theater. Some good Halloween themed movies for kids that aren’t too scary are Hocus Pocus, Casper, Its The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Monster House, The Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
11. Read Halloween or Ghost Stories
Reading to children is a great opportunity for parents to spend some quality bonding time with their children. During the Halloween season choose a selection of Halloween books to read to your children or read spooky ghost stories.Some of my favorite Halloween books are Big Pumpkin by Erika Silverman, Inside A House That Is Haunted by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting. If your child would enjoy hearing ghost stories Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories and 13 Scary Ghost Stories by Marianne Carus. When reading ghost stories to make things even spookier turn off or dim all the lights and use a flashlight to illuminate your face as you tell or read the ghost story.
12. Carve a Jack o Lantern
Carving a Jack o Lantern together is a great Halloween activity that parents and children can do together. To involve children in the carving process let them pick what type of facial features or stencils to put on your pumpkin and assist with the gutting of the pumpkin. If you want them to help with the actual carving their are many inexpensive pumpkin kits you can purchase. For an added treat after you have finished making your Jack o Lantern rinse the pumpkin seeds,place on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt to make your own pumpkin seed snack.
13. Go Trick or Treating
Going Trick or Treating together is a great way to finish a month of fun Halloween activities. To keep children safe during trick or treating children should only go to houses they know, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight and parents need make sure that if their child is wearing a mask it doesn’t restrict their vision in any way.
Whatever activities you choose to do together make sure that you give your children your undivided attention and aren’t distracted by talking to other adults, texting on your cellphone or busy doing other chores while you are spending time together. Otherwise what was meant to be quality bonding time can leave your child feeling unimportant and sad.