By Abbie Cornett
October is a great time to be a kid! The leaves are changing color, the weather is cooler and you can wear fuzzy warm sweaters. But best of all, there is Halloween. That creepy, kooky holiday celebrated by millions of kids of all ages. While adults may love Halloween, it is particularly tailored toward children. What could be more fun for kids than carving pumpkins, dressing up as a zombie or a favorite comic book character, trick-or-treating for candy and going to parties with friends?
Unfortunately, many children suffering from chronic illness are not healthy enough for some of these activities. But, if your little one is unable to participate in the traditional activities, it doesn't mean he or she can't enjoy the holiday. It just means finding a different way to do things. Following are six tips for having a great Halloween without leaving the house:
- Have a spooky movie night. Make a big bowl of popcorn, pick a kid-friendly movie like Gremlins or Goosebumps and relax. One of the great things about Halloween is no one expects an elaborate holiday meal!
- Order your child's favorite takeout. If your child doesn't have dietary restrictions, let them splurge for the night. It's not about the calories; it's about the memories!
- Have a pumpkin decorating contest. Many children are too small to safely carve a pumpkin; instead, let them decorate it! Besides not being as messy or requiring sharp objects, kids of all ages can paint or glue on sparkles and pom-poms.
- Make your house a haunted house. Kids love to be spooked! With a little time and imagination, you can turn part of your house into a creep zone. Pick a room or two for the haunted area, string some fake spider webs from the doorways, hang a plastic skeleton or two, turn off the lights and let their imagination do the rest.
- Instead of trick-or-treating, put on a candy scavenger hunt. If your child can have candy, hide it around the house and make them hunt. If they can't have candy or you are worried about sugar, there are a lot of fun substitutions such as glow-in-the-dark silly putty, spider rings or vampire teeth.
- Let your kids help with the treats. Kids love to help in the kitchen. A good way to let them help is to bake spooky treats such ghost sugar cookies ahead of time. Then, on Halloween night, let them frost them. It might be messy, but they won't forget their time in the kitchen!
If you want more ideas for Halloween activities, Pinterest is a great place to find unique ones, from recipes to arts and crafts. Remember, whatever you decide to do, it's not about the activity, it's about the memories you make with your child!