Learning how to have fun and live in the moment and be creative isn’t always second nature. Here’s a road map to success if you are feeling overwhelmed. From the moment kids come to the breakfast table, until the very last door has been tapped for sweet goodness, here are ways to indulge the Halloween spirit…or spirits. (Bwah ha hah ha!*)
1. Make Halloween an all-day affair.
Drape the breakfast table with cobwebs, and sit a skeleton or scarecrow at the table with you for moldy black pancakes and bloody milk (just food coloring, folks).
Then head outside for pumpkin carving or a decorating contest, where you can spread out and make a huge, squishy mess, or splatter paint and craft materials. Give awards for the spookiest, weirdest, or most disturbing
Later, come up with a few harmless tricks to go with all those treats. Mix silly notes hidden in candy wrappers with the candy slated for trick or treaters. Your kids will think they are hilarious! Be sure to give a real piece of candy with the trick piece too, (wink*)
Finally, as trick-or-treat time draws near, make a big deal of your costumes. Parents dress up too! Do a fashion show or a photo shoot of crazy poses, and make a plan to print out real pictures for your kids to hang and remember your awesome day.
2. Have some fun with your own weird science.
Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory has nothing on you and yours! Scare up a few recipes at the library or online for green slimy goo, bubbling black witches’ brew, or scary treats like real-looking lady fingers or gross, but tasty, “snot pudding” to keep the Halloween fun going.
3. Teens too cool for trick or treating… or hanging out with you at all?
No problem. Skip the little kids’ stuff and offer a Halloween buffet (promise pizza…teens will come) with a cool horror theme for your teens and a few friends.
Then, slyly ask if they want to hit a couple of haunted houses, mention, “The Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre has a cool one.” Perhaps they want to join you downtown Oakland for a couple of episodes of the Walking Dead or Teen Wolf? Or watch a Netflix horror pick?
Hey, when you’ve got teens ,you do what you must to get in some family fun time. Besides, if friends, food, and fright teen-style are all it takes, go for it.
4. Play Halloween games.
Everyone’s hopped up on sugar, and ready to burn off the surplus energy. It may be a good time to indulge your family’s competitive nature.
Older kids starting to outgrow trick or treating may have a great time turning the evening into a costume scavenger hunt. See who can locate the most costumes on the list. Reward the winner with a big bag of candy!…What else?
Later, use all that candy inspiration to break out Candyland for fun play the little kids. Use real candy for the game pieces. Or you could print off special Halloween-themed Bingo boards from the web and play a few rounds.
5. Who says scary stories around the fire are reserved for summer camp?
Dig for those candy bars. If you’ve got awesome neighbors, your kids will have full-size ones in the bottom of their bags. Break out some graham crackers and a bag of marshmallows.
More sweets!?…(oh yeah! *high five)
Gather around the fire pit for some spooky stories and a hot apple cider.
A great way to wait for the sugar crash and end the night.
Whatever you decide to do, go all out. Make a memory.
Don’t look back, scared to death you missed opportunities to spend time together.
Give your family a day they will remember.