So, many of us won’t be doing our usual Halloween parties and Trick or Treating this year. However, that doesn’t mean that the holiday is canceled. It just means we need to find different ways to enjoy it. Celebrating holidays is a great way to pass the time and make life more interesting. So this year, just go for even more interesting than usual.
If you are using our Wonderful World curriculum you already have a whole list of lessons to use this month on monsters, bats, and spiders! But for the rest of you, here are 13 more Halloween ideas! (If you are wondering, you can also start Wonderful World at any time, no need to start from the beginning if you want to try it out!)
Things to do with your kids instead of “normal” Halloween this year:
1. Build a pumpkin launching device.
And hurtle pumpkins as far as you can. (Try not to actually harm anyone). Trebuchets, cannons, and catapults are all wonderful lessons in physics.
2. Dress up every day from now until Halloween.
Costumes every day, every Zoom. Who is going to stop you?
3. Read Halloween and spooky books together.
If you don’t know where to start, check out the resource page for Wonderful World. There’s a whole list of great picture books about bats, pumpkins, spiders, and more.
4. Hide the candy.
Like you would Easter Eggs. Or hide tiny pumpkins. Heck, decorate tiny oranges with sharpies to have jack-o-lantern faces and hide those! Kids just like finding things. This game works on logic and reasoning and being observant, so it is also good for them!
5. Decorate EVERYTHING!
Put tiny tombstones in your potted plants. String paper bats all over your house. Carve a baker’s dozen jack-o-lanterns for the yard. Just because you aren’t having people over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday decorations. I know some friends are even decorating their backyard to enjoy! Post pictures on your favorite social media so your friends can see your awesome work!
6. Enjoy the night!
Pull out the telescope you keep forgetting to use and let the kids scan the moon for aliens on Halloween night. This year will be a Halloween full moon, so a perfect time to get a good look!
7. Learn a bunch of weird Halloween songs to sing.
Or try dancing to one Halloween song every day of October. The Monster Mash and Jack-o-lantern are two of my favorites.
8. Have a Zoom Trick-or-Treat for your kids.
Ask family members to drop off on your porch, or mail to your family, something for Trick or Treat- in advance. Then on the holiday, get your kids dressed up and have them call the grandparents, aunts, and uncles on Zoom and yell “Trick or Treat!” Once they show off their costumes, you can give them the treat that was sent to them. Encourage at least one family member to send a magic trick to mix things up!
9. This is a great year to test out some homemade treats.
Make candy apples or cookies that look like monsters! Your child can get excited about cooking up creepy treats. Make jello in a brain-shaped mold or cake shaped like a pumpkin. Cooking is a great way to work in some math skills and decorating counts as art!
10. Find some good Halloween movies to watch together as a family.
I’m not too big on scary movies, but who doesn’t love Hocus Pocus? Or The Addams Family.
11. Create candy based scavenger hunts.
My kids always like ones that involve reading clues that led to more clues until they find the candy. This means that the reluctant reader is carefully reading the instructions to “Look where we hide the frozen peas” and “Your next clue is where Peter Peter Pumpkin eater would put it.” That last one would be inside a jack-o-lantern. The more mature your kids are, the more complicated the riddles can be.
12. Write poems with a Halloween theme.
We love putting epitaph poems on paper tombstones in October.
13. Make a graveyard themed terrarium.
Use a big glass jar, and layer in some rocks, dirt, and moss. Then have the kids make tiny tombstones from aluminum foil, clay, or popsicle sticks. My kid covered popsicle sticks in foil to make some of hers.
About the Author
Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.