Whether this is the first Halloween since your baby was born, the first one they can celebrate properly following the pandemic, or the first time they are able to appreciate and join in with some traditions, you probably want to make it special.
Halloween is an exciting holiday for children and families. It’s great for sparking children’s imaginations, a fantastic excuse for engaging in sensory play an ideal time to build family traditions. Usually, Halloween is a time for decorating, baking treats, and of course, dressing up and going tricking or treating, here are a few ideas of ways your family can celebrate:
A growing number of farms now provide pumpkin patches, so you can start your Halloween off by going pumpkin picking, this is also a great way to support some local businesses. You could use your pumpkins to make a Jack’O Lantern for Halloween, make some pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie, or engage in some sensory play, but pumpkin picking itself is a great experience for little kids and makes a lovely family tradition.
There are lots of ways you can play with a pumpkin! If children are aware of the idea of designing and carving Jack o’ lanterns then this is one Halloween tradition that doesn’t need to change! If they are a bit younger or not interested then allowing children to play with the insides of the pumpkin and it’s seeds in a plastic tub or tray is a brilliant sensory activity/ This can help children to develop their fine motor skills and can be creative and imaginative too.
Kids love dressing up, and Halloween is the perfect time to do this. In some countries, it’s whatever goes as far as Halloween costumes are concerned and this is probably a good line to take with young children who don’t always understand the idea of themes or rules around costumes. In other countries, Halloween costumes tend to focus in on more scary themes like ghosts, zombies and witches. If this doesn’t feel good for you, or your little one is scared of this kind of things you can allow them to choose other costumes like superheroes or steer them towards the less scary options, like a black cat, a pumpkin or “incy wincy” spider.
Children love getting creative with their food. You could allow children to decorate food with spooky themes, for example, by icing Halloween-coloured cupcakes and decorating with sprinkles,or using pizza toppings to make different shapes. You might decide to put together a Halloween breakfast with ghost-shaped pancakes, or green-colored porridge! All of these are fun ways to celebrate at home as a family.
There are mixed views on trick or treating, and post-pandemic, some elderly folk are more nervous than before. So if you do engage in trick or treating with your little ones in the most traditional sense of going down the street and knocking on doors then stick to houses with pumpkins and decorations only.
If you’re not 100% on board with the idea of knocking on strangers’ doors then perhaps arrange to take your little one to family or friends houses only. This way you get a “trick or treating” experience with the fun of seeing loved ones.
Another alternative to trick or treating might be a scavenger hunt around your garden, or even inside the house depending on the age and stage of your child. They can hunt for cut-out shapes and then exchange them for prizes! This can help cut down on the sugar consumption too as you can consider buying things like art supplies, balls, torches or glow sticks as prizes.
We hope you enjoy your little ones’ first Halloween, and remember to take lots of pictures and make lots of memories!