Halloween 2020 may be a bit different–like so much this year–but I know it can still be an incredible experience for you and your kids. First, you should know I’m a Halloween enthusiast. When I was growing up, Halloween was my absolute favorite holiday and it was always my kids’ favorite holiday, too. They loved planning their costumes for months and being together with friends all dressed up. It’s such a fun opportunity to become your alter-ego: an evil monster, a person you admire, or a favorite character. One year my daughter was Victoria from the Vampire Diaries and even dyed her hair red. (Yes – I was okay with it!) One year my son and I built a ‘hot air balloon’ to replicate the Balloon Boy Hoax from that year. And the candy! All free and lots of it. The sorting afterwards. The trading with siblings. Catching your parents sneaking from your stash. Before you start worrying that Halloween is the next experience your children will lose out on due to Coronavirus, I want to remind you that this isn’t the first time traditional trick-or-treating has been off the table. There have been torrential rains, snowstorms, and major power outages and we’ve adapted. It is what we’ll do this year, too. As a Halloween lover, I believe any adaptation should include the same joys they do every year around picking out their costume, getting ready, and eating a few too many Kit Kats on Halloween night! Here are some ideas on how to celebrate in a way that works for your family.
Create a New Activity:
One of my favorite Halloween memories as a mom was a time we did an extra celebration for just our family. We took our kids–all dressed up–on a hike the day after Halloween. (You could do this on Halloween day if you want!) We told the kids that the Halloween goblins left candy in the woods and we would all try and find it. Every so often, I’d run ahead a bit during our walk while my husband distracted the kids. I’d hide candy behind trees and rocks or under leaves and shrubs, and they would hunt for it. Watching their excitement every
time they found a piece was so much fun!
Take it to Zoom:
Family or friends can all do a virtual Halloween party where the kids can show off their costumes and eat candy together. Each friend can talk about their costume and the special halloween treats that you can pick out or make together in advance. Zoom is great for storytelling, dance parties, or even making a Halloween craft together. This is an especially sweet idea if there are friends or family (or grandparents!) you see every year who you can’t get together with right now. Time to download Monster Mash!
Make It Mini:
If your children are in a learning pod with other kids, consider a small outdoor Halloween party with those families. And don’t forget the decorations! You could even do a mini trick-or-treating route where you go to the house of each family in your quarantine crew. One way to make it feel extra special is to pick a theme! You could pick around the world and each family can create a booth of a different country to hand out candy. Or superheroes, or princesses, or sports teams–each family gets to dress up a “booth” outside and give out candy. (Not to mention, if you’re homeschooling, researching and creating your family’s decorations could be in your curriculum this month, too!)
Don’t Forget the Masks!
Whatever you choose to do, this is a great time to make fun and festive Halloween masks. This can be something your child designs that complements her costume, or simply some black and orange bling that spruces up a surgical mask. Halloween is a time for creativity. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll slow down the consumption of Skittles.
If I’ve learned one thing during this pandemic, it’s that figuring out safe ways to celebrate has ultimately increased the specialness of every holiday and rite of passage that I’ve experienced in the last six months.