Halloween is just around the corner! For kids, it’s marked by treats and exciting costumes, but we can’t help but think about what a great time it is to enjoy activities as a family!
This month, we encourage you to pick a few fun, easy, and affordable at-home activities to help grow your bond. In this blog post, we’ve rounded up several festive ideas to suit plenty of tastes and age groups this Halloween and fall season. In our behaviour programs, Parents Empowering Kids and Parents Empowering Kids—The Early Years, we highlight the importance of strengthening family relationships to improve and prevent common childhood behaviour challenges. Engaging in creative play and making time for special activities as a family fosters happy memories.
We hope you’ll try this super ghoul – oops, we mean “cool”- Halloween activities which -or witch- are sure to delight!
Halloween Word Search
Improve vocabulary while having fun with a Halloween word search! There are plenty of free printable word searches available online, or you can create your own word search with words of your choice. Have fun taking turns choosing your favourite Halloween words to add to the search to make it a family creation. Some great ones come to mind like ghost, goblin, spooky, treats, cats, pumpkin, costumes, to name a few.
Carve a Pumpkin and Roast the Seeds
This fun tradition can generate a whole afternoon of fun! If you can, consider visiting a pumpkin patch as a family to pick out the perfect pumpkins. This is a great way to get outside, enjoy nature, and take in the festive scenes of your local farm or pumpkin patch.
Then, cart your pickings home to begin the carving. Parents should plan to be on-hand or in charge of carving, depending on the ages of your children, but we encourage you to give your kids creative freedom in choosing their designs. Remember, it’s not about how nice the pumpkin looks, but how much fun you had along the way! Creating an easy-to-use stencil for carving is a simple as grabbing a piece of paper and a pencil. Have fun together designing your favourite template to carve such as a cat, ghost, witch, or goblin.
As you carve the pumpkin and remove the seeds, be sure to keep them! If you clean the pumpkin residue off the seeds, you can easily roast them at home after drying, then tosing lightly in oil and your preferred seasoning. Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious and tasty seasonal snack that you can look forward to each year – or save the seeds and begin your very own pumpkin patch next year.
Have a Family Movie Night
Pick an age-appropriate Halloween-themed movie and make a special movie night out of it! You can make a typical movie night at home extra fun by treating it like a pyjama party. Enjoy some yummy snacks, get cozy under lots of blankets or in a pillow fort on the living room floor. It’s the perfect time to munch on the roasted pumpkin seeds, or by popping a big bowl of popcorn. Some family-friendly classic movies that you and your kids might like to include:
- Casper the Friendly Ghost
- Hocus Pocus
- Halloweentown (1, 2, and 3)
- Ghost Busters
- Happy Halloween Scooby Doo
- The Addams Family
- Monsters Inc.
Have a Halloween Dance Party
Do the Monster Mash and get some physical activity in as a family. Turn the living room into a dance floor, dress up in something fun, and put on some spooky songs and let loose! Pick out your favourite Halloween-themed playlists and music mixes that can play in the background to set the mood.
Make a Special Halloween Recipe
Making a special holiday recipe is an easy way to forge a tradition that the whole family can look forward to. As families, it’s very common to bond over food, but we tend to associate special meals with holidays. A holiday like Halloween opens the door to creativity so it’s a great time to choose an exciting, new-to-you recipe that the whole family can enjoy and come to associate with family holiday traditions.
Here are some standout recipes that you might like to include:
- Witch Finger Cookies
- Pumpkin Cheese Ball
- Mac O’Lantern & Cheese Bowls
- Hot Dog Mummies
- Spider Web Guacamole
- Haunted Gingerbread House
- Mummy Hand Pies
Will you try any of these Halloween family activities this year? If you do, we’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter if you do so we can see.
Tags: blog, children, Family, Halloween, mental health, movies, Parenting, strongest families, Strongest Families Institute, treats