There's so much to love about Halloween! (The costumes, the pumpkin patch and the brisk afternoon hayrides - we could go on forever.) But how do you walk the fine line between a sugar-induced coma, seasonal fun and being the cranky neighbor who hands out carrot sticks? We have a few ideas …
Host a Party
Invite your and your kids' nearest and dearest to join you for Halloween fun your way! You can break up the party's sugary treats with healthier fall alternatives like sliced apples, roasted pumpkin seeds and popcorn.
Take the Neighborhood by Storm
Not up for throwing a party? We get it. The cooking; the cleaning; the corralling. It can be exhausting. Get together with three or four family best friends and try a twist on a progressive party. There's all the fun of doorbell-ringing and yelling trick-or-treat, but with more fun. Do a craft, tell a spooky story, play a game or get a parent-approved treat, then move on to the next friend's home.
Encourage Little Monsters to Move
Wherever you're headed for Halloween, games are always welcome. Shift the focus to active fun with ghoulish games like these:
- Halloween Freeze Tag - get everyone dancing to your favorite Halloween boogie, like "The Monster Mash," but when the music stops so do all the little ghouls and goblins. Whoever moves once the song has stopped is out. The last person dancing wins!
- Where's the Ghost - have one kiddo leave the room, then take a large sheet and have another child under it. The remaining pranksters move around, then the kiddo who left the room comes back to guess who the ghost is. Then the "ghost" is "it" and goes outside the room. Rinse and repeat!
- Pumpkin Bowling - fill water bottles halfway with water and orange, yellow or black food coloring, cap and set up your pins. The kids can split into teams and roll small pumpkins (with the stems removed) to try and bowl them over.
- Wrap the Mummy - split kids into groups of three or four and give each group a roll of crepe or toilet paper. One child with be the "mummy" and other team members are in charge of wrapping him. The first team to wrap the mummy wins!
Show off those spectacular costumes by spreading the word to parents in advance and inviting kids in your area to join a Halloween march. Parents can sit back while the kiddos assemble and walk down the neighborhood street, through the school, or down the apartment complex's hallways at set time before the sun sets.
Scare Up a Haunted House
Inspire the tweens and teens to make their own haunted house in your backyard, basement or garage. Creating a spooky tour doesn't take a lot. Dim lighting and spooky music, combined with cardboard cut-outs and around-the-house objects set the scene for costumed young actors' imaginative performances.
Trick-or-Treat for Charity
If you want to keep the candy-factor down to a dull roar, ask your kids to pick a cause they'd like to raise money for, like a local animal shelter, a children's charity, etc. Just be sure to give friends and family a little warning. In the days of debit cards, spare change may be a little harder to find!
Other great healthy Halloween ideas? Let us know what you're doing in the comment section below: