Boo! ’Tis the season for frights and autumnal festivities! With the new season comes a bevy of fun things you and your kid can do to celebrate the changing leaves and spookiest time of year. Below are some of our safe seasonal favorites.
A staple of the fall holiday season is, of course, pumpkin-carving. Your child will get a kick out of selecting a pumpkin from a local pumpkin patch, while supporting local farmers and growers. The pumpkin patch is also an ideal autumn photo backdrop. Several markets and stores also carry pumpkins while in season, so your child can still discover the thrill of finding the perfect one!
Once you’ve got a pumpkin, head home to start carving! Make sure to lay down some paper towels or newspaper wherever you plan to carve—it can be messy! Help your child pick out the right design. Afterward you can begin to carve the pumpkin.. Take off the top and gut it. You can either compost the guts or pull out the seeds and roast them for a snack.
Time to draw and carve out the design! Once you’ve finished, choose a candle for the inside of the pumpkin. If you use a real candle, place the jack-o-lantern somewhere in your view. When using a battery-operated candle, allow your child to pick a fun spot on the front stoop or somewhere inside. Your child will love how magical the pumpkin looks when the lit candle brings it to life.
For families outside of urban areas, apple-picking is another holiday classic. It can be a sweet and healthy treat for your kids. Apple cider, apple pie, apple strudel, and apple cider donuts are all traditionally found at an apple orchard. Some orchards offer hay rides into the fields. You and your child can fill a basket of apples together!
As Halloween approaches, you can also brainstorm homemade costumes for your child. A ghost, a witch, a robot, among others, are classic choices. Making costumes instead of buying them helps repurpose items from your home and gives your child a chance to get creative. Make it a fun project you achieve together! Identify household items that can be repurposed. Cardboard boxes can become a robot body. With a flannel shirt, straw hat, overalls, and a quick make-up job your kid is a scarecrow! An all-black outfit, paper ears, and a ball of yarn will turn your child into a cat. The possibilities are as limitless as your child’s imagination! Encourage them and see where their mind takes them. While you’re at it, make yourself a matching costume!
Finish off the season with a kid-friendly Halloween movie or two. Scary movies are a staple of the season, but oftentimes inappropriate for young audiences. Luckily, there are plenty of age-sensitive movies and TV shows with Halloween and autumn themes. Check out our list of suggestions below!
Hocus Pocus (1993)
It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966)
Monster House (2006)
Over the Garden Wall (2014)
Scooby Doo! and The Goblin King (2008)
Scooby Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost (1999)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
We hope these activities help you and your child make the most of this exciting and spooky season. Whether it’s getting out and about in the autumn foliage or staying inside with a Halloween book, hot cocoa, and the jack-o-lanterns all lit, there are many ways to appreciate this special time of year and special time in your child’s life.