Thursday, September 26, 2013

Having a Happy and {Wholesome} Halloween

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I love, love, super-love the Fall season. I love it all. Leaves changing color, hiking in the mountains, corn mazes, brisk weather, my birthday....all great things. I even love Halloween. Some of you are thinking GASP! And some of you are thinking "why wouldn't you?"

I know many of you out there are not Halloween fans, and that is fine. I am not here to try to change your mind (not sure why I would want to?). What I am here to do is to share how we have a happy and wholesome Halloween each year so any of you who love Halloween but feel conflicted about the "Pagan" holiday can get some ideas on how you, too, can have a happy and wholesome Halloween. These ideas aren't exclusive, inclusive, nor mandatory. These are just ideas.

1-Do Fun Crafts
We love to celebrate the season with fun Fall crafts. There is no shortage (at all) of Fall and Halloween craft project ideas out there on the great wide Internet. Pictured here to the left, you can see a "leaf man" we made several years ago after reading the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. I love to read picture books and then do a craft to correspond with it.

You can also do activities that are slimy:

You can find ideas:

2-Decorate With the "Cute" and Leave Out the "Gross"
There is definitely a gory and gross side to Halloween. That side does not appeal to me. I don't really see how it would be appealing to children, either. You can totally decorate for Halloween in a cute way. I have always loved decorating for holidays, and Halloween is no exception. You can find decoration ideas on my Halloween Pinterest board. You can also find ideas on the Fabulous Fall board for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest account.

Here are some decorations I have made:

3-Establish Family Traditions
We have many family traditions we look forward to each year. 

We love to go for fall hikes. Where we live, we have mountains close by and the leaves change. It is such a magical time to go for a hike.

Going to the corn maze is another Fall tradition we love. In addition, at this same place we can ride ponies, launch gourds, play in the straw, and much more.  

Each year, we each carve a pumpkin. Carving a pumpkin is such a great learning activity--you get fine motor control practice, art project, sensory activity, and science lesson all in one. We have babies play with the guts. Pre-Toddlers and Toddlers draw and/or paint the pumpkins. Older toddlers and preschoolers draw the face on the pumpkin and we carve it. Kindergarten and older cut out their own pumpkins. You can also start the pumpkin carving off by going to a pumpkin patch:

We also love to go to what is called the Pumpkin Walk. People decorate pumpkins and set them up in a fun scene and you go see their creativity:

My children LOVE to rake up the leaves and then play in them. Time-honored October/November tradition.

4-Eat Good Food
Our Best Bites has a seaonal cook book, and hands down my favorite section of that book is the Fall section. I love Fall recipes! I love pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes, butternut squash pastas, soups...mmmmm....and there are  lots of fun desserts to make. There are a bunch of fun ideas on my Halloween board. You can also find ideas on the learning board: Fall ideas here. You can find our Halloween ideas here.

5-Dress Up As a Family
Every year, we dress up for Halloween as a family theme. This is one of my very favorite family traditions. My dad often even gets involved. Here are some of our costumes:

6-Have a Party! 
 Each year we dress up two times. The first time is for our church party. Our ward is so fun and almost everyone dresses up. The second is for trick-or-treating. On Halloween, we get together with family and go trick-or-treating and then come back to our house for soup and family time.

That's not our only party of the month. We also do a party with my husband's family early in the month of October. We do various activities--a fun one is drawing a name of a family member from a hat and then decorating a pumpkin to look like that person. Then you guess who had whom.

We also host an adult-only party with our friends each year. Some years we do murder mystery dinners and some years it is just a costume party. It is always fun.

You can definitely celebrate Halloween without getting gory or gross. You can do it all in good fun! And if you are very anti-Halloween, you can still do lots of fun traditions to celebrate Fall. Children love traditions. Decide on some fun traditions your family would enjoy and do them year after year!

Today, the ladies of the BFBN are all posting on "Fall"--check out their posts:
And be sure to check out the Fabulous Fall board for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest account


Chandelle Foote said...

Have been following your blog for awhile now and thought I'd finally comment!! Love love LOVE your family costume ideas!!! Can't wait for the day we get to do that. Our little guy will only be 4 months old so we aren't quite getting into all that yet ...

grace said...

love love, super love your family costume photos! all the thought & love into planning & making the costumes :) your kids are very blessed :)

Valerie Plowman said...

Thanks ladies!

Kristy Powers said...

All of the family costumes are adorable, individually and as a group!!!!!! We might be doing the Batman thing this year. :)

Harry Singh said...

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