How to have a wholesome Halloween. What you can do to celebrate Halloween with your family without focusing on the gore and creepy things.
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! How could you love that creepy, commercial holiday with no purpose!” And some of you are thinking “Duh. Why wouldn’t you love Halloween?”
Something I love about Halloween is that it connects the neighborhood. This is one night a year where it is normal and expected to knock on every single door. We spend time visiting with each neighbor we come face to face with. I love that about this Holiday. I also love to dress up, and so do my husband and kids. We have a lot of fun dressing up in a theme and just relaxing some and having fun together. I hope my kids will have fond memories of mom and dad dressing up.
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.
How to Have a Happy and Wholesome Halloween
1-Do Fun Halloween 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:
- In my eBook Babes, Tots, and Kids
- My post Fall Learning Activities Your Child Will Love
- On the Children’s Learning Activities Blog. This is a blog I contribute to with a few other Babywise moms. You can find our Fall ideas here. You can find our Halloween ideas here.
- You can find ideas on the Fabulous Fall board for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest account.
- You can find Fall crafts on my Learning Ideas: Seasonal Pinterst board.
- You can find Halloween crafts on my Learning Ideas: Holidays Pinterest board.
2-Choose Halloween Decorations 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 Halloween 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.
Read more activity ideas in 6 Things to Do With Your Kids This Fall.
4-Eat Good Fall 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.
You can find my favorite fall recipes in this post. Yes, pumpkin is included.
5-Dress Up As a Family for Halloween
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. Read more about dressing up here:
Here are some of our costumes:
6-Have a Halloween 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!
Here are some more fun Halloween ideas from Babywise Friendly Blog Network Bloggers: