When I was growing up, my Mum wouldn’t let me go trick or treating, as she worried that myself and my friends would scare elderly people, or that it was like begging. These days trick or treating is much more the norm than it was when I was younger, but I know some parents still don’t like it and may be looking for alternatives to trick or treating for their children to enjoy on Halloween.
I never did get to go trick or treating, although I did used to go door to door carol singing later in the year – hopefully my Mum doesn’t read this post as she doesn’t know I used to do that!
With my own children they do sometimes go trick or treating, but I go with them, and we only knock at the doors that have pumpkins outside, or that we’ve seen other people be given sweets at. I wouldn’t want my children to worry anyone, but I feel like we do it in a safe and friendly way.
If you still aren’t happy with them trick or treating though, there are other ways you can have fun with them, and here’s a little list of some that I can think of.
- Still let them dress up, and take it in turns to answer the door to the trick or treaters. You could always let them eat one sweet for every knock at the door, this should get them excited about opening the door. This way they get sweets and to dress up, and you get to stay indoors in the warm.
- Have your own mini Halloween party. This could be either just with your own children, or invite friends or family. Dressing up, dancing and playing games will seem much more fun than lots of walking.
- Take them to a locally organised Halloween party. If you do a search online, or check the events section of local attractions, then you may find one close enough to you to attend. If you’re in Cornwall, you can check out my what’s on in Cornwall – Autumn post, as there are already a few Cornish parties listed.
- Spend the evening doing spooky themed crafts and let them get messy.
- Go for a Halloween themed day out somewhere local, for Cornwall my What’s on post lists a few of these. Elsewhere it’s always worth checking what the National Trust has on in your area, as they often do seasonal themed activities.
- Print out some Halloween colouring sheets, if you search online for ‘printable Halloween colouring sheets’ you’ll find loads.
- Have a Halloween themed movie night, obviously with films aimed at the correct ages. Casper, Spooky Buddies, The Witches, Harry Potter and Gremlins are just some of those you could choose. Make sure you make it special, you could make spooky looking popcorn boxes, buy sweets shaped like insects or ghosts, and light some candles (in pumpkins!) for atmosphere.
- Blow up lots of balloons, and draw spooky faces on them – make sure you use a pen that doesn’t rub off to protect your house. Let them go a bit wild and play with the balloons to use up some energy, this will work well for younger children to keep them busy. You can even buy balloons that light up and let them play with these with the lights off.
- Go on holiday if Halloween falls during the October half term like it often does, if you stay at a holiday park they will most likely have Halloween events on, and if you stay somewhere out-of-the-way, you can either deny all knowledge of Halloween to younger children, or do some of the fun activities above whilst away. This is what we are doing this year – the going away bit, not the denying all knowledge bit, we wouldn’t get away with that now that they are 9 and 11.
- In a room without carpet, do some bobbing for apples! It’s actually a lot harder than it looks, but good messy fun.
- Play a game of pin the arm on the skeleton, pin the tail on the werewolf or pin the fangs on the vampire. All you need is to either print out a picture or draw your own, find some drawing pins and make a picture or tail to pin on with them. Don’t forget a blindfold of some description though!
- Make them a Halloween treasure hunt, so that they have to work for their sweets or treats. This can just be around the house, and if you aren’t too keen on them having loads of sweets maybe see if you can find some Halloween themed rubbers or pencils cheaply somewhere, or other little non food treats. If they are fans of kinder eggs, you can always save the little yellow plastic containers for putting a few sweets in to hide.
If I think of any more, I will add them at a later date, but pretty sure there’s something here for everyone!
How do you feel about Trick or Treating? Do you take your own children/let them go on their own?