Tricks are for kids, Mom! Or so says your 8 going on 18-year-old. Halloween is such a fun time for kids, but once they’ve been in grade school for a few years, they start to outgrow the hauntingly cute, super silly stuff that younger kids love. Except trick-or-treating … they’re definitely still fans of free candy. And that’s not the only Halloween activity that’s cool enough for bigger kids!
Let’s be real though. You don’t have tons of free time (or extra money) for elaborate or expensive activities. At the same time, you still want to make special Halloween memories with your kids. And I’m here to tell you it’s 100% possible to have hair-raising Halloween fun without scaring your wallet.
Who doesn’t love festive food?! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take forever to pack creepy Halloween lunches. Eye-shaped candies make cupcakes, apples and almost any other food look like a monster. Cookie cutters can turn a ham sandwich or sliced cheese into a vampire bat. Even that black permanent marker you already have in your junk drawer can be used to can draw freaky faces on fruit peels and plastic packaging. I dare you to eat that banana, kids! (Oh wait, they actually ate it … maybe you should draw scary faces on fruits and veggies all year long.)
All Dressed Up
Since when is it only mom’s job to come up with AND put together the whole family’s costumes? Challenge older kids to create their own costumes instead. Set rules for budget, materials and time, and see what happens. Helping them plan and research is bonding time, too! Plus, it makes them use their imaginations, which helps you raise creative thinkers and problem solvers. Just be warned – if you’ve got a procrastinator on your hands, this plan could backfire. And if/when it does, it will be mom to the rescue with easy last-minute costume ideas, including a recipe for face paints using items you already have in your pantry.
Reel ‘em in with a scary movie, or turn off the lights and have a scare circle, using a flashlight to read passages from skin-crawling books. Grade schoolers are still young enough to love Jack Skellington (from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) and the Harry Potter series, as well as loads of other lesser-known books and movies inspired by Halloween. Take a trip to your local library and see what you can dig up together.
Now that wasn’t so scary, was it? There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween with grade schoolers – activities they’ll actually enjoy that won’t shock your bank account. Have a scary good Halloween!