It’s the spookiest time of the year – and the best excuse to eat sweets that was ever invented!
Trick or treating might look a little different this year, but you can still have lots of scary Halloween fun in Calderdale (and steal a few of your kids’ sweets when they’ve gone to bed).
Whether you’re planning to head out trick or treating or prefer to put on a spooky celebration at home, we’ve got lots of ideas to fire your little skeletons’ imaginations!
Throw a Spooky Party: Invite your bubble, stock up on cheap decorations (or get the kids to make some!), serve spooky snacks and party on!
Make a Halloween Tik Tok video in Fancy Dress: Everyone can have fun with this one – even the dog can join in! Why not choreograph a dance to Thriller, or your favourite spooky song?
Play Halloween Games:Our favourites are Wrap the Mummy (gather some toilet rolls and have teams wrapping up a volunteer), Halloween Bean Bag Toss (throw them into pumpkins with wide mouths), Halloween bingo (instead of numbers use a pumpkin, skeleton, black cat etc on the cards) and sticking hands into a pumpkin to guess what’s inside (jelly, toy rats, etc).
Try some spooky science experiments: How about some Halloween-themed slime? There’s a slime recipe here and you could add Halloween colours and small spider or bat decorations. Or, make a pumpkin erupt like a volcano! Simply carve a pumpkin and put a bowl inside. Add some bicarbonate of soda, some washing up liquid and some food colouring (it’s best to do this outside for an easy clean up). Add some vinegar and watch the foamy liquid ooze out of the pumpkin’s mouth! You can find lots more Halloween science ideas here.
Hide sweets in your garden or around your house:Play some spooky tunes while the kids are searching to set the mood, and give them flashlights or head torches if you want to do it in the dark!
Pumpkin carving contest on zoom: Great for the kids to show off their hard work and catch up with their buddies. You could make it a fancy dress contest too!
Drive to look at other decorated houses: If you know an area that always makes an effort at Halloween, why not drive – or walk – around to see different decorations?
Paint rocks or pumpkins: Decorate some Halloween-themed Calderdale Rocks. You could even paint pumpkins instead of carving them. You can find lots of designs for pumpkins on Pinterest.
Glow stick dancing: Turn out the lights, snap some glow sticks and get grooving. You could even wear black then stick the glow sticks to your clothes like skeleton bones!
Have a Halloween Afternoon Tea! Everything looks better served on tiered trays, and there are lots of food ideas on Pinterest. Our favourites are sausage mummies (wrap strips of puff pastry around sausages then bake and add black icing eyes), banana ghosts (chop a banana in half and add chocolate chips for eyes and a mouth) and Oreo spiders (stick two Oreo cookies together with melted chocolate, and put some strawberry laces in between them for the spider legs. Coat the top with melted chocolate and make scary spider faces with icing pens.)
Set up a spooky trail with equally scary clues: You can have some fun inventing the clues and have a spooky prize to uncover at the end.
Host a spooky disco: You can play Halloween-themed tunes or just your favourites, but turn down the light and set some atmospheric lighting.
Spooky movie night: Family-friendly ideas include Harry Potter, Toy Story of Terror, The Adams Family, Room on the Broom, Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie, Casper and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Don’t forget to check the age advice before viewing to avoid more frights than you bargained for!
Tell ghost stories! Snuggle up on some beanbags or throw a pile of cushions and duvets onto the floor, light some battery-operated candles and tell some good old spooky tales. Funny Bones is always a good one for young children. We like Llama Llama Halloween too.
Calderdale Pumpkin Trail: Ask your child to draw a pumpkin (with a funny or scary face) or download this template for them to colour in, then stick it up in your window. Other children can do the same, then over October half term, families can walk around the neighbourhood trying to spot them all. Parents could even put a treat in their own child’s Trick or Treat pot each time they find one!
Create some fun tasks in chalk for kids to do on the pavement outside your house: You could set challenges to get them jumping, skipping, star jumping or dancing along the pavement!
Go to a public event: If you do want to get out of the house, an organised public event might be a good option. In Calderdale, there’s Spooksville 2020 in Sowerby Bridge for ages 8+ , with social distancing measures in place. You can find more info here.
Tips for Safer Trick or Treating:
If you do go trick or treating – or plan to give out sweets to children knocking on your door – here are some tips to minimise the risks.
Leave sweets in a bowl on the doorstep or in your garden, so you don’t have to answer the door
Only leave wrapped sweets
If you do answer your door, try keep 2 metres away and wear a face mask – perhaps offer sweets held out in a fishing net, you can decorate it to look like a witch’s cauldron!
Remind your child not to touch their face/eyes
Carry hand sanitiser with you
Try not to trick or treat in a large group
Talk to your child before you set off about quickly choosing one sweet from the bowl, not digging around to find their favourite