How to Still Make Halloween Fun and Festive while Staying Safe from COVID-19
Posted on October 27 2020
Halloween is always a time of ghouls and ghosts and things that go bump in the night, but the fears and frights this year are actually too scary to ignore.
You don’t have to be a mad scientist to know that it isn’t exactly safe to go to strangers' houses during a pandemic, but that doesn’t mean Halloween is cancelled. Just because we can’t celebrate as we normally do, doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate.
Below, we rounded up a few ways and ideas to help you have a frighteningly good time this Halloween season. And while we might not believe in the paranormal, we do believe you’ll enjoy these new traditions enough to keep them around well into the spooky future.
Start Off With A Hard But Honest Conversation
First things first, you need to fully explain to your child why they can’t go trick or treating this year. Otherwise, they are just going to think you’re being unfair and/or they’re being punished, and they won’t be able to get past these tough emotions in order to have a good time.
Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, recommends having this conversation as early as possible to allow your child to process their emotions.
“Parents often don’t want to deal with the disappointment, frustration, or emotional response to a negative experience, and so they wait until the last minute to tell their kids," Klapow told HelloGiggles. "That may make it easier on the parents, but it makes it harder for the child to adapt to the decision."
Explain the danger using words appropriate for their age group and lead with empathy and compassion. Instead of giving into frustration and falling back on “Because I said so,” Dr. Suzan Song, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Division of Child/Adolescent and Family Psychiatry at George Washington University, told HelloGiggles that she recommends making it about the golden rule of treating others how you would like to be treated: "We care about others, so we don’t want to get people sick. And we don’t want to get sick ourselves, either.”
Make A Big Deal About Costumes
Children want to be just like their parents. So if a child sees that you’re happy and excited about something, they’re more likely to mirror that emotion. If they’re old enough, get them involved in their costume by having them help make it or pick it out. At any age, still take pictures, coo over them, and make an event out of the night.
Call up Grandma or another person your child recognizes and loves and have them make a fuss, too. Or, go on a drive around the neighborhood, go to the grocery store in costume, pick up dinner in costume, and call it a parade.
As long as it’s socially distanced and safe, anything goes and no one can judge. We have to find our joy where we can, and there’s only so many years you get to turn your little one into a pumpkin.
Steal A Trick And a Treat From The Easter Bunny
Let’s all be honest. It’s the candy that your kid really cares about, and while you can’t safely bring them door to door to trick or treat, you can make an activity out of collecting candy by hiding “spider’s eggs” or “Frankenstein’s treasures.” Buy Easter eggs in Halloween colors, fill them with treats, and then hide them around the house or yard for them to find. You can even fill some eggs with “tricks” and have your children play games or tell jokes to get their prize.
That way they still end up with a bag full of candy at the end of the night, and you’ll still end up with a happy memory and photos of another great Halloween—and the opportunity to sneak pieces from their bag.
Share A Favorite Halloween Movie From Your Childhood
While you usually can’t get your kid to sit still on Halloween, this year you can take advantage of the time at home by showing them one of your favorite Halloween shows or movies from your childhood. A classic Scooby-doo episode, Casper, E.T., and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown are all fun choices for kids of any age. And if they’re a little older, you can introduce them to more classics like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus.
Recreate the experience of going to the movie theater by printing out tickets, popping popcorn, and having a mix of candy they can “buy” with their allowance or by completing chores the week leading up to Halloween.
Make A Spooky, Special Meal
Most of our holidays evolve around serving a big, special meal, so pivoting Halloween to a frightening feast will be an easy transition for your little gremlin.
We love these recipes for Witches Fingers Cookies, Mummy Pizza, and Monster Sushi Bites from Brit + Co, but with a bit of food coloring and imagination, you can turn any meal into a festive Halloween treat.Have them help cook and if your kitchen looks like a crime scene at the end of the night, it’s just all the more on theme.