Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching, leaving many parents wondering how to handle Halloween celebrations during a pandemic. We want to keep our kids safe and still provide them with some of the holiday magic. The following are some fun ways to celebrate with your kids while still practicing social distancing.

Decorate your house indoors and outdoors. You can purchase decorations or create your own. Create fun ghosts with tissues wrapped around a sucker or create pumpkins with pipe cleaners and orange beads. There are endless ideas on Pinterest for all kinds of fun crafts for kids to make for Halloween;

Host a spooky movie night. Pick a fun Halloween-themed movie and make some popcorn and snacks. You can adjust the movie to the age and maturity of your kids. “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is a fun option for younger kids;

Have a Halloween-themed dance party in your house. Play “The Halloween Freeze Dance” for younger kids or “Thriller” for older kids;

Create some creepy science for kids by making “Witches Slime” or “Pumpkin Play-dough;”

Create a Halloween egg hunt. You can use old Easter eggs or even order glow-in-the-dark eggs and hunt in the dark;

Have a candy scavenger hunt indoors or outdoors;

Make spooky foods such as hot dog mummies or spider pizza;

Get a piñata for the kids and fill with their favorite candy and treats; and

Host a Zoom costume party. This way kids can show off their costume to friends and family.

Guidelines Help With Safe CelebrationThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines for safely celebrating Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

If your family does choose to participate in more traditional trick or treating here are some ideas and precautions:

Participate in a trunk or treat where adults hand out the candy, rather than kids grabbing out of the bowl;

Host a neighborhood costume parade;

Plan an all outside trick-or-treat path in your neighborhood where everyone sets up a table in the driveway with individual treat bags on the table so that kids aren’t all reaching into the same bowl; and

Wear a mask (not a Halloween mask – a face mask), bring along hand sanitizer and practice social distancing.

Even though this Halloween may look different, there are still ways we can create fun memories with our kids. Maybe these ideas will become part of your family’s traditions. We hope you have a safe, healthy and happy Halloween!

By Patricia Bates, Family Life Educator, Women’s and Children’s Community Outreach Education, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

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