When I think back on my childhood, there are things that stand some out as truly great memories.
They usually revolved around some activity we did together as a family or class parties at school or even something fun my sisters and I came up with on our own. But they all had an element of tradition to them.
Which led me to want to create as many of those kinds of memories for my own children. Because there’s something about them that sticks with you forever and leaves you warm and fuzzy inside whenever you look back on it.
If you are in the market for some family-friendly Halloween traditions, why don’t you let me list a few things I enjoyed as a kid or with my own children, and maybe something might catch your attention.
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1. Have a Movie Countdown
It’s been ages since I watched a horror flick (not my cup of tea!) but we love a good Family-Friendly Halloween movie to get us in the holiday spirit. (see what I did there)
2. Read a Ghost Story Before Bed
Starting October 1st, you can read one story every night for the entire month to help build excitement.
You can easily check the books out at the library and have a new book each night to read, or you can buy a collection of stories, like our favorite book here.
One thing we have enjoyed doing is taking turns making up our own stories. Turn off all the lights, pull a sheet over your heads and the storyteller gets to hold the flashlight…the kids love it!
3. Make Spooky Snacks
I’m not super creative, (let’s just get that out of the way) but I love the joy and fun our girls have when we make occasions special, so I try my best to come up with something fun to make.
Pinterest is my best friend for sparking my creative juices. And it has yet to fail me! (Thank you, food bloggers!)
But when time is against us, I can always resort to stopping at the store and picking up some treats. The girls are just as thrilled that I took the time to surprise them.
4. Have a Countdown Calendar
Kids LOVE when we build up the excitement for special occasions and having a Countdown Calendar is one of the best ways to do that.
You can fill the pockets with treats or fun novelties like these. Anything you have left over, just throw in your candy bucket to pass out on Halloween!
5. Make Goody bags for Neighbors
Kids love surprising people with treats! And adults (no matter their age) love when their little neighbors stop over.
This doesn’t have to be expensive. Head over to the Dollar Tree with your kids and let them pick out some fun treats and goodies and festive baggies to put them in.
Don’t forget to print out some cards to go along with the treats!
6. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
If you read my post about Fall Traditions, you’ll know how much I love orchards and pumpkin patches, etc.
It just isn’t Halloween without pumpkins!
You can get them at just about any store come October, but that pales in comparison to the fun and tradition of getting your pumpkins at a pumpkin patch.
Most places even offer Haunted Corn mazes, hot apple cider, and fun activities for the kids to do. You can make it a family event!
Growing up, we hit all the orchards and pumpkin patches during the fall, and those were some of my fondest memories as a child.
It’s a great family-friendly Halloween tradition that every family should try, at least once.
7. Make Jack-o’-lanterns
If I’m being totally transparent, this isn’t my favorite Halloween tradition. I’m allergic to the pulp and the messiness makes me cringe. But our girls love it, so we get our pumpkins carved every year.
When the kids were younger, they mostly just played in the mess and daddy did the carving while I washed and roasted the seeds.
Now that they’re older, they enjoy carving their own pumpkins. And ever since we found this Pumpkin Carving Kit, complete with stencils, our girls have become quite proficient!
8. Have a Halloween Party
Some of my earliest memories of Halloween involved parties at our house with everyone dressed up and spooky sounds playing from our radio.
It was great fun, it was family-friendly and became a tradition we held for many years.
Once I started school, my mom put a lot of her effort into our class parties and those were always such a hit. (Need some spooky cupcake toppers? Check these out!)
9. Make Your own Costumes
Again, I am not crafty but I am thrifty, and paying $20+ for one costume they will only wear once is not something I’m willing to do.
We have been getting creative for so many years with our costumes that our girls have joined in on the fun themselves. Most times, they don’t even need my help.
There are some great costume ideas on Pinterest you can make yourself or use as a starting point. Our girls start with a design, then make it their own.
But if time is against you, you can always find good deals on used costumes or even swap costumes with friends.
Nothing gets a child in the festive mood like decorations. And again, this does not have to be expensive. The Dollar Tree has fun things you can get creative with and you can never go wrong with spider webs!
But we always have fun with small paper crafts we can make ourselves and put up on the walls. Or have contests making the spookiest ghosts.
But something our girls enjoy decorating most is their room. We buy decorations and the girls go to town, turning their large room into a haunted place to hang.
I give them free rein and they get super creative. It’s a win/win.
(Get a free Jack-o-Lantern coloring page here!)
Whatever budget you have, whatever your skill level in the creative department, you can have a great Halloween with your family. All it takes is a little effort and lots of spooky fun!
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About the author
Kimberly McGraw is the founder of Life Worth the Living, a blog focused on helping mothers live their best life. Her desire is to help moms find purpose in who they are as a person, not just as a mom. Life Worth the Living has been featured in Making Sense of Cents, Outwit Trade and Believe and Create.