We recently received this question from a Power of Moms Community member that sparked a great discussion at Power of Moms:
“What low stress, Halloween traditions does your family love? We just received an invite to go trick-or-treating. If you love Halloween, you may be counting down, if you’re like me, you may feel dread. What activities can my family do, costumes can I use and decorations can I put out to help this holiday feel uplifting and enjoyable for me, not just an expensive, time consuming way to give my kids candy?”
Listen here to an audio recap via Power of Moms Radio, or scroll down to read some of the great ideas shared by our community of moms!
We found some $5 Halloween PJs on amazon (it was the only dressing up he would agree to haha) and the little one just wore his space pajamas with a cardboard moon.
Aj -It was a tradition that started when I was little that my parents did but I now continue on with my own Sons. but my parents turn off the front porch light and we had a backyard (depending on the weather) march. Dressed up in whatever costume we had, we would walk around the yard knock on the back door and one of my parents would answer the door and give us candy each time we knocked on the door our parents answered the door in a different costume themselves and wear a different “neighbor” character. I still remember the laughter and have loved doing the same tradition with my boys. we then came inside to carve a pumpkin, baked pumpkin seeds and played bob for apples and few carnival games and maybe a cute movie.
Michelle – Try and find the parts you like and focus on those! Try to let your kids’ enthusiasm carry you through the parts you don’t like. 🙂 I’ve found costumes at thrift stores, second hand children’s clothing store, ebay, and costume exchanges. There are a few children’s stories I love—Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman (look it up on youtube to hear how to sing it. It makes me happy!) and Scary Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting.
Mindy -We just do trick or treating, carve pumpkins, make Halloween sugar cookies, and watch Halloween shows. I hate having all the candy around so I pay them five or ten cents for each candy they want to sell back to me. They usually jump on the opportunity and sell me most of it. Sometimes the dentists will buy it back and send it to troops too. I don’t have energy for much more than that…
Janel – Now that I have teenagers we go to the book store on Halloween for them each to pick out a new read.
Kristen – Non candy fun: we do a special Halloween trip to the library and pick out some fun books. We get together every year to decorate pumpkins with friends in the park…everyone brings something to contribute like paint, glitter glue, googly eyes, etc. On Halloween night we do a potluck with some friends and head out trick or treating all together. We donate most of our candy…I let them keep it for a week and then we donate it. I also buy not very expensive skeleton pajamas that the kids look forward too and they wear all fall/winter. When kids were little we just daytime trick or treating events in our community (our local nature center hosts trick or treating in their trails during the day, events like this) and watched a fun non-scary Halloween movie Halloween night and kids helped give out candy, which they loved.
Heather – We let our daughter invite some neighborhood friends, and I invite any of our neighborhood friends, over for chili, s’mores and hot chocolate after trick-or-treating. The kids are usually so excited to hang out together on a school night that they cut the trick-or-treating short. We like to go to a corn maize each October as well. This is one holiday that my husband loves decorating for though but doesn’t do scary–I don’t like to be scared! Other than that, we don’t do Halloween all fall, even if I am stockpiling all of the pumpkin spice snacks I can find–my daughter loves them!
Ellen – We live 12 miles outside of city limits, so we don’t get trick-or-treaters at our house and going trick-or-treating in a random neighborhood in town can feel awkward. Instead, we go to the nursing homes in town and we visit a couple of special neighbors. It feels really good to see how happy people are just to see my parade of costumed children.
Laura – I have two boys ages 9 and 11. Halloween is probably my least favorite holiday but because it’s exciting for them we do pumpkins, costumes and trick-or-treating. We steer clear of anything scary for both costume choice and decorations. Last year we started celebrating Day of the Dead by displaying pictures of immediate relatives who have passed away. We went as far back as my grandparents and my husband‘s grandparents. We told the kids stories about them and passed around their photos. We made a nice dinner with recipes passed down from them. They enjoyed it so much last year that we will continue that tradition from now on.
Barbara – This is the first year my kids are too old to trick or treat, but they still want to dress up. I’m planning on letting them invite a few friends over, then decorate our driveway and let them hang out there eating junk food and hand out candy to the trick or treaters that come by.
Sara – Start a costume exchange! If you’re like me you have tons of dress ups that your kids are sick of but other kids might be happy to wear! So just get together and let the kids swap.
Amber – I am not a fan of the scary part of Halloween so when they were little I’d choose picture books about fall & our read aloud might be more mysterious than scary, but still fun. We homeschool so when they were little October science would be biology about bats or spiders as well as pumpkins & apples for botany. We also choose non-scary movies to watch together. Our biggest tradition is after Halloween. The massive amount of candy makes me crazy so the day after Halloween the Great Pumpkin comes and takes away all the candy except 5 pieces per child and leaves a treat like books or a board/ card game. The kids know the Great Pumpkin is me. I sort the candy. Any chocolate that can be used in holiday baking goes into the freezer. Anything that could be used to fill the Christmas advent calendar/ stockings goes into a sealed container in the cupboard.
Diana – primary.com has some cute ideas for easy costumes!
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