Here are 14 simple ways to make celebrating Halloween at home just as much fun as trick-or-treating!
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This year has required us to do A LOT of things differently than we’ve done them in the past…including Halloween. Sometimes I get bummed by all the traditions that we can’t do this year, but I also have to remind myself that different can be good.
We can still celebrate Halloween. We just have to get creative…again. And as much as I’d love to be done being “creative” for a while, I have to admit that this year has been a wonderful opportunity to question all the things we have done in the past (often just out of habit) and push myself to look for new–and sometimes better–ways of creating memories with my family.
So, in the spirit of looking for the good, I’ve been brainstorming all sorts of fun things we can do to make Halloween special this year…all from the comfort and safety of our own home.
Even without a pandemic raging, I think these would be fun new traditions to start!
Note: Please DON’T think I’m suggesting that you do ALL the activities on this list. Nobody needs that kind of pressure.
If you just want to listen to Thriller, throw candy at the children, and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, that’s totally fine!
If you want to pick two or three ideas from the ones listed below to make the day special, great!
If you have the time and inclination, and you want to make a Halloween countdown, doing a different activity each day…awesome!
Whatever you choose, just have fun! Happy mom=happy kids. Try not to make things harder than they need to be. (Just sayin…because if you’re like me, you need to hear that reminder often.)
Okay, on to the ideas!
14 ways to celebrate Halloween at home
- Go on a candy scavenger hunt. If you’re not going trick-or-treating this year, considering sending your kids on a candy scavenger hunt around your house or yard. You can make it as simple as hiding the candy Easter-egg-style around the house. Or, if you want to be a little fancier, try hiding clues to lead them along a trail to various hiding places. This free printable candy scavenger hunt from Hey Let’s Make Stuff is super easy and adorable!
- Have a costume fashion show. Gather all your costumes from years past and invite the kids to dress up and parade around the house to a soundtrack of fun Halloween music. Don’t have any costumes on hand? Try letting your kids dress up in your clothes! My boys especially love to strut around in my high heels…and I love watching them try!
- Go on a Halloween decoration scavenger hunt. Make (or print) a list like this, and then walk (or drive) around your neighborhood looking for houses with the best Halloween décor.
- Listen to Halloween music. Set the Halloween mood with some fun Halloween songs preschoolers will love (p.s. – each one has ideas for fun activities/crafts to do along with it).
- Rock out with a glow-in-the-dark dance party! Grab some cheap glowsticks from the dollar store (or from Amazon), or get some glow-in-the-dark face paint. Then turn out the lights and crank up the tunes! This one is on my must-do list this year. I’m so excited!
- Have a face painting party! Grab some Halloween face paint (these paint crayons look awesome), and release your inner artist. Have fun turning your kids into whatever they can imagine! If you’re brave enough, let them paint your face! Hint: YouTube has tons of instructional videos to help.
- Turn into mummies. It’s an oldie, but a goodie! Grab a roll of toilet paper and wrap your kids up like mummies. Keep the fun going by holding a mummy race…see who can run along a prescribed course without losing all his or her wrappings!
- Play Halloween Bingo. I don’t know what it is, but kids love BINGO…especially if you use candy corn for game pieces and let them eat the candy at the end. Print some cards at home (I love this BINGO set from Crazy Little Projects) and you’re ready to play!
- Read Halloween books. As the weather gets colder, grab a blanket, snuggle up, and read one of these 16 Not-Too-Scary Halloween Books. They’re perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit…without causing nightmares!
- Decorate Halloween masks. Not in the mood to go all out on costumes this year? Print out some of these free paper masks from The Spruce Crafts, and let the kids decorate them. All the fun of dressing up with much less effort.
- Make homemade root beer. There’s nothing that says Halloween quite like a bubbling cauldron of dry ice root beer. It’s super simple to make (other than going to the store to get the dry ice), and mesmerizing to watch. Here’s the easy-peasy recipe we use from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
- Make slime. We love slime! It’s the perfect Halloween STEM activity. Make it with your kids, or make a “mad scientist slime kit” to deliver to friends! Level up the fun by having a “mad scientist” science day where you do simple experiments together.
- Carve or decorate pumpkins. It’s the most iconic Halloween activity, so you know it’s gotta be on the list! Besides, I love watching the disgusted faces of my kids as they plunge their hands into gooey pumpkin guts each year as we carve pumpkins. Even if you’re not trick-or-treating, you can still decorate and enjoy the spooky glow of pumpkins on Halloween night. Don’t want the mess of carving pumpkins? Try one of these no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas instead!
- Make Halloween treats. What’s a party without the food? There are SO many fun and easy Halloween themed party foods. Try out some new recipes (or old favorites) and enjoy!
Want more fun Halloween Ideas? Try these!
- Pumpkin spice play dough
- Halloween Sudoku for Kids
- Travel felt board: “Silly Jack-o-lantern” play set
- Fun learning activities that use leftover Halloween candy