Fun Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating

by Teresa Cumpton

Not all of our children will be participating in the ritual of trick-or-treating. Some will not be participating due to religious beliefs, other children will feel that they are just getting too old to trick-or-treat. Considering it is the end of October, the weather may not be favorable for outdoor activities so safety of our children is also an issue. Let's face it, trick-or-treating just isn't as safe as it used to be.

But that doesn't mean you can't have fun! There are creative ways to make Halloween enjoyable for the entire family. Whether you choose to go all out and invite the entire neighborhood, or keep it simple and make it a family night is up to you. Here are a few alternative ideas that I have gathered over the years. Once you see my list I'm sure you'll come up with lots of ideas of you own!

  • Make it an official "Family Game Night." Let each member of the family pick a game of their choice. Make some snacks, or order a pizza. Either way the kids are sure to enjoy the extra quality time with mom and dad.

  • Have a movie night for your children and their friends. Renting movies can be an inexpensive way for everyone to get together and have a good time. Having the children choose a movie from a pre-selected list will assure that you approve of their movie selections. Of course since it is movie night, you'll need lots of popcorn!

  • Take the opportunity to make Halloween an educational experience for your children. Have a costume party and invite the neighborhood kids. Ask everyone to dress as an historical figure or to come dressed as a Biblical character. Serve plenty of snacks, play a few games and have a great time!

  • If you have younger children, make it a crafting night. Some construction paper, crayons, non-toxic glue, child-safe scissors and a little imagination can provide hours of enjoyment for the little ones. If you are brave enough, you could even let them do a little fingerpainting. (Although I would recommend that you try fingerpainting with a smaller group of children.)

  • Have a "Paint the Pumpkin" party. This could get a little messy, but can be so much fun. Buy a few smaller pumpkins or even gourds. Provide the children with some non-toxic markers or paint and let their creative juices flow. You may find you have an artist in the family!

Have a wide variety of snacks and beverages on hand for whatever special activity you choose. You may even want to provide small "goody bags" of candy for the children. The "goody bags" may keep them from feeling as if they have been deprived of the candy they would have received from trick-or-treating.

Regardless of how you choose to spend Halloween with your family, remember that it is quality time spent with your child. Even though your child may not have been able to go trick-or-treating, they will always remember that you took the time to make it a special day.

Teresa Cumpton and her husband James are the parents of Matthew. They live in Kentucky.

Copyright © Teresa Cumpton. Publishing rights retained by Pregnancy.org, LLC.