That everyone will enjoy!
Young children and the young at heart absolutely love this holiday and the magic of dressing up and “being” someone or something else for a night. Not to mention the fun of going door to door, visiting family, friends and neighbors and scoring a big bag of candy.
As a family, we have created many family traditions revolving around this holiday which makes it even more special and memorable for my children. Here are some simple, affordable and fun ways to add some family time to the scariest holiday of the year.
photo: Tiffany Hicks for we heart this
After we get the house totally decked out inside and out with our decorations, my kids know it’s time to begin one of their favorite activities…booing! What is booing you ask and how can this possibly be fun? Booing is the act of leaving a bag of yummy treats on a friend’s doorstep, attaching a sign to their door along with instructions on what to do next, ringing the doorbell and running away before they see you. The sign is usually in the shape of a ghost and says, “You’ve been booed!” You don’t tell the friend who booed them and you secretly hope they boo you back. Once you’ve been booed, it’s your turn to keep it going and boo someone else.
If you ask my children if it’s more fun to boo someone or get booed, hands down they would say booing is more fun. They love sneaking down the street around sunset and hoping they don’t get spotted. Want to start this tradition with your own family?
The TomKat Studio has a free printable boo sign (at right) you can download and begin your own family fun! While you’re there read some inspirational party posts and then check out the TomKat Studio Etsy shop and the party pintables they sell. You will find tons of adorable Halloween themed items.
We’ve also turned shopping for Halloween costumes into a tradition my kids can’t wait to do each year. I get a bunch of children’s clothing catalogs in the mail and a lot of them feature costumes in them. I save all catalogs and put them aside until we can look through them all at once. I give my kids a pen and tell them to circle their favorites. Next, we go online and check out the costumes online. Hopefully, by the end of the day they have both picked out their costumes. They both look forward to this day every year and I avoid having to go to the crowded costume stores.
One of my very favorite spots for buying quality costumes is Chasing Fireflies. Last year, my daughter was this adorable leopard cat (as seen in the equally adorable intro photo above) and this year she opted to be this super cute hot pink bat girl.
Another great place for picking out original costumes for children (and adults and pets too!) is good old Etsy. How adorable is this Bumble Bee costume complete with tutu and wings? Or this chicken costume (above) for babies?
Another favorite family tradition is the annual carving of the Halloween pumpkin. No Halloween is complete without a visit to the local pumpkin patch and letting the kids pick out their own pumpkins to decorate. We wait until the night before Halloween to carve it and we all pitch in and help. I grab a bunch of newspaper and make it the kid’s job to clean it out. They LOVE getting messy and seeing who can scoop out the most pulp. We search online for the pumpkin stencil of our choice and all help with the carving. Martha Stewart has some very creative stencils you can print for free (click here) or try these from Better Homes and Gardens (click here).
Some other holiday traditions we do each year is baking Halloween themed treats. I always visit Bakerilla for some super cute inspiration, even with themes like Spiders, Spiders, Spiders.
And research the Holiday recipe index at the Food Network for more creepy, crawly, yummy food like the Wicked Cupcakes at right.
After all the thrills and chills, I must say one of the most rewarding activities we do each year is take the kids to trick or treat at the neighborhood retirement home. The residents pass out candy and absolutely love seeing the kids dressed up.
Hopefully, by creating these lasting memories with my children they will not only think of Halloween as a holiday where you get lots of candy, but also a time of sharing meaningful moments together as a family.
Readers – what are your favorite family traditions and special rituals to celebrate Halloween? Share them in the comments.
Tiffany is a wife, mother of two and photographer. Check out her Austin based, gorgeous family photography at tiffanyhicks.com.