As Halloween creeps in, we know that, like so much else this year, things are going to be very different this October 31st. Because of Covid-19 and the restrictions we’re living under, many of the usual spooky festivities are just not happening or just not possible – going trick-or-treating with your children, for example, is probably neither wise nor safe (and actually not allowed under some tiers of local lockdown).
But fear not: we’ve come up with some frighteningly great ways to do Halloween differently – whether you and your family are self-isolating, under Tier 2 or 3 local lockdown or adhering to the rule of 6.
Here are 8 scarily good ways to do Halloween under Covid-19…
1. Organise a pumpkin trail
Band together with some local friends and agree to each post a pic of a pumpkin (try saying that fast!) in your front window (a bit like we did with rainbows – to show support for the NHS – during the spring and summer). Then, you can dress up your kids and take them on a Halloween-night pumpkin patrol: every time they spot a pumpkin in a window, you pop a sweet in their bag.
Not up to drawing pumpkins? We like this free pumpkin downloadable from PawPrint Family, which you can print off for your children to colour or paint at home. And if you fancy going the gourdy extra mile, you could print off a load of them and post them with a nice note through your neighbours’ letter boxes – or simply share on your neighbourhood Facebook group – to get as many neighbours involved as possible.
2. Create a candy pick-and-eat (instead of trick-and-treat)
We Brits have totally embraced the US Halloween trick-or-treat tradition and loads of us are, naturally, disappointed that this year, costumed-up kids knocking on doors is off the October 31st menu.
So when we spotted, on Facebook, US mum Wendy Reeves Winter’s idea for dishing out Halloween treats in a socially distanced way (pictured, above), we just had to share it. Doesn’t it look amazing? Just how delighted would children be to discover this in your neighbourhood on Halloween?
Here’s how to create your own pick-and-eat Halloween treats
Wendy’s kindly shared her top tips for creating her socially distanced pick and eats. She says…
- You can use any kind of sticks: ice lolly sticks, plastic spoons, glow sticks and straws all work well. If you use bamboo sticks, though, cut off the sharp ends before sticking into the ground – just in case an enthusiastic child ‘picks’ on and starts waving it around.
- Only attach wrapped sweets to your sticks, for obvious hygiene reasons. And wipe the sweet wrappers with a sanitising wipe before you stake your sweet stash out.
- Don’t put your sweets out too early. Squirrels apparently love to trick or treat and will take advantage of any candy forest if left unattended for too long!
- Think about putting out a sign to ‘choose 2’. You might also want to hover (at a distance) on your doorstep to make sure some kids don’t try to make off with them all.
Alternatively, if you have a tree in your front garden, you could create a trick-or-treat tree by hanging easy-to-grab sweet packets from the (lowest) branches.
3. Have a Halloween treasure hunt at home…
If you want to – or have to – keep things strictly home-based this October 31st, why not put on a Halloween treasure hunt – with sweets as prizes? We like this one (above) from Picklebums with ready-made, printable clues that are easy to follow and hide around your home. So, all you need to do is print out the clues, leave them in each place, along with some sweets – and you’ve a spooky-themed trail for your little ghosts or goblins to follow all over the house.
4. Rock it out with spooktacular paints
This is a brilliantly fun Halloween activity for older primary-school-age kids. Take them outside to collect some nice large, smooth pebbles and then set them up with acrylic paint pens to get decorating. Mum Abi Williams, from our Facebook Community, who created the brilliantly scary stones in our picture (above) says that, if you want to leave them outside for others to find, it might be an idea to varnish them once the paint’s dried, to help keep the colours from washing out in the rain.
And if you find some acorns…
The stone painting idea works for acorns, too, as Abi’s shared with us (above left) – genius! And thanks to Sarah Cummins from our Facebook Community too, for sharing her painted stones (above right). Sarah used glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint for amping up the spook factor and created lots of pebbles with eyes on for dramatic effect!
5. Scare up a scavenger hunt
Dress your children up and take them on a Halloween walk around the most decorated houses in your neighbourhood. Give each child a copy of this free downloadable scavenger hunt sheet that we found on the ever-inspirational Family Lockdown Facebook group and a pen. Every time they spot and tick off something on the list, they earn a sweet.
6. Put up a Halloween tree
Got an artificial Christmas tree lurking in the loft? Bring it out and dress it up with spider’s webs, pumpkins, little broomsticks, ghostly faces – and, of course, a witch’s hat on top! It makes for a brilliantly colourful, eye-catching (and yes, slightly silly) focal point for all your other Halloween decorations. You may even find people taking pictures of your Halloween tree from the street – as has happened to Cat Ferguson, from our Facebook community, who’s shared her Halloween tree pics above.
7. Settle down for a spooktacular stamping session
We love this (relatively) mess-free toddler Halloween craft that you can set up super-quickly with just apples and paint. Alysia Leigh and her toddler daughter Hallie, from our Facebook community created the sweet picture above and have shared their step-by-step guide to pumpkin-stamping masterpieces:
Here’s how to create pumpkin stamp paintings
- Get an apple and slice it in half.
- Put a little orange paint in a bowl and then press the flat side of your apple into it. If your child’s doing the pressing, you may wan to give the apple an extra hard press down yourself afterwards to get maximum paint coverage!
- Press the apple, paint side down on to a piece of paper to make an orange pumpkin shape. Repeat on other parts of the paper. Re-dip in the paint, as necessary.
- Once your paper is covered in ‘pumpkins’, leave to dry.
- Once dried, draw little green or brown stalks on to your pumpkins with crayons or felt tips, and add black eyes, nose and mouth.
You can also stamp some ghosts…
Instead of using an apple to make pumpkins, you can use a potato to make ghosts – like Donna Davis from our Facebook Community and her 3 year-old-son Finley have (pictured, above). Just cut a little zig zag shape from the bottom of the potato (one for the adults, as you’ll need a sharp knife for this), dip it into white paint and stamp onto paper. Once dry, draw on your spooky faces with crayon or felt tip.
… or make handprint bats, spiders and witch’s cats!
While the paint’s out, you might as well have a go at these fab handprints, as demo’d b Alysia Leigh and her toddler Hallie (pictured, above). Simply cover your toddler’s hand in paint, let them press it on to the paper, and then turn the handprints into cats or bats or spiders with a clever flick of a black felt tip!
8. Go pumpkin picking and then head home for Halloween tea
A fun way to get into the pre-Halloween spirit is to visit a pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkins, ready for you to carve once you get home. If you want to find one near you, Days Out With The Kids have put together a brilliant list of 50 pumpkin patches all over the UK. Do please check with the venue first whether you need tickets, and what their Covid-19 safety measures are.
Once you get home, how about putting on a Halloween style tea? We’ve got 15 of the best Halloween recipes right here, including these gorgeous Annabel Karmel Monster Muffins and spooky veggie skeleton and dips.
9. Turn loo rolls into scary monsters
We’re super-inspired by this loo-roll Hallowen craft shared by Zoe Young who’s part of our Facebook Community and also run the Mealsforminimouths Facebook page. There are 3 different Halloween monsters to make: an evil pumpkin, a Frankenstein-style monster and a ghost. And they’d all look spine-chillingly great as decorations on your Halloween tea table…
What you’ll need:
- Toilet rolls
- Toilet paper
- Black card
- Paint (orange, white and green) and a paintbrush
- Googly eyes
- Cotton bud
Here’s how to do it:
- Paint your toilet rolls: white for a ghost, orange for a pumpkin or green for a Frankenstein monster. Leave to dry.
- For the ghost, add a little glue around the top of the toilet roll and glue toilet paper over the top. Then, glue/stick on some googly eyes and leave to dry.
- For the pumpkin, cut out some shapes for the eyes and mouth from the black card. Then glue on and leave to dry.
- For the Frankenstein monster, make 2 small holes in either side of the toilet roll about two thirds of the way up. Then poke through the cotton bud. Paint the tips of the cotton bud black. Cut out a strip of zig-zag and a rectangle from the black card. Glue the zig-zag strip around the top of the toilet roll and the rectangle in the middle for a mouth. Use a pen to make little scars on either side of the head. Glue on googly eyes and leave to dry.