Did you know that Halloween is now the second-most decorated holiday for Americans, right behind Christmas? Yep, Halloween has become a festive free-for-all, and we love to decorate and party when the night is right! This month, the Blog With Friends Boo Crew is joining up to offer you some excellent ideas to have a Spooktacular Halloween without sending anyone to Arkham Asylum when it’s all over, as you’ll see in my entry, Not So Spooky Halloween for little ghouls and boos.
For this month’s Bootober to Remember, six bloggers have joined forces to share with you tasty Halloween party treats, DIY dark wreath, decorating on the cheap, DIY gate to keep the ghoulies out, and of course, a Frozen-inspired costume tutorial. See the links at the bottom of the post for some pretty great ideas from a Bootiful Crew!
And now….celebrating with little ghouls and boos!
Halloween doesn’t have to be scary and frightful like all those crazy horror movies tell us. In fact, for those of us with young ones in the fold, we’re most likely trying to avoid too much scary time, since it usually results in a lot of sleepless nights and/or bad dreams that we can’t explain away.
Following are a few ideas to have a fun family Halloween while keeping the spoooookiness at bay!
Pumpkins, glorious pumpkins
No matter how you slice them, pumpkins are one of the mainstays of the fall/autumn/Halloween season. From hunting for them in a pumpkin patch, to decorating them in the kitchen, pumpkins are a great way to keep in the Halloween spirit while finding fun for your family.
- My fab friends at Hallmark have 10 creative pumpkin carving ideas for you, complete with instructions. There’s the Monstroctopus, haunted mouse houses (my personal favorite), and Mr. Pumpkin and his damsels in distress. If you prefer gourd decor, the Something Wicked Trio will make your day. Or, if you just need a little guidance, there are great printables that you can trace for your chosen carving design.
- If you don’t have the stomach to carve up a defenseless pumpkin, there’s always the melted crayon method, or do what we do at Home on Deranged: get out all the various colors of Sharpie markers you can find, and let the kids go to town! Yes, you will need to either put old t-shirts on them, or be prepared to rub them down with rubbing alcohol when it’s all over, but trust me, they will enjoy every second of drawing a funny face on that family Halloween pumpkin of yours!
Movies, music, madness
If you’re either staying at home for Halloween, or hosting a party of your own, you’ll still want a little bit of entertainment to keep the fun rolling. Here’s a few movies, books, and Halloween songs to enjoy the evening.
- Movies: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is, of course, an American classic that never lets you down. Our girls were upset that Linus missed out on the Great Pumpkin, but they immediately asked to watch it again! One of their other favorites is Room on the Broom, which tells the tale of a witch and her traveling companions, and a fight against a dragon over a swamp. Told it rhyme, it’s one of my favorites, too. Here’s a few more suggestions for family friendly screen time.
- Books: Pinkalicious never fails to delight, and you can check out her Pink Or Treat adventure, or if you like just a tiny bit of scary in your books, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything will show you that things that go bump in the night aren’t always as bad as you imagine. Need some more ideas? Check out this list for preschoolers.
- Music: You already know Monster Mash and Thriller, you might even break out in a rendition of The Addams Family theme song, but did you know there are Halloween songs for kids, several of them set to tunes you already know? One little, two little, three little pumpkins/Four little, five little, six little pumpkins/Seven little, eight little, nine little pumpkins/All on Halloween night!
Now try getting that out of your head!
If you’ve read my blog for long, you know I’m not the craftiest of gals, but even I can cut and glue and color with the best of them, so here’s just a couple of simple crafts you can do with your kids as well.
- Paper Plate Ghosts: Alright, grab a white paper plate (paper or styrofoam is fine), get some black construction paper and one other color (we went with purple, because, why not?), and some white tissue paper. Along with glue, tape, and scissors, you’re ready. First I cut out the eyes and mouth for the ghost. You can make these as friendly or as scary as you like, depending on the age of your children and/or their scare-ability level. Then, trace your child’s left and right hands on the second color of construction paper. Finally, cut some strips of the white tissue paper to hang down for the ghostly effect. Glue and/or tape all the parts into place, and voila! you’ve got a floating ghost that also is a great reminder of how tiny your babies’ hands were once upon a time!
- You can also pick up craft kits at many places, and our girls really enjoy the foam piece crafts, where all you really have to do is put them together and then put the stickers on them. There’s the small spooky houses all the way up to the large “haunted” houses. There a great easy craft for those of us who aren’t as creative, but love the feeling of creating with our kids.
- Moonie Bats: Grab some black construction paper and cut circles for the bat’s head; you decide how small or large you want it to be. Then, cut little leaf-shaped ears out of the same black paper. Finally, trace your child’s left and right hands onto the black paper to be cut out and used as the wings. You’ll need yellow construction paper to serve as the moon, so cut the circle at least larger than the bat head. You can let the kids draw the eyes, nose and smile (or vampire teeth!) on the bat’s face, or you can get the googly eyes like we did to use.
This is just a small list of what you can do to make Halloween, but not too spooky for your wee ones. Feel free to check out my Pinterest Halloween Spooktacular board for tons more ideas on crafts, decorations, recipes, party ideas, books, movies, games and everything else spooky!
Hope you like what you’ve seen. Ready for more Halloween ideas? Keep on reading!
The Boo Crew’s Bootfiul Projects
Ready for more Pinterest-worth projects to get your Halloween spooktacular?
Check out the other bloggers in this month’s A Blog With Friends Project!
Karen of Baking in a Tornado gives us a fun edible Halloween treat with Bloody Buddies
Robin of Someone Else’s Genius has a Nevermore Wreath tutorial based on Poe’s The Raven.
Stacy Sews and Schools has a sewing tutorial for Anna’s Cape from Frozen.
Lydia at Cluttered Genius shows how to decorate on the cheap in her Spooky Kooky Halloween.
Shellybean at Follow Me Home has an eerie Mini Halloween Gate art project you can do with kids.