My girls fall at that odd age where they are too old to be out trick or treating, but they still want to dress up and have fun just like they did a year or two ago. So what do I do?
I plan an all out shin dig where they can have fun with their friends, watch fun Halloween movies, eat junk food, and be kids.
To be honest, we celebrate all month long so I have come up with a lot of fun things to do. Here are some of the ways to make Halloween extra special for the forgotten ones, and myself!
Fun Halloween for Kids of All Ages
1. We Watch Halloween Movies like…
By far the best movie made for this time of year with memorable quotes such as “Oh look, another glorious morning… It makes me sick!” and (when looking at the school) “It's like a prison… for children”.
I must be honest, I started the Halloween party when I was a teenager and this was the movie of choice every time. When the girls were too little to really enjoy trick or treating we would do a smaller version of trick or treating and then come home to watch this movie.
So if you're looking for a non-scary movie to watch that lies somewhere between scary parts and rolling on the floor laughing, this is the one for you.
*** Side note: They keep talking about making a second one, it goes viral every Halloween and this has yet to happen. Don't give in to the hype – look for something that is legitimate before you get too excited.
Nightmare Before Christmas
I'll be honest, this is not a movie I have watched a whole lot. Maybe because I am so obsessed with Hocus Pocus but their bodies scare me. Even Santa is scary in this movie, in my opinion.
That being said, this is still a good one because it reminds you that Halloween is just the beginning to several more holidays full of fun which I really like.
This is also a good one if you are into stop animation. One of my good friends really loves this movie and she told me that it took them two years to make the movie. I give them mad props for working that hard.
I have a friend who also has a Halloween party that I dream of – she calls it “Merry Halloween”. They hand out candy and put up their extra gaudy Christmas tree (it really fits them though and it's super cool).
I imagine they watch this movie.
Harry Potter and the… well anything
Next year for Halloween I really want to take the girls to Universal Studios to visit Harry's world. This year I will settle for watching the movies. The girls have seen it but I have not.
Five years ago I never would have dreamed I would be watching this movie. I will admit, I was a bit prejudiced about them. I was a teenager when they came out and felt like this went against my beliefs. Even my daughter turned it down the first time my mother-in-law asked her to read the series.
That all changed three years ago when she watched the movie at a summer camp. It took me that long to finally buckle down and read them myself. I love that kid.
We are six or so weeks until Halloween and I am nearing the end of book four. The writing is amazing and I am hoping the movies do it justice.
It really is enthralling and a perfect way to make you feel like you are in a whole different dimension. That's kind of what Halloween is all about, right?
2. We like to eat weird things, such as….
We eat gooood at our Halloween party.
For the most part, we change it up. Some years we have take-out pizza after we get home from our event, other years we stay home and make something creative before we go out. Though there are things that the girls normally ask for.
I loved this apple monster made with peanut butter, marshmallows, and googly eyes.
Simply cut slices, adhere them together by using peanut butter, add the marshmallows as teeth and use some kind of food stick stuff to put the googly eyes on your apple monsters.
I cannot take credit for this one and it is asked for every year, if not by the girls then by me! Mummy meatloaf is your favorite meatloaf recipe, with eyes dug out and bacon wrapped around it. Super easy to make and super delicious!
Keeping with the mummy theme, the mummy dog is easy to make too. Simply wrap the hot dog with crescent roll, leaving a space for the face. Once the crescent dogs are finished, cool it and add two black dots with an edible marker.
I have always made caramel apples this way but this year I am doing slices because biting into even a chunk of the apple when the caramel is hard hurts… at least to me. The slices I think will be perfect and we will see.
I am not a big fan of soda but for this one, I will make an exception. Simply combine Seven-Up or Sprite with green sherbert. Mix it well until the sherbert is about half defrosted and pour into your jars.
Drink away, monsters!
Last year we did something new since I started teaching at the high school level. It was a lot of fun and if you are doing a sleep over, I highly recommend this:
We had four groups of five and I worked it down to where this took us about a week in class. I know you can make it down to a couple of hours because Delilah did it in an afternoon.
And, heads up, these kids are on their A game. Plus, they have a lot of fun and get to make the sweets they eat.
For the Mommas: Starbucks Specialty Frappe
I don't go to Starbucks very often but without a doubt, if I can manage a 4 pm coffee sneak on Halloween day, I always head to Starbucks because they have a specialty Frappuccino that is only out on Halloween Day.
Last year it was the Frappula, a strawberries and cream style drink that had blood dripping from the fangs. The year before it was the Draccula, a green mint flavored drink that my Elsa that year sang “Let It Go” and managed to snag it for us for FREE!
One day only though, you have been warned!
3. We have fun making other creations, such as:
Creating our own costumes
We have been making our own costumes for as long as I can remember. It is super fun because my kids typically want to be things they cannot purchase. Another great aspect is how price effective it is.
For example, a few years ago my oldest wanted to be the human version of the My Little Pony character Pinkie Pie. The socks and shoes were both found at a yard sale and between the two cost me five dollars. Super excited to pick those up. Everything else was either clothes they could wear all times or something I created for them.
We still do pumpkin carving
Making our own pumpkin carving is still fun, no matter what age. We have gotten more elaborate as the girls get older.
Typically on the day that we carve pumpkins I bring apple cider to drink, although this year I might change it up and make pumpkin juice from Harry Potter since it is a combination of apple juice with pumpkin puree.
We make Balloon Pumpkins too
I have a video of the first year we did this activity. The girls ran around the room with their glow stick balloon pumpkins dancing to “This is Halloween”. It is super fun and everyone loves doing it. I think it could be a lot of fun to do outside as well.
We Make Fun Jewelry
As kids get older this may not be as much fun, especially if there is a mix of boys and girls but most of our tween parties were just my daughters' friends so making jewelry was a fun activity. Many times we make bracelets now because my oldest wear bracelets all the time.
The great thing about the jewelry is that it is an easy task to help them with and it is pretty cost effective.
Bobbing/Swinging for Apples
This was a really fun event that the girls enjoyed but as our oldest has gotten older she has wanted to go bobbing for apples. She did this at a tween party she went to a couple of years ago and I promised her we would for our party as well.
So bobbing for apples, while they may seem cliche is still a popular activity for teens.
We make Fun Activity Cards
The girls love making different activity cards. I let them get into momma's planner stickers and use my ink pad as well. Being crafty is one of the whole family's favorite things to do. We turn on music, talk, and really have a great time.
Some other Great Ideas We Might Do This Year:
Create an Escape Room
Escape rooms are all the rage right now. My older daughter did this last year at Christmas time and had to get out of Santa's workshop.
This tutorial tells you how to create one for little to no cost. Each time they open something in the room, there is another clue to open something else. They have an hour and the author recommends you check on the players every fifteen minutes.
I like this idea so much that I am going to do this with my high school students on Monday.
Creating a Selfie Background for the Kids
How cute is this? Between this idea and the escape room, I am getting super excited about Halloween this year! I love watching teenagers get excited the same way that the younger kids do at Halloween, or any time of the year really.
Giving them a place to take cute pictures with their friends is something that both teens, tweens, and adults will appreciate.
She recommends using Command strips and I second her idea. I currently have a command strip holding my door decoration outside my classroom and after several months, it is still going strong.
If your tween or teen is not doing dressing up, having a color blast event outside would be a ton of fun. Where I live it will still be warm during mid-day so it is easier for us to do something like this with t-shirts and jeans on. Others will have to bundle up or find a covered indoor area.
Thankfully, many places are selling the powder for personal use now so they are easy to get a hold of. The prices range anywhere from twenty to two hundred dollars.
For the teenagers that just are not as into Halloween as they used to be, opt for a bonfire. They could still do a hay ride or something similar: have hot dogs, s'mores and yummy outdoor food. No planning is required, just hanging out!
I always felt like tweens, teens, and adults are just kids in older bodies. Two years ago I got proof of that when the electricity went out at work. At the time, I was a manager at a place with a playground. My employees, after cleaning for two hours, had nothing better to do, so they decided to go play in the playground.
For that reason, we need to remember that the season is special for kids of all ages and we need to do our part to make sure that everyone gets to feel the magic of the season.
These ideas are one way to do that!