10 tips for a spooktacularly fun and safe Halloween during COVID-19
It’s safe to say that Halloween ranks among kids’ favorite holidays. With COVID-19 in mind, it may look a bit different this year – but it can still be spooktacularly fun for the whole family.
“Halloween activities, like parties and traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, can be high risk in terms of exposure to and spreading of coronavirus,” says Dr. Emily Godbout, epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist. “As fun as these things are, we really recommend coming up with some alternative, lower risk ways to celebrate this year that don’t involve close contact or large groups.”
Jessica Lynn, MS, OTR/L, occupational therapist, is used to coming up with fun and creative ways to get things done, and offers a few low-risk ideas for celebrating during the pandemic:
Hunt for Halloween goodies
Set up a hunt inside or outside your home where just your family, or those in your close COVID quarantine pod, can search for candy and other small treats.
Dress up for a virtual costume party
Show off costumes and play games with family and friends virtually. Another bonus of this option is that it can be done no matter what the weather! Drop off goodie bags or candy in advance.
“Boo” your friends and neighbors
Leave a bucket or bag of individually-wrapped treats or other Halloween goodies on their doorstep. Try not to get caught! The fun of booing is to leave them guessing who surprised them with the special delivery. Then, they can pass on the fun and boo someone else.
Make healthy treats
Spend time together making healthy and fun Halloween treats, like fruit kabobs with marshmallow ghosts mixed in, tangerine pumpkins, banana ghosts or cheese and veggie witches’ brooms. You can celebrate the holiday while working on fine motor skills and encouraging healthy habits too! Look for more festive Halloween recipes from Super Healthy Kids.
Have fun making scary or silly faces on pumpkins with paint – or have kids draw designs for adults to carve out. Younger kids may enjoy getting creative with stickers or other craft supplies!
Decorate your home
Cobwebs, spiders and ghosts, oh my! There is no shortage of Halloween decorating options – and kids can have a blast making their own decorations. The best ideas for kids site offers 50+ craft ideas, or have them come up with their own creations. They can work on cutting, gluing and other skills while letting their imagination run wild.
Create a haunted house scavenger hunt
Decorate each room in your home with a different theme and send kids on a scavenger hunt. Try incorporating QR codes (easy and free to make!) to make it more interesting for older children. Check out this printable scavenger hunt list by Mom Hacks 101.
Organize reverse trick-or-treating in your neighborhood by having people walk or drive by homes and toss candy to kids waiting in their front yards. This limits physical interactions while allowing kids to participate in one of the most cherished Halloween traditions.
Have a family movie night
Find a spooky or fun age-appropriate Halloween movie and watch it together as a family. It can be especially nice to settle in and relax in front of a movie after a fun-filled day of the activities above!
Set up a teleparty
Did you know there’s a new way to watch TV and movies with your friends online? Download Teleparty for free. This extension will synchronize video playback and adds group chat to streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and HBO.
Tips for participating in Halloween events
If you choose to participate in Halloween events in your neighborhood or community, look for ones that are outdoors and allow for social distancing. Bring hand sanitizer and wear masks for safety.
Keep in mind that costume masks typically don’t provide the same protection as the cloth face coverings that are recommended to limit the spread of coronavirus. Make sure your mask includes multiple layers, covers the nose and mouth, and allows for safe breathing. It’s also a good idea to wipe candy down or let it sit for a few days before opening.
Of course, all of the usual Halloween safety precautions still apply! These include:
- Enhancing visibility with bright costumes, reflective tape, glow sticks and/or flashlights
- Reminding kids to cross the street at corners or crosswalks
- Doing test runs before the big night to review rules and address any tripping or other hazards
- Providing supervision at all times for children under the age of 12 and others who may still need guidance
The very nature of Halloween calls for creativity. This year may require some extra ingenuity and flexibility, but there are still plenty of ways to ensure great fun and good laughs. It’s an excellent opportunity to remind kids that we’re continuing to make adjustments in all areas of life to keep them and others safe and healthy as well.