I don’t know about you, but fall is my favorite time of year. The weather, the pumpkins, the cider and football, and especially HALLOWEEN! I just can’t get enough of it. It seems like every year September is a blur with birthdays, back to school, and activities galore and before you know it October is here. This year I am going to make a pointed effort to take time each day to connect with my family and enjoy some of my favorite Halloween activities. If you are like me and aren’t always creative on the fly, here is a day-by-day list of activities to make sure you don’t miss a thing!
Tuesday, October 1: What better time to put up decorations around your house. In addition to my regular Halloween decorations, my kids love putting up Halloween themed cutouts. I can usually find them in the Target dollar section or one of the dollar stores. They are a great way to let your kids get involved. Helpful hint: use painter’s tape to avoid damaging the walls.
Wednesday, October 2: Break out the aprons and your trusty crock-pot for some delicious steel-cut oats. Let your kids add their favorite ingredients and wake up on Wednesday to a house full of wonderful smells and a tasty warm breakfast. See this link for a general guide.
Thursday, October 3: Connect with nature and take a walk through your neighborhood to collect leaves and talk about the changing weather. Make sure to collect a big pile of bright leaves to keep for tomorrow’s activity!
Friday, October 4: Craft day. Use the leaves that you have collected, or if you prefer to have your kids trace their hands onto construction paper and cut them out, and paste them to a piece of construction paper cut into a circle to make a wreath. Pinterest has several examples.
Saturday, October 5: Movie night. What is more seasonally appropriate and classic than You Got a Rock Charlie Brown and It’s a Great Pumpkin. Make some popcorn and get cozy for two movies that will make you feel like a kid again.
Sunday, October 6: Time to really get your Halloween juices flowing by telling scary stories under a sheet with a flashlight. With the sun setting earlier, and the kids having to come in the house this is sure to keep things interesting as you take turns telling your spookiest tales.
Monday, October 7: Story time. One of my kid’s favorites is Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson. One of the great things about this book (other than the beautiful illustrations) is that there is also a great kids App, as well as a movie.
Tuesday, October 8: Time to get out of the house and visit a local Cider Mill! Check out our other great fall guides for a list of favorites.
Wednesday, October 9: Time to get into the kitchen again with the kids for some of their favorites with mummy hot dogs and caramel apples.
Thursday, October 10: Another great way to get the kids outside and teach them at the same time is a fall scavenger hunt. You can have them collect acorns, pine cones, and brightly colored leaves as well as look for caterpillars and discuss how the birds fly south, and other animals prepare to hibernate.
Friday, October 11: Zoo Boo…need I say more? If you haven’t been there before it’s a great opportunity to take your costumes for a test run and get tons of great treats. Make sure you get your tickets in advance. Can’t make it this weekend, you have two more to choose from.
Saturday, October 12: Time to snuggle up and read Spooky Pookie, by Sandra Boynton.
Sunday, October 13: Time for the family to relax for a movie night with Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2. Both movies are kid-appropriate with humor that even the parents get a kick out of.
Monday, October 14: Visit your local library for story time and to check out some of your other favorite Halloween books.
Tuesday, October 15: Hop in the car for a trip to Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad for a kid-friendly walk through the fully decorated village followed by a spooky train ride. The train is always a kid-pleaser.
Wednesday, October 16: As the weather cools off, what sounds more appealing than some delicious chili? But with kids, sports, and chores galore it can be tough to find the time. Here is a simple and amazing twist on the fall staple that the whole family will love.
Thursday, October 17: With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is a great time to encourage your kids to be charitable to others. Encourage them to help you rake the leaves of an elderly neighbor, or make cookies to take to someone who doesn’t get many visitors. We have to lead by example.
Friday, October 18: Time for crafting again with some cotton ball or Kleenex ghosts. You can make some to hang around the house or perhaps decorate your porch and yard.
Saturday, October 19: Family reading time with The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything, by Linda Williams. A great follow-up conversation with the kids is asking them how they would have solved her problem if they were in her shoes.
Sunday, October 20: Something I tend to do with my kids every evening is to put on kid songs and let them “dance” out their remaining energy. If you go to Youtube and search for “Halloween kid songs” a great variety of 30-60 minute videos come up, and my kids love doing the skeleton dance along with the video. Here’s one to check out – Ten Little Monsters|Halloween Songs for Children
Monday, October 21: One of my all-time favorite Halloween movies was Hocus Pocus, but while my oldest shares my love, my toddler prefers Casper, so I’ll leave it to you to decide which you prefer.
Tuesday, October 22: One of MY favorite crafts/science experiments is making slime. While it does require you get a couple things ahead of time, it is easy for kids of all ages, and not nearly as messy as it seems.
Wednesday, October 23: Let the kids into the kitchen to help make rice crispy treats. This classic treat can be dyed orange and once they harden you can let the kids use cookie cutters to shape them like your favorite Halloween characters. You can find the recipe on the back of the box of Rice Crispies.
Thursday, October 24: Time to get outside and give your yard the spooky treatment with ghosts, monsters, and graves. Add some orange lights or black light to add to the spooky effect. Let the kids go wild with their creativity and make ghosts to hang from the trees with white trash bags, and graves out of cardboard and paint sticks or yard stakes.
Friday, October 25: Today’s craft is making spider webs with yarn and craft sticks. This is one of those crafts that tends to stick around my house until Christmas and is extra great because it’s mainly stuff you can find around the house (or a quick trip to the dollar store).
Saturday, October 26: Plan a trip to Terror on Tilson in Romeo to see a neighborhood transformed into family-friendly spooktacular fun. Check out our guide to Terror on Tilson before visiting.
Monday, October 27: Get out the face paints and let the kids take turns practicing their art skills by letting them paint scary creatures on one another. I don’t know what it is about face painting, but kids can’t seem to get enough of it. Don’t stress about the mess. Let them do it before bath time and you won’t have to worry about cleaning them up.
Tuesday, October 28: Time to wrap up your Halloween cinema experience with one or both of these classics- A Nightmare Before Christmas and Bed Knob’s and Broomsticks.
Wednesday, October 29: Tonight gather-round and read a Halloween version of one of your regular favorites. Pete the Cat, Little Blue Truck, Curious George and Click, Clack Moo all have Halloween adventures that you can read. If your kids love any of these, I highly recommend the Halloween versions.
Thursday, October 30: No Halloween season is complete without pumpkin carving and the roasting of the pumpkin seeds. You can find the kits at just about any grocery store, but no fancy tools are needed to make a great jack-o-lantern.
Friday, October 31: Time for the MAIN EVENT! Enjoy trick-or-treating and have a safe and happy Halloween!
With the Halloween season quickly drawing to a close, make sure to check our other guides for local trunk-or-treats, haunted houses, or hayride activities in your area.