The scariest thing about this Halloween is the coronavirus, but with a few simple changes to your trick-or-treating routine, little ghouls and goblins can still celebrate the spooky spirit of the season.
The CDC has provided some alternative solutions to the door-to-door roaming that could spread contagion. Our team added some of our own favorite ideas. We’d love to hear how YOU are ensuring that COVID-19 doesn’t stop your pirates and princesses from having a happy Halloween.
Lower risk activities
We recommend lower risk activities that still engage the senses and mark the moment while optimizing health and wellness.
- Carve pumpkins with members of your household.
- Decorate your house, apartment, or living space. Go wild this year and add lights to your displays so they can be enjoyed by others on foot or in cars.
- Develop a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
- Have virtual Halloween costume contest.
- Enjoy a Halloween movie night with special treats like popcorn balls or candy apples.
- Create a “Mad Scientist” laboratory by lining up boxes on the kitchen counter and marking them with spooky labels: BRAINS (cold spaghetti) EYEBALLS (peeled grapes), etc. Hide sealed baggies of candy inside them so children must go through the creepy slime to get to the goodies.
- Have your family record “Ghost-a-Grams” on your computer. Cut eyeholes in old sheets to make the ghost costumes and conceal your identities, then tape positive, uplifting and humorous messages to send to friends, grandparents and others who may be quarantining and in need of a little silliness and a message of hope.
Moderate risk activities
- Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).
- Have a small group, outdoor, open-air costume party where people are masked and distanced more than 6 feet apart.
- Host a Pet Parade by letting neighbors know on Nextdoor, or a community social media forum, that a pet costume promenade will start at 6pm. Masked and social distanced neighbors can wave from afar and take photos of their favorite pooches dressed as hot dogs, unicorns and superheroes.
- Go to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart. If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
- Visit pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing.
Let’s get real for a minute: We know many parents are stressed, worried about tomorrow and can feel overwhelmed right now. We get it. If putting together a special Halloween night seems like too much and you want to talk to a counselor, reach out to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-422-4453), share what you’re going through, ask our counselors for a few self-soothing exercises and some ways to take care of YOU. Let us help you get a little energy and inspiration back.
Creating a special Halloween celebration for children during the difficult days of the pandemic helps them learn to work through challenges, enjoying the little joys of life, build resilience and understanding that however scary the world gets, they are always loved.