BOO! 7 safe Halloween activities to help you avoid the scare of COVID-19
Halloween traditions like trick-or-treating will look different this year to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But that doesn't mean families can't have fun while being safe from the virus.
The American Academy of Pediatrics
says that the most important thing to do is to avoiding large gatherings, keep a distance of six feet from others, wear cloth face coverings, and wash hands often.
Below are some safe Halloween activities to celebrate the holiday:
1. Virtual costume parties and parades:
Use video chats for an online party with friends and family and show off costumes and play games. Outdoor costume parades are another option, if it is possible for everyone to stay at least 6 feet apart and wear cloth face coverings.
2. Spooky movie night:
Celebrate with a movie night and dress as your favorite characters. Do this as a family at home or consider letting your child watch with their friends while video chatting, with everyone starting the movie at the same time. For tips on finding age-appropriate movies for your child, read more here.
3. Decorate pumpkins:
This is one Halloween tradition that's as safe and fun as ever. As always, just be careful to avoid pumpkin carving injuries. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting. When the carving is done, consider putting a battery-operated light rather than an open-flame candle inside. Roast the seeds from the pumpkin for a healthy snack!
4. Halloween-themed treats:
Make some spooky Halloween treats as a family. Decorate a pizza with toppings in the shape of a jack-o'-lantern, for example, or make tangerine pumpkins (peel the tangerine and stick a thin slice of celery on top to look like a stem). Make sure the treats are not choking hazards if you have children under age 3. Hostess launched the “Bring Hostess Halloween Home” campaign, designed to treat little ghouls and goblins seeking inspiration for the holiday. Click here to see the products, and what creations you can make
5. Family scavenger hunt:
A family scavenger hunt for treats in your home or yard can be a fun alternative to trick-or-treating. Children can also be given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
6. Outdoor community events:
Look for community events focused on safe ways to have fun. These may include programs offered by a park district, arboretum, zoo or other outdoor venues in your area. Stay away from crowds and clustering, and follow safe distance rules even when outdoors.
7. Learn about other cultures' celebrations:
A great way to get the children excited about Halloween, while still keeping things educational, is to learn about how other cultures celebrate similar holidays around this time of year, like Día de los Muertos in Mexico, Samhain in Ireland and Scotland, Dzień Zaduszny in Poland, Ghost Festival in East Asia, and many more.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also says that this is a good time to teach children the importance of protecting not just themselves but others, as well. Finding safe ways to celebrate can create magical memories.
Dr. Christina Johns, the senior medical advisor for PM Pediatrics, says that Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance for you and your children to get creative, and maybe even invent some new traditions for your family! It's also a great opportunity to model flexibility and a positive spirit. If you're excited and make it fun, your kids will enjoy it, too.