Are you also feeling like you just can’t catch a break in making any parenting/life decisions that don’t feel like they come with a series of contingencies and caveats? Same. Adding insult to injury in what seems to be a never-ending COVID disaster, traditional Halloween trick or treating may have already been canceled in your area.
Wasn’t it nice when the most difficult decision around Halloween was just how far to let your kids push their sugar limits without inevitably cleaning up puke in the middle of the night? Those were the days. Now as, we ease into the holiday season we’re tasked with the difficult decisions of how as families we are going to navigate family fun and celebrations in the era of COVID.
As a family that has a few high-risk people in our small circle, we are choosing to forego Halloween gatherings; but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the holiday as fun as possible for our kids at our very own home! Here is what we have planned!
COVID-Friendly Halloween Ideas
Halloween Themed Sensory Bins
At the beginning of quarantine, as a brand new mom of 3, we fully embraced the gift that is a sensory bin. These little boxes of wonder keep my kids entertained for longer than it takes me to make and drink my coffee, and sometimes even eat breakfast. This Etsy shop has several Halloween themed boxes ranging in price from $9.99 to $46.00 or you can make your own!
Jack-O-Lantern Pizzas for Dinner
One of the few things that I’m grateful for during lockdown is that we started making pizza at home every weekend. Honestly, now that we have the hang of it, I’m not sure we’ll ever go back to takeout pizza. By simply adding a few slices of pepper and some olives your kid’s pizza transforms into a themed dinner fit for any ghoul or goblin. This is the closest I get to a “Pinterest mom”, and that’s only because it involves pizza and takes 30 extra seconds. We make our own dough but you can easily do this with store-bought dough, bagels, or English muffins!
Makes 1 large adult pizza and 4 individual kid’s pizzas
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 packet)
5 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water (room temp)
2 tbsp olive oil
Measure warm water and yeast, let bubble. Combine flour and salt, mix with paddle attachment. Add room temperature water to flour and olive oil. Once mixed, change to bread hook. Remove from the mixer and divide into two balls. Set one ball aside. Divide the second ball up into 4 pieces. Set dough on a cutting board and cover with a clean slightly damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1.5-2 hours until they have about doubled in size. To bake, preheat oven to 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Stretch out dough into the desired size and add sauce and cheese. Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes until cheese has melted. Remove pizza from the oven and add peppers, olives, or whatever else you would like to use to make your jack-o-lantern. Return the pizza to the oven for about 4 minutes or until your desired doneness.
Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt
There are few things that are as exciting for small children as being outside after dark with a flashlight. In lieu of trick-or-treating, this year, we’re doing a backyard egg hunt with glow in the dark eggs and flashlights complete with costumes, candy, and other treats. Finding treats in the backyard has the added bonus of being close to home when our 2-year-old inevitably gets tired, someone has to use the potty, or the baby decides he’s done with the day.
In our house, pizza night means movie night! Winding down after backyard fun with a Halloween movie while the kids sort through their treats is the perfect ending to a fun-filled day. One of our favorites is Curious George: Halloween Boo Fest, but we also love Coco, Monster’s Inc, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
I think we can all agree that this is not the holiday season we all envisioned at the very beginning of 2020, but there are a lot of things we can do to make the very best of the cards we’ve been dealt! Whatever you have in store this year, I think we can all agree this will be a Halloween to remember!
What are some fun things your family has planned?