Trick-or-treating alternatives can be a part of your new Halloween tradition.
Halloween is at a time of year when you can never really tell whether it’s going to be sunny and warm or drizzling, gloomy, and just above freezing. Social distancing issues aside, it’s always good to have trick-or-treat alternatives planned as a part of your evening just in case the weather won’t cooperate.
Welcome to your trick-or-treating alternative guide. The bonus to these suggestions is that they’re tooth-friendly, which gets two thumbs up from any pediatric dentist. These trick-or-treat alternatives are also helpful for those kiddos who have dietary restrictions and food allergies.
Halloween memories can be made at home.
We’ve broken down our guide into age ranges so you know which activities are most appropriate for your child or children based on average developmental skills.
Trick-or-Treat Alternatives For Children Age Six Months to Five Years Old
With this activity, there’s no need for carving. Not a sharp object in sight! There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as watching what a six-month old baby will do with some finger paints. Be prepared for a bath immediately afterward!
Pro tip: For younger children, put them into their high chair. Put the tray into a trash bag, making holes for the latches where it fits onto the seat. You can even cover the back of the seat with a trash bag as well. If you’re a plastic-free household, tape paper bags to the tray to make cleanup super simple.
A paper plate with dollops of a variety of colors of non-toxic, acrylic paint should be all your little cutie needs to get to work. If you’d like to preserve their work of art for Halloweens to come, consider a craft pumpkin instead of a real one picked fresh from the supermarket or the pumpkin patch.
One more pro tip: If your child is still young enough to use a pacifier, this is a great time to offer it to them. It will decrease the amount of paint that ends up in their mouth.
2. A Mini Pumpkin Hunt
Hide mini pumpkins like eggs around your house or yard for a pumpkin hunt. Who doesn’t love looking for treasure?
3. Read a Book
There are so many great books to choose from. “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” by Linda Williams is a classic that is sure to keep your kids riveted. You can watch an animated reading even.
Trick-or-Treat Alternatives For Children Age Five to Eight Years Old
1. A Mini Pumpkin Hunt with Treasure Map
Like the earlier idea of a mini pumpkin hunt, this one ups the skill level required. Let your kids hide the pumpkins and task them with creating a treasure map! X marks the spot for each pumpkin. Will you find them all?
Pro tip: We suggest using something other than real pumpkins for this one. The last thing you want is to discover that final hidden, now-rotten pumpkin come February.
This activity is a great way to use up some more of that non-toxic acrylic paint you invested in. And the best part is you can end up with a beautiful piece of art even from the most un-artsy members of your family.
An egg and a spoon are the only things required to play this game. It can’t get much simpler! If you plan to do this activity inside, though, consider boiling the egg first.
If you or your child has an egg allergy, then those leftover plastic eggs from last Easter will work perfectly as a substitute.
For the advanced egg-racer, create an obstacle course with the things you have at home: couch cushions, toys, sheets, chairs, and the dining room table. Your racers will have a blast creating the obstacle course.
With some orange paper plates, black construction paper, and scissors, you can create your own game of memory. Have the kids help create pumpkin “twins” on the paper plates. You can even draw your pumpkins on the paper plates instead.
Trick-or-Treat Alternatives For Ages Nine and Up
Chances are your pre-teen or teen already has the ingredients for slime sitting around. Why not make a festive slime to commemorate the occasion? And, of course, you want to take the opportunity to make slime that includes pumpkin guts! As if slime weren’t slimy enough already…
The slime recipe in the activity linked to above will give you just what you need to create a jack-o-lantern with a runny nose, too.
2. Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Make up your own spooky scavenger hunt that will take you all over town or check out one of these printables for a stay-at-home adventure.
Trick-or-Treat Alternatives For All Ages
What do you get when you mix baking soda and vinegar inside a pumpkin? A pumpkin volcano, complete with any color “lava” you’d like using a drop or two of food coloring. It’s an age-old crowd pleaser!
Also known as “oobleck,” non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid that breaks all the rules of viscosity. It becomes a solid when sudden force is exerted on the fluid, and a thick liquid when it’s at rest. Pumpkin guts aren’t a requirement for this one, but they’re guaranteed to add to the fun. All you need is some cornstarch and water.
3. Host a Virtual Costume Parade
Let your kids show off their costumes and see what their friends are wearing, too, with a virtual Halloween costume parade.
4. Drop Off Halloween Cheer for Friends and Neighbors
Enlist the kids to put together a pumpkin full of Halloween goodies you can drop off at friends’, relatives’, and neighbors’ houses. This activity will still scratch that itch to get out in their costumes.
5. Plan a Family Game Night
Bring out the Uno, Sorry!, and Life! Watch the competitive streaks emerge!
6. Movie, Pizza, and Popcorn
Have the kids seen “Hocus Pocus” yet? If not, this could be their year! There’s always “Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” for the youngest members of the family, and “ParaNorman” for those in between.
You can always add s’mores to your night, too, just remember to brush before bed.
7. Organize a Halloween Drive-by Parade
Set a time for friends, family, or others in the neighborhood to drive by so the kids can show off their costumes in the yard. You can take turns for your friends and family with children and drive by their home at another set time.
You can even toss candy and other goodies like a real parade!
8. Great Snacks Make a Party Better
Food makes everything more fun, doesn’t it? Especially with kids involved. Check out these healthy, Halloween-themed snack ideas.
Being present with your kids makes for the best Halloween.
Living in the moment, and spending time together focused on having fun with one another will make for the best Halloween ever. This might be the strangest Halloween you and your family have seen, but you can make plenty of memories that will stick with them for years to come.
Give extra hugs this year, and make a little time for yourself to relax once the kids are in bed as well.
From our family to yours, happy Halloween!