Family-Friendly Halloween Fun With Young Teens
No plans for Halloween yet? Does your middle or high schooler have nothing more than the school costume day (and maybe trick or treating) to look forward to? Don’t despair – with these last minute tips you can still cook up something in your witch’s cauldron for family-friendly Halloween fun with young teens!
What do they like best about Halloween?
Middle schoolers are fascinated by the feeling of freedom surrounding Halloween. Being able to roam around at night with your friends, wearing whatever you want, indulging in fantasy and mystery, meeting your strange neighbors, and getting free candy while you’re at it – all of these things create fun and lasting memories.
As high school students get older, it’s less appropriate for them to go around the neighborhood asking for candy. (“Aren’t you too old to trick-or-treat?” is what they get.) They can leave that fun to younger siblings or enjoy get-togethers with friends. The drama and excitement of dressing up in costume is the high light of Halloween for teenagers. (It can also lead to woeful laments of ‘I have nothing to wear!’, that when you hold on to your patience and pull out some creativity.) I think there are many ways to make Halloween age-appropriate and enjoyable for everyone.
Middle schoolers and young high schoolers alike are quick to assume parents don’t care about Halloween; but we’re not fun-suckers, some of us want to be blood-suckers too! Halloween is an opportunity to get into your kid’s world and show them that you care about the things they like. While attending to the usual needs for health and safety, plan your haunted around what will be interesting to them.
Here are some fun-tastic Halloween ideas that are great for kids of all ages and your inner child, too.
Go to the Movies
There are plenty of horror movies being screened on Halloween this weekend! Personally, I love staying in and having Halloween movie marathons. There’s just something about being in the dark with a bunch of your loved ones and getting paranoid about everything in the house!
Go on a Haunted House Tour
This is a must-do family activity if you want to fully experience the Halloween season–whether it’s one of those interactive super scary haunted house productions, a staged haunted house, open haunted houses, or one of those local places that are simply believed to be haunted. There are plenty of reviews online to figure out what’s age-appropriate, and most importantly–most spoOoOooky!
Build Your Own Haunted House
If you’re feeling creative, become the horror story itself! You can set up a haunted house in your shed, front yard, front porch, garage, or invite the whole neighborhood inside and set up multiple rooms. There are plenty of great ideas online, but you can also just throw up a bunch of random Halloween decorations, turn out the lights, and scream “BOO!” a lot too.
The less time-consuming alternative? Decorate your house! Inside or out, it’s an easy way to get into the Halloween spirit and a fun activity for all ages. It also encourages creativity and makes your house a lot more boo-tiful!
Bake Something Spooky
Gingerbread houses aren’t just for Christmas! A little creative decor makes them haunted for Halloween. And of course, there are the pumpkin/skull/ghost cookies that are fun to bake and eat too. Yes, this involves more sweets, but I think it’s a better alternative to I-scream!
Speaking of sweets, this is not the time to get too preachy. They must have heard a million times (from you, their school, the media) about the bad effects of too much sugar, so you don’t have to replay the lecture. Apart from reminding them gently that the candy will last longer if they have only a few pieces a day, just let them be. They’re old enough to deal with the consequences of feeling queasy if they launch into a candy-binge.
As the skeletons like to say, bone appetit!
Throw your own party!
Your teens have nowhere else to go? Throw an impromptu party at home! Let your kids invite a couple of friends (their parents will thank you!), and have them join you in any or all of the activities listed above. Add a little dancing (‘Thriller’ is a perennial Halloween favorite), some ‘real’ food (not just candy) and you are down for a great Halloween! (Special bonus: knowing your kids are celebrating safely at home.)
Halloween is all about having some carefree fun, so if you are tempted to get too serious about it, just throw out one of these puns!
# Why does a cemetery have to keep a fence around it? Because people are dying to get in!
# What’s a vampire’s favorite fruit? A necktarine.
# Why wasn’t there any food left after the monster party? Cos everyone was a gobblin’.
You’re guaranteed to hear moans and groans, perfect to get into the Halloween ‘spirit’!
Share your ideas for Halloween fun with us – we’d love to hear them!
(This post was written by Anna Colibri. When Anna’s not working on digital marketing projects, she spends her time parenting two boys in beautiful San Francisco, California.)