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Fun and safe Halloween activities to do from home

Halloween is fast approaching but this year, California health officials are advising against trick-or-treat due to the pandemic. But there are still a number of fun, festive activities your child can do safely from home.

Make a jack-o-lantern

Depending on your child’s age, it may be more appropriate to paint than carve a pumpkin. Either way, encourage your child to be creative with this activity. You can download and print stencils online for free through websites like There are safe carving tools available at Target, Michaels, and online that kids can use without the risk of injury. If you’re not carving the pumpkin, help your child use non-toxic paint to add a black cat, full moon, or witch hat to the pumpkin. When you’re all done, take your creations outside and show them off to neighbors on the porch.

Make a creative mask

Even if it’s not for trick-or-treating, decorating a mask can be a fun way for kids to get in the Halloween spirit. You will need a white paper plate, some string, and some non-toxic paint or markers. Depending on your child’s age, you may choose to cut holes in the plate for the eyes and mouth, as well as two small holes on the edges of the plate to thread the string through. The options for decorating the mask are unlimited! Try a Frankenstein face or design the mask like a jack-o-lantern.

Set up a scavenger hunt

Take some Halloween themed items like a plastic skeleton, pumpkin, and Dracula teeth and hide them around the yard. Like an egg hunt at Easter, your kids will be excited to search for and discover the things you’ve hidden. You can reward them for their discoveries with healthy snacks like a clementine you’ve designed to look like a jack-o-lantern or popcorn balls.

Dress up like the characters in your favorite Halloween movie

You don’t have to go trick-or-treating to create and wear a costume! Let your child pick out their favorite Halloween movie and make a costume like one of the characters. If your child’s favorite movie is Casper the Friendly Ghost, use an old white sheet to cut out holes for the nose and mouth. Maybe your child likes Hocus Pocus. Put together a witch costume, complete with a hat, that you can wear together during the movie. If the Nightmare before Christmas is your child’s movie of choice, use non-toxic face paint to draw the black eyes and stitched lips of the character “Jack.”

Bob for apples

This activity may be easier for children who are a bit older. Tie a string to the stem of an apple and tie to something above the ground or hold the string between your fingers high over your head. Instruct your child to put their hands behind their back and try to sink their teeth into the apple. You and others in your home can all take turns and have fun laughing at the silliness.

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