Halloween For Kids: Tips For A Simple, Healthy October

kids-fall-halloween-activities-raleigh-cary

Guest blogger: Heather Leah

Here it comes—the magical night of wacky costumes, mountains of sugar, and spooky stories that are all sure to make your kid go wild. Halloween is upon us.

But what if Halloween could be a little different? What if, instead of processed sugar, we celebrated with baked apples and spiced pumpkin seeds? What if, instead ofseeking ghosts and goblins, we practiced random acts of kindness? And rather than pounding on every door in the neighborhood, we got some fresh air in a vast corn maze the whole family could enjoy?

After all, Autumn was always about celebrating the bounty of the harvest and the simple farm life—not dropping fifty bucks on a costume and consuming pounds of sugar.

So here are your 5 tips for a simple, healthy, and amazing Halloween with your kids—right here in the Raleigh area.

1.     Go BOO!

A new fad has taken over our neighborhoods, and it’s just the right amount of “Trick” to be fun for kids, but still a fantastic random act of kindness. Basically, you and your child create “BOO Bags.” Just fill the bag with a little treat, attach your anonymous note, reading:

You’ve Been Boo-ed!6a00e54ee632ab88330133f543f4d9970b

The phantom ghost has come to town

To leave some goodies… I see you’ve found.

If you wish to make this a happier fall

Continue this greeting, this phantom call.

Now, here’s the fun part. Hang it on a neighbor’s door, ring the bell, then run away as fast as you can! It’s a thrilling random act of kindness, as mysterious as a ghost.

2.     Night At The Museum

There are some risks associated with door-to-door Trick-or-Treating, such as:

  • Razor blades in candy
  • Getting gross candy, like Reeses (sorry, Reeses, lovers!)
  • Overloading with sugar
  • Upsetting grumpy neighbors
  • The “one more house, please! Just one more!” whine after the fiftieth house.

Fortunately, our very own North Carolina Museum of History has the simple solution to all of this: Halloween Safe Night at the Museum. Kids get a cultural outing and sugar, as they walk along the Trick or Treat Trail. Friday, October 31, 6–9 p.m.

 3.     Pumpkin Carving

This is a time-honored classic, but what parents may not realize it just how beneficial it is for kids. Of course the parent should always control the knife; however, kids can practice art and fine motor skills drawing faces and helping “pop out” the pieces parents loosen. Also, it’s a tactile and science wonderland, touching the stringy goop, picking seeds loose, and learning about the insides of food and how it grows. It provides family bonding time and a proud piece of art to show off on your door step. Even better, it leads into number four on this list….

4.     Satchels of Spiced Seeds

Instead of passing out tons of candy this year, consider sweet-scented cinnamon pumpkin seed satchels or their salty counterparts. Bake them as a family, and make it your tradition. While you’re at it, bake a few cinnamon apples, roast some corn, and have a true harvest feast! Plus, these goodie bags make great treats to hand out to neighborhood kids or attach to your BOO Bags!

5.     Corn Mazes

North Carolina has plenty of room for corn mazes, and they’re a seasonal way to enjoy fresh air and nature with your family. In fact, there’s the fantastic Green Acres Corn Maze, which also has tractors, ponies, cows, and mounds of hay just waiting to be explored–right here in Cary!

cornmaze2014design1

A wide open maze, waiting for exploration! Photo Courtesy of greenacrescary.com and Preston Development Company.

Get away from the computer, video games, and Netflix. Explore a farm. It’s a great opportunity to teach your kids about healthyfood. Plus, it’s amazing exercise, which is so valuable for healthy minds and bodies—especially when all that Halloween candy is on sale.

See Also: Teens, Tweens, and Screens: The Risks Of Too Much Screen Time

So there you have it, folks! Healthy food, science and education, exercise, random acts of kindness, and spooky thrills! Have the best Halloween ever, kids!

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About Kristen Wynns

Dr. Wynns is a child and adolescent psychologist who owns a child/adolescent specialty private practice in Cary, NC called Wynns Family Psychology. She has a Ph.D. and Master’s in Clinical Psychology (from UNC-Greensboro). At Wynns Family Psychology, Dr. Wynns provides therapy for kids ages 3 and up, parent therapy, and social skills groups and camps. She also provides psychological and psychoeducational evaluations for ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities, and Gifted. Dr. Wynns specializes in high conflict divorce cases by offering co-parenting therapy, reunification therapy, therapy for children of divorce, and a full menu of custody evaluations. Dr. Wynns also founded a parenting website called NoWimpyParenting.com.TM “No Wimpy Parenting” services are available to help parents struggling with behavior or discipline problems at home. Dr. Wynns is frequently sought out as local expert on child psychology and parenting issues for radio shows, t.v. news, magazines like Carolina Parent, and t.v. shows like My Carolina Today and Daytime. Dr. Wynns likes to say she is “doubly qualified” to give parenting advice because she is not only a child psychologist, but has two young children of her own (ages 10 and 8). See WynnsFamilyPsychology.com or NoWimpyParenting.com for more information.
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2 Responses to Halloween For Kids: Tips For A Simple, Healthy October

  1. Allison B says:

    We went to Philips Family Farm this weekend and the kids begged us to stay just a little longer, even after 5 hours of fun. The corn maze is always a hit with my kids.

    Like

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