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!
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!
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.
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!