In our home, we use these 5 Halloween traditions for young children to light up the faces of my 3 and 6 year old each year. They aren’t elaborate or expensive but in the eyes of a young child, they are all magical.
Growing up, despite most of those years being at or below the poverty level, my mom always put a special emphasis on each holiday and making it feel special to my 2 sisters and me. My mom was and is special like that…check out this post for just a little insight into my childhood.
Every year, I remember being caught up in the whimsy and magic of Valentine’s, Halloween, Christmas, Easter and on and on. There were decorations and special treats, costumes, and lights. All of it pulled out in anticipation of each upcoming holiday.
I wanted to create that same environment for my own two girls and actually started planning and buying supplies years before they were ever born!
I’m really excited to be sharing these 5 Halloween traditions we have in the Cole house as part of a 3-part series on Fall traditions. Be sure to check back for my posts on our Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions as well! And click on this link to read all about other Halloween traditions my friends have created for their families!
Now on to those simple Halloween traditions my kids look forward to each year! I didn’t include trick or treating because for us, that is a given!
First things first, we decorate the house! We have rubbermaid containers FULL of decorations for most every holiday you can celebrate. Halloween is no different. Sure,I have a few tasteful items but for the most part, my Halloween decorations are kid-friendly cheapos from the Dollar Tree!
Trust me when I tell you this – Kids LOVE decorations from the Dollar Tree AND You will LOVE that you saved money and it doesn’t matter if they get torn, dropped or broken!
Second, we make a family of pumpkins at our front door! I know that a pumpkin display indicates fall more than Halloween but for our family, we do it early in October so we can enjoy it all year. So for us, it equals Halloween!
Each year, we all pile into my husband’s truck and head to either a pumpkin patch or Lowe’s (honestly my kids don’t seem to care either way). We pick up a few bails of hay and a “family” of pumpkins.
You know, like the 3 Little Bears plus 1. We have a Daddy pumpkin, Mommy pumpkin, Sister pumpkin and Little Sister pumpkin. This is all based on size…how easy is that?! My girls love arranging the pumpkins on the front porch for all the neighbors to see.
Another added bonus is that the small pumpkins are the perfect fit for those adorable Mister and Miss Potato Head pumpkin inserts!
Bite the bullet and carve those pumpkins! Yes, I know… there are few activities messier than scooping out pumpkin seeds with a toddler and then trying to carve some recognizable design! But make the effort because this is a meaningful activity they will actually remember.
For one, it isn’t a quick activity so that means actual quality time spent with your child while scooping out mushy guts. And, it’s one of those things that will be a focal point of your home for at least a week or two…READ each time your child looks at that off-centered face with oblong eyes and a 4-sided crooked nose, they WILL REMEMBER the time you spent with them.
Make a special treat that signals Halloween is here! For our family (and especially me who loves all things sweet), my girls know that Halloween means rolling out homemade sugar cookie dough, cutting out all kinds of ghosts and pumpkins and decorating them to the nines! One day we spend just mixing up the dough and the next, we meticulously roll out small batches (I hope you laughed when I used the word meticulous when referencing a 3 and 6 year old!).
Out come the cookie cutters…totally worth it to get one of those huge sets that will cover all the basis! We have this Wilton one and love it!
Be prepared…the mess that cookie dough and flour, coupled with icing and sprinkles, can make is not for the faint of heart. But cleaning is a minor task that allows for a lot of fun with my girls! And since I follow these steps to keep my hardwoods clean anyway, I can usually clean any mess in the kitchen in under 5 minutes!
Buy a bag of small pumpkins and a pack of paint and let the kids go! You will be amazed at how LONG little kids can paint a pumpkin! I put my girls in old clothes and honestly let them do whatever! They often invite a friend to participate which makes it even more fun.
I usually give each child 2-3 pumpkins, a dozen colors to choose from, several paint brushes, a rinsing cup/bowl and of course, stickers and glitter. Will your kids paint themselves in the process? Probably. Will you get great pictures and create even greater memories? You bet!
So, as you can probably tell, we are pretty low maintenance when it comes to having fun Halloween traditions. But with little children, low maintenance is what it’s all about! Whatever you do in your family to make Halloween fun, your kids will love it as long as it’s fun for them and they feel it’s truly a family affair!
Next on my list is to all go trick-or-treating as a family…as in we ALL dress up. If I pull this one off this year, you will be the first to see the results!
I would love to hear all about the special traditions you do in your family to celebrate the Halloween festivities!
Be sure to check out these other great resources for more Halloween family traditions!