Our guide to having Halloween fun at home
There’s no doubt that Halloween is going to be a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. There are so many things you can do to get into the Halloween spirit and make it a fun, family-focused adventure for the kids.
We’ve put on our thinking caps and answered the key questions we know people have been asking as Halloween approaches.
What Halloween books can we read to get into the festive spirit?
We’re confirmed bookworms and think that books are always a great place to start when getting in the mood for a celebration. There are always so many options out there, which means it’s possible to curate a Halloween reading list that’s completely unique for you, your child or your family.
But where on earth do you start? As a children’s book club, there’s nothing we love more than making recommendations, so why not check out these ideas for Halloween books for kids between 5 and 12 years old?
Whether they’re new to chapter books and looking for a gentle introduction to Halloween via witches and black cats, or more advanced readers who would love getting a real scare, we hope you’ll find something that fits the bill.
Sharing books together, particularly as the evenings draw in and there’s a chill in the air, is also a great way of spending time together as a family. It’s lovely to be able to share a special time together each day, whether reading aloud or quietly absorbed in individual books. And there’s no need to save books for bedtime – why not read a chapter aloud at mealtimes?
What Halloween crafts can we do at home?
Halloween stories and illustrations will really get kids’ imaginations popping and will no doubt spark their own brilliant ideas for activities, costumes, games and décor.
That said, it’s always useful to have some of your own activity ideas ready to go for when the kids need a bit of inspiration or distraction. But where to start? It’s easy to get lost in endlessly scrolling Pinterest, so we’ve shared our 3 favourite, tried and tested craft activities for kids here.
If you’re looking for something that will keep the kids busy for a bit longer and includes facts, jokes, drawing, cooking and craft you may be interested to know that we create an activity pack to accompany every book that we send to our book club subscribers.
Vlad the World’s Worst Vampire by Anna Wilson was a hit with our subscribers and we have a few of the packs available to purchase here.
Similarly, The Monster Doctor by John Kelly is the first in a brand new series and we have past packs available here.
What quick, easy and non-messy Halloween activities can we do?
If you’ve got a dressing up box it can be great fun to see what spooky or silly costumes you can create and either pose for photographs or act out little stories.
Simple colouring and drawing activities can also be lots of fun and there are loads of choices of free printables available online.
If off-the-shelf activities are more your bag, we know of a number of small UK businesses who have created beautiful products to keep little ones entertained. Check them out here.
What can we do instead of trick or treating?
You could decorate your windows with the crafts you’ve created. Perhaps you could even team up with other local families to create a trail of decorated houses to walk past and admire on Halloween?
Or what about creating a Halloween treasure hunt at home? The simple option would be to hide sweets around the house and let the kids try to find them. An alternative would be to write creepy clues that guide the children around the house and garden to find their treasure!
Last year we also bought a basketful of books from local charity shops and displayed them on our doorstep for passing trick or treaters to choose. There will certainly be fewer families out and about this year, and people are understandably cautious about sharing sweets and other foods, but books could be a great alternative option.
Hosting a virtual Halloween party, perhaps including some of the books and crafts we’ve suggested, could be another great option. Perhaps you can also include Halloween-themed music and foods too?
What Halloween foods can we rustle up?
Creating a Halloween menu, whether just a snack or an entire meal, is a great way to get into the festive spirit. Why not add some moody lighting and listen to Halloween playlist to complete the experience?
We've raided our archives to find 7 simple, kid-friendly recipe ideas with a Halloween twist. From spooky snakes to a witches' cats, check them out here.