The leaves are wistfully flying by, a faint smell of campfires looms in the distance, and everyone is drinking a pumpkin spice something-or-another. And that’s when you know fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner.
It’s such a magical time in its own right without adding in the supernatural stories, magnificent costumes…
or the allure of sugar and candy.
We all know that there’s so much sugar during the Halloween season. But that doesn’t mean everything has to involve sugar. And it especially doesn’t have to involve candy for kids to love and enjoy the experience. There are so many fun things you can do as a family that don’t involve candy!
Family Halloween Traditions that encourage time together!
Spooky and Fun Movie Marathons
Throughout the month of October, why not have movie marathons? There are so many great Halloween movies that are suitable for kids of all ages. If your kids want to watch something “scary” pop in some classic Universal Monster films.
These are fun even for younger kids and can bring back great memories of when you watched the movies for the first time. You can also make snacks that match the the movies you’re watching.
Check out my witch fingernails halloween treat for your movie marathon… but yes, there is actually sugar in these.
Carve a pumpkin
Of course, it’s a timeless and classic activity in the fall. Nevertheless, it cannot be overlooked in the list. Pick out a new, extravagant, ambitious, or even just simple design to make a masterpiece together. No better way to bond that over goopy pumpkin insides and laughing about silly faces.
Go to a local orchard
No matter where you live, there is bound to a place where you can join with other kids and families to go on a hay ride or even just sip some cider. Maybe even pick up your carving pumpkins while you’re there?
Making Monster Pizzas
Instead of baking cookies or cupcakes, why not make pizza?
You can use a variety of vegetables to make pizzas that are actually healthy. This is actually a great thing to make for Halloween parties. You can use small pizza crusts and let each child make their own. All you have to do is cut the vegetables and let the kids get creative.
Crafts are another great option. And even if you’re not super creative or crafty, you can find so many great Halloween craft kits on Amazon, a dollar store, or at your local craft store. It all depends on how much you want to spend.
These kits allow kids to enjoy doing something Halloween-related without snacking on sugary foods. You can also use the supplies you have on hand and let the kids make their own Halloween decorations.
Fall Coloring & Learning Sheets
You can go online and find literally thousands of free coloring pages to print. Download several Halloween-themed pages and pop them into a binder to create a homemade coloring book. Your kids will love coloring these Halloween pages in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
Check out my free educational spider learning pack we’re doing during Halloween!
Play Games as a Family
Last, but not least, you can find so many awesome Halloween game ideas or just pull out your favorites and shift the rules a bit. (For instance, make Monopoly something like Halloween-opoly and make spooky, thrilling, and fun name for the spaces. Or turn Twister into say red leaves, orange pumpkins, scarecrow heads, etc. instead of colorful dots).
You can even create your own like Halloween-themed bingo boards or a card matching game. Just have fun with it. If you go to your local craft store, you can also find Halloween-themed puzzles.
Halloween doesn’t have to be all about the candy.
There are so many great activities that your kids will enjoy that don’t involve candy. Whether it’s baking pizza or playing games, your kids can have fun throughout the month of October without getting cavities or being on a constant sugar high.
Because this mom doesn’t have time for crazy, sugar-filled kiddos!
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!