Halloween Ideas: Boo! Imaginative Play a Shoestring
I am happy to share this guest post from Emily Patterson of Primrose Schools: Primrose Schools: preschools that stimulate learning and play . I am a huge fan of any place that offers a loving a nurturing spot for our children. Be sure to follow Emily on Twitter @epatt1062
Today’s theme? Activities that incorporate hands-on experiences and imaginative play opportunities.
- Pick a pumpkin at a patch (not the grocery store!) . Going to the pumpkin patch can be an annual ritual for just about any young child. Make sure to bring your camera to get adorable photographs of your child finding just the right pumpkin. Often kids will wander from pumpkin to pumpkin before they find just the right one. If you bring several playmates of your child, it can be especially fun to watch the kids interact as they compare pumpkins and laugh with delight when they are on their way home. Once you are home and it is close to Halloween, you can extend the fun by helping your child decorate their pumpkin. You can either have a traditional carving party, or you can pick up special pumpkin carving tools at your local discount store. Another idea for pumpkin decoration is using markers or paints to decorate funny faces. For younger children, this might be a safer option.
- Go on a fall harvest wagon ride. In many places, fall harvest wagon rides are closely located near the pumpkin patch. Mild mannered horses or tractors are harnessed to a hay wagon and children are lead around a track to look at fall foliage and simply enjoy the ride outside. Often, hosts will ride along and tell stories to the children and parents can also ride with their kids.
- Share ghost stories. The Halloween season is a great time for ghost stories. Even smaller children will enjoy being mildly scared at simple stories about ghosts and goblins, especially if the story is told in a fun and laughter-filled way. For older children, going on a camp out or even setting up a bonfire or tent in the backyard can be a fun atmosphere for ghost stories.
- Host a face painting party. Kids love to dress up for the entire Halloween season and one of the things that you can do with them is host a face painting party. Face paints do not cost a great deal of money and the kids can even paint each other’s faces. Make sure to have your camera out to capture memories of the funny faces they come up with and the laugher the day will bring.
- Go on a treasure hunt. Kids love adventures and you can make up your own treasure hunt using items you already have around your house. Make up a map and clues for each treasure and let the kids explore your yard or neighborhood finding treasure hunt items. This can be even more fun if you get several families from the neighborhood to play along and expand the hunt area.
Activities that encourage kids to think for themselves and come up with creative and imaginative actions help them become independent and creative thinkers in their adult years. Play is often the fertile ground for new ideas and the development of social skills.
Final Tip: When suggesting activities for your children, make sure that you keep them age appropriate and provide enough supervision to keep them safe. Frequently, children will complain they are bored because they are not being stimulated enough or what they have been doing does not challenge them enough. Each child has their own unique interests, abilities and skills. When choosing fall and autumn activities for your child, keep in mind that you should be cognizant of his or her developmental abilities and interests.