Birthdays and holidays in our home are a big deal. And I feel like the word big is probably underselling it a little. My kids were born with a mother who strongly believes that celebrating anything should be done in grand, unforgettable ways. Their mother is also slightly obsessed with Halloween. Has been forever. I love the colors and crisp mornings. I love visiting farms and sipping cider. I can’t ever have enough pumpkins, gourds (of all kinds) or cornstalks. Luckily, I married someone who fully embraces this obsession and brings down the 783 bins from the attic full of decorations each fall (thank you love!).
I can’t even tell you where the idea from Halloweek came from. My own mom used to say the Happy Pumpkin (similar to Santa) visited and left little presents randomly on days leading up to Halloween. I remember my parents making it special for us kids more than one day each year. Most likely the idea of Halloweek was an excuse to officially extend my favorite holiday from one night into seven. We started it a year or two after Liam was born and it’s been a hit every year. Halloweek is all about being intentional with our family time. It’s about having fun together. Below are steps for you to try Halloweek with your family:
- Come up with a plan. I sit down with a notepad a few weeks before and draw out the week of Halloween. I think of things we already have going on in our schedule (i.e. swim lessons, preschool carnivals, etc.) and write those in first. I also make a note of really long days and make sure for that evening we do something simple. The days that are left blank, I either reach out to friends to see if they would like to meet up somewhere fun for a playdate (like NW Trek) or I hit up Pinterest for something fun to do at home.
Here are some of the search words I like to use: halloween craft ideas for kids, halloween science experiments for kids, halloween cooking for kids). I make sure every year that there is a least one night devoted to: Science, Cooking and Art. When I find something I like, I write it down for that day. Get others involved to help with the planning. One night might be devoted to spooky games but my husband may plan the games we actually do.
- Shop. Use your planned week to create a list of needs.Try to find items you have at home first. Do I always have 19 cans of corn starch in the cupboard? Yep. Great, science night is taken care of and I’m decluttering one (of many) full cabinets. Win, win. For the items you don’t have, get them and have them ready for that night.
- Display your Halloweek adventures. I love to make a countdown and hang it where each day a kid can pull off that day and we can read together what the activity is for that night. I will buy gift tags, write the day number on one side and the activity on the other. Then I hang them somewhere visible to everyone. You could do this on a chalkboard or bulletin board. Anywhere really. This gets everyone in the family excited about Halloweek but also serves a reminder of what each day’s plan is. Because extra reminders are always appreciated.
- Enjoy & have fun! This is the MOST IMPORTANT PIECE to Halloweek – keep it all simple!! I can’t stress that enough. It does not have to be insanely elaborate to make it fun. For example, I like to have one night of making fun Halloween inspired food. Because one, it gets the kids involved in the kitchen and two, they are more inclined to try new foods because its in the shape of a pumpkin. Another win, win. On a night of festive culinary fun, maybe we make a pizza that has olive spiders on it and call it good. Don’t feel you have to go overboard to make it a night of fun.
The idea of stretching out your favorite celebration is not limited to just Halloween either. With our very busy days, really the goal was to make sure we enjoyed more time together doing something that we loved, with the people that we love. Happy planning your family’s fun!