Halloween alternative trick-or-treat activities for Catholic Christian kids: educational games, crafts, recipes, give-backs, party ideas

Halloween is a top-grossing holiday and consumer spending will hit record highs in 2014 predicts U.S News and World Report. Young and old alike eagerly anticipate trick-or-treat, spending an average of $80 per person on costumes, spook house venues, decorations and candy. Not everyone looks forward to Halloween, however. Some children are terrified by scary costumes. Parents don't want them to miss out on the fun, just avoid the creepier aspects. Is it possible to celebrate a haunt-less Halloween? Absolutely! Here are alternative trick-or-treat activities.
·         Truck-or-Treat/Trunk-or-Treat. Organize a group of friends to pass out candy from the trunks of their cars or truck beds. Choose a non-spooky theme, like Disney movies, and host a costume contest. Families can even decorate vehicles in keeping with theme.
·         Educational costumes. There's a whole world of non-scary costume ideas to choose from. Children can dress up as characters in books, children shows or nursery rhymes. They might dress as famous people, favorite animals or in occupational attire. Encourage kids to create costumes from recycled materials. This saves money too.
·         Safe houses. Ask around your neighborhood to find out who plans to decorate with a haunted theme. Map out a trick-or-treat route that bypasses those homes.
·         Candy hunt. Maybe you live far from town or in a rural area? That makes trick-or-treat challenging enough as it is. So skip door-to-door. Instead, hide candy in the yard and let children hunt for it. Let children dress in costume. If you have a large piece of property, this could be a great adventure!
·         LARP candy quest. Turn your backyard or house into a non-scary, live-action role play Halloween video game. Decide on a theme. Children invent a character and create costumes. Parents or older siblings might draw a treasure map, set tasks children must complete or write riddles to help little ones find candy.
·         Life-size Candyland. Create a living Candyland board game in the backyard. Invite neighbors to participate. Adults dress as characters and create stations based on the game. Here's a life-sized Candyland Pinterest board with loads of costume and prop tutorials.
·         Harvest gala Forego the Halloween theme altogether and focus on fall. Set up autumn crafts and game stations in your barn, backyard or garage. Make a hay maze. Hide candy in leaf piles. Carve or paint pumpkins. Bob for apples. Make popcorn balls. Serve cider and donuts.
·         Nursing home trick-or-treating. Here's a win-win idea: children get to trick-or-treat in safe, controlled environments and lonely elderly folks get to enjoy Halloween with the kids. Check senior homes in your area for trick-or-treat opportunities.
·         Pay it forward. Teach children that Hallween can be about giving as well as getting. Turn one of above-listed ideas into a fundraising event. Sell tickets and donate the proceeds. In lieu of a fee, collect canned goods for a food pantry. Gather animal care supplies for your local Humane Society.

Be sure to film the frolics share video copies with family far away. Halloween doesn't have to be scary to be fun. It just takes is a little ingenuity and resourcefulness for everyone to have a good time.

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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