10 Ideas for a socially distanced Halloween celebration for kids and teens
Halloween is one of those celebrations that some ignore, and some adore. We usually fall (geddit) somewhere in the middle. The kids used to enjoy some trick or treating by mutual consent with the neighbours, and we’ve hosted a few good spooky parties over the years.
But that was in those other, pre-covid, days, when people with masks were scarier than people without masks, and the thought of putting your hand into a bucket full of sweets someone else had touched wasn’t the most terrifying part of the evening.
I don’t know about you, but we’ve seen an increase in neighbourhood friendliness since March. Maybe it’s a seaside town thing, or maybe it’s recognising that with the prospect of rolling lockdowns ahead, a smile and a wave or a socially distanced coffee across to gardens might be the best chance we have to socialise for weeks at a time.
So, how can we honour that community spirit and give the kids a chance to blow off some steam, whilst also keeping safe this October 31st?
Well, you’re in luck. We’ve come up with 10 ways that you can have a spooktacular time without risking covid exposure. Sit back with a pumpkin spiced oat milk latte, have a read, and if you have more ideas to add then join us in the lockdown birthday club Facebook group, where we share ideas to make celebrations a little bit more fabulous despite the pandemic https://www.facebook.com/groups/151997882759070
1.) Zoom worthy tricks
Have you had a go at Berty Botts every flavour beans? The good news is, it’s just as hilarious to watch someone eat a bogey flavoured bean on camera as it is in real life! If you don’t fancy those, try making up a batch of chilli popcorn and dropping a few into your regular salt or sugar batch. Make sure of course that everyone knows it’s there - allergies are no fun even on Halloween.
Why not leave your zoom tricksters with a sweet treat - a game of “chubby bunnies” with chunky marshmallows is always a hit, on camera or IRL!
2.) Netflix and chills
Back in our lockdown birthday blog post we wrote about the Netflix party app, which lets you stream simultaneously with a friend and pause at the same time, and we think this is the perfect feature for a scary movie night!
To increase the feeling of togetherness, why not parcel up a snack pack and deliver to a friend’s house in advance, so you can enjoy the same tasty treats.
This article explains how to use the Netflix party app https://www.makeitmine.com.au/blog/whats-a-netflix-party-and-how-do-i-have-one/
3.) Go "ghosting"
Ghosting is a fairly new tradition from the US. Instead of sending your kids out asking for sweets from neighbours, get them to create a little treat bag to leave anonymously on the doorstep of a neighbour, with a little note inside to pass it on and “ghost” someone else.
This random act of kindness can be fun to put together, and can include little personal touches - a treat for a pet for example, or a little painted pebble.
If you’d like to do this for family and friends, you could include one of our adorable “Hey pumpkin” soy wax candles or plant pots with pumpkin seeds, a cheerful little sugar free treat. Find them here https://soclose.co.uk/search?q=pumpkin
4.) Play digital dress up
You probably know about snap chat and their playful filters, but did you know that there’s a desktop app called snap camera which lets you use those same filters to play dress up on zoom? This article from Elite Daily explains how to use it https://www.elitedaily.com/p/heres-how-to-use-snapchat-lenses-on-zoom-for-the-most-fun-video-chats-22661373
Whether you choose a sweet or spooky filter, it’s a no-fuss way to dress up for your online “guests”
5.) Take the celebrations outside
At the time of writing, you can still gather in a group of up to 6 outdoors. Bring a little bit of early bonfire night fun to your Halloween celebrations with an outdoor fire, some pumpkin soup and glowsticks or sparklers.
To stretch the fun out over the day, get kids making spooky jam jar lanterns for tealights or glow sticks to go in.
Socially distanced outdoor games for Halloween could include hunting for glowsticks, scavenger hunts, and mixing “potions” from leaves and mud.
Remember that Halloween costumes are often flammable, so you might want to skip them for this bit.
6.) Halloween car bingo!
Plenty of people will be decorating their homes this Halloween. To create a Halloween bingo game, take a drive around your area and make a list of spooky stuff you spot, add it to a grid and then on Halloween take the kids for a drive and see who can get a bingo! If your kids aren’t ready for reading, you can find a free printable picture version here https://brooklynactivemama.com/halloween-bingo
7.) Phone photo scavenger hunt
If your teen can’t get together with friends, create a socially distanced scavenger hunt where players text pictures of the things they find. This works even if they are playing in different towns!
To make the hunt a success, try these tips:
Make it a timed event so players are all playing at once. They could even be on a group call watching each other race to find things - just like an episode of “challenge Anika”!
To make sure players are using current photos and not old ones from their photo library, get them to include a selfie along with the thing they are photographing.
Include some silly Halloween challenges, like “A photo of yourself wearing lipstick like the joker”
If the kids are playing in the same area, try and restrict the hunt to things they can find in their homes or gardens so they don’t turn up outside the same KFC or town fountain! You can include other members of the household by adding things like “A photo of you making tea for the oldest member of your household”.
Why not up the stakes by adding a digital prize, like a voucher for the app store or for takeout.
8.) Pumpkin picture fun
This year, some households are putting up pictures of pumpkins just like so many of us did with rainbows during lockdown. The idea is that you buy sweets for your own child, walk them around the neighbourhood, and put a sweet from your stash into their bucket every time they spot a picture of a pumpkin.
9.) Digital escape
Escape rooms are great for older kids and adults. There are plenty of zoom based escape rooms available at the moment, with themes ranging from Harry Potter to prison break. Some even include live actors! You can find a roundup of the best escape rooms here https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/gadgets-tech/virtual-escape-room-free-online-uk-zoom-harry-potter-a9515911.html
10.) More than just a face mask.
Okay, we might all be fed up with them for everyday wear, but this is your chance to make your mask a source of fun.
If you’d rather keep it simple, disposable masks can be easily decorated with felt tips (not sharpie - you don’t want to be breathing in solvents). Add wizardy beards, vampire fangs, cat faces, pumpkin smiles or zombie teeth.
If you’re up for a more challenging craft, there are some great Halloween print fabrics out there for stitching up something fab, or create something with applique - Bernina have created this fun tutorial for applique animal masks https://blog.bernina.com/en/2020/05/sewing-self-made-face-masks-for-children-with-funny-appliques/
For the easiest option of all, grab a pre-made mask from an independent seller. We like these fun Sanderson sister masks from peachy Sunday ttps://www.peachysunday.com/collections/hocus-pocus-sanderson-sisters-face-masks
Don’t forget to add a mask to your pumpkin too!
Whatever you choose to do for Halloween 2020, we hope you have fun and stay safe,
Claire and the So Close team