For years my husband has raced home from work early on Halloween night so that he, our two boys, and I could walk the tree-lined streets of our neighborhood trick-or-treating together. Over the last 15 Halloweens with kids, we’ve hauled costumed infants in baby carriers strapped to our bodies, pulled toddler tricksters in wagons in case they got tired, and watched our boys race from house to house as fast as their little legs could carry them. We never took these trick-or-treating marathons for granted, knowing that one day they’d be too old for it all and our candy-collecting chaperone duty would be over.
With a 16- and 11-year-old this Halloween, we’re just about rounding the final bend. My sixth grader has one or two more years tops before his costumed candy bingeing is up, and the 16-year-old hasn’t a chance this year unless some toddler rookie drops a few pieces by accident. What you’ll find if you still have small kids is that while your kids will grow up in size, they will still want to celebrate and take part like they did when they were little. So this month I’m offering up three simple ideas for the tweens and teens in your life who are through with trick-or-treating but still want to get their Halloween on.
1. Contact some of your child’s friends’ parents and plan a progressive party for your teen and their pals. A spooky dinner at one house, a scary movie at another, a deadly dessert soiree at the next. Chances are, the other parents of teens are in your same predicament and will welcome the creative solution.
2. Organize an Eversnap photo scavenger hunt. Have your teen gather a group of friends, split into equal teams, and send them on a neighborhood hunt for Halloween-inspired photos. “A costumed super hero”, “a mini 3 Musketeers bar”, “a dressed-up parent”, etc. Upload the free Eversnap photo app, choose a themed hashtag for the group, and have each team record their photos as they go. The app allows all participants using the same hashtag to instantly see the group’s photos and keep track of who’s in the lead.
3. Give them a video camera and some props and let them make their own short-form horror flick. Since they won’t have a ton of time to produce their short film, try writing character names, plot ideas, and scene starters on slips of paper and have each person pull two. This will set the stage. Then, set some ground rules for safety and let them free in the neighborhood around your house to create a five-minute, low-budget, scary movie. Have them quickly edit their masterpiece on the computer, pop some popcorn, and hold your own premiere of their creation once the trick-or-treaters have gone home for the night.