Witch, dinosaur, clown, or princess – just one of the many decisions as families navigate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. Costumes, pumpkin decorating, and trick-or-treating are traditions almost every child looks forward to during Halloween. A holiday focused on community and neighborly get-togethers since the 1800s, Halloween doesn’t have to be a challenge in 2020. Although it’s recommended to avoid large gatherings and keep a distance of six feet from others, there are still plenty of ways families can have fun and stay safe this Halloween.
Selecting a costume not only brings a child’s imagination to life, it’s something they look forward to every year. The CDC states that costume masks should not be a substitute for a cloth mask, and they should not be worn over cloth masks as it can make breathing difficult. Don’t let a cloth face covering stand in the way. Think outside the box and incorporate the face covering as a part of the costume. Painted whiskers on a black face covering for a kitten or ferocious dinosaur teeth on a green face covering – unleash that creativity.
Selecting the costume is just half the fun. When it comes time to show it off, instead of the traditional costume party opt for a virtual party with family and friends or an outdoor costume parade with neighbors – staying at least 6 feet apart of course.
Carving, painting, drawing – all fun ways to turn a pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern. This safe and fun activity can be done at home away from large gatherings. If carving, children can draw a fun face with a marker and parents can do the cutting to avoid injuries. Painting and drawing are also a great alternative and give children the opportunity to let their imagination and creativity run wild! Don’t forget, all those pumpkin seeds make a healthy snack when roasted.
Going door-to-door in the neighborhood may be discouraged in some areas this year, but there are alternatives in keeping this tradition safe and fun. One alternative to consider is a spooky family scavenger hunt for Halloween treats in the house or yard. Consider hiding candy, glow sticks, stickers, and more. If trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, be sure to stay at least six feet away from others and avoid gathering at doorsteps with other trick-or-treaters.
Planning to hand-out treats in the neighborhood? The possibilities are endless to avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. Consider individually prepackaged goodies presented in an area where children can easily access them, such as a table by the curb where children can grab and go. Some families are creating chutes out of old shipping tubes, while others are creating flying ghosts on a zip line. Regardless of the method, it’s best to preserve distance and keep those hands clean.
As Halloween night ends and the thought of dumping all the candy out and digging in comes to mind, take precautions to keep little ones safe. A good rule of thumb after collecting treats in the neighborhood is to wipe down the packages or let them sit for a couple days before handing them over to the children or sneaking one for yourself!
Costumes, Pumpkins, and Treats - Oh My!
Don’t be frightened by Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a time for creativity and the chance to form new, exciting traditions. Create a fun cloth mask that’s part of a costume, utilize all the art supplies to create a spooky jack-o’-lantern, or build a flying ghost that delivers candy to the neighborhood children. Whatever you decide to do this year for Halloween, celebrate safely and enjoy creating magical memories.
More importantly, be sure to follow state and local guidelines, as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
Article by Kristine Campo