This post is sponsored by our friends at Socialstars and Minute Maid as part of the #doingood #minutemaid campaign. All opinions are my own.
A few years ago, during the week of Halloween, I missed attending one of my kid’s costume parades at school. It felt like a huge parenting fail. I had planned to go that afternoon, but as the day went on, I became sidetracked and completely forgot about it. When my daughter came off the bus that day, she was understandably disappointed that I was not in the audience. I tried not to dwell on it, but the truth is I felt terrible. It is rare that I would forget to attend an event like that, and if I do, it is because I have been trying to do too many things at once. Like many busy parents, I was putting too much pressure on myself to get Halloween “right” — putting together a creative costume, sending in the perfect Halloween-themed treats for the class party, decorating the house, planning trips to the pumpkin patch, all while juggling my work and business.
There is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a good one.
Have you heard this quote before? It rang true for me. Halloween does not need to be elaborate and fancy to be fun. There are so many simple and easy ways to enjoy this time of year with the kids, to bring happiness to your community, and to spend quality time with friends. What’s truly important is to find simple ways to connect with others. If you care and worry, then you’re #doingood.
Here are some of our favorite low-stress ways to bring kindness to others while celebrating Halloween:
1. Pumpkin Painting
If you have paints and brushes on-hand, hosting an impromptu pumpkin painting can be festive and fun for kids of all ages. If it is held outdoors, the clean up process is much easier. Invite a couple of friends to bring their own pumpkin, and maybe a treat to share, but keep it simple.
2. Spooktacular S’mores Treats
No time to bake? No problem! These treats are a fun way to dress up s’mores for Halloween, and they are super quick and easy to put together. My kids and I love to package up the ingredients — ghost marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate — as s’mores kits to give to friends and neighbors as a festive surprise!
3. Autumn Painting… en plein air
For kids who enjoy doing art, try taking a few painting or drawing supplies along with you the next time you visit your favorite park. Take advantage of the changing season to be inspired by nature while spending some quality time together outdoors. Painting outdoors has been one of my kids favorite and most memorable activities!
4. Fall Treasure Hunt Nature Walk
Treat the kids to a fall treasure hunt by going on a nature walk to search for items like: a leaf with smooth edges, a bit of moss, an interesting weed, something that is alive, and more. You can find a free printable fall treasure hunt list here. Print it out, attach it to a clipboard, then visit your favorite park or try to find as many items as you can in your own backyard! Sometimes I pack some apple cider or small cartons of orange juice and popcorn for a simple snack to enjoy afterwards.
5. Halloween Story Time by Flashlight!
The kids and I love to read books together, and story time can be a lot more fun with the help of a flashlight. One night, while the kids were getting ready for bed, I placed a few battery powered candles around their room, gave them some glow sticks, and read not-so-spooky Halloween stories. It was one of their favorite story times ever, and it was so easy to do!
6. Leaf Pile
Rake up leaves in your yard into a huge pile and invite the kids to jump in! Another fun variation — create a maze in the yard with leaf trails for the kids to work their way thru.
7. Cookie Decorating
I’m not much of a baker, so I buy some store bought plain cookies for the kids to decorate as gifts for family and friends. They absolutely love this, and look forward to it every year! Pumpkins, monsters, or ghosts are great for beginners. Taste tasting is not required, although it is highly recommended. After all, it IS Halloween….
What we all have to realize as parents is that Halloween isn’t about perfect costumes or well coordinated parties. It’s the simple acts of spending time with family and friends while making memories that really matters. Like I said before, If you care and worry, then you’re #doingood.
Take a minute during this busy weekend to tell another parent they’re #doingood We’re parents and we get stressed. Hearing kind words from a friend, a colleague or a neighbor might just be exactly what they need to feel like this holiday was a success no matter what.