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15 Fun Quarantine Halloween Ideas for a Festive, Socially Distanced Holiday

15 Fun Quarantine Halloween Ideas for a Festive, Socially Distanced Holiday

This Halloween has the potential to be epic: the holiday falls on a Saturday (which means we get an entire day of candy, costumes, and crafts) and there will even be a full moon (so spooky!). That said, there are a few things that will set Halloween 2020 apart from all other years — most notably, the coronavirus pandemic and everything that comes with it. But just because we need to remain socially distanced this year doesn't mean Halloween is canceled — it just means we need to brainstorm creative quarantine Halloween ideas.

Ahead, we've compiled a list of the best ways to safely celebrate Halloween in 2020. From setting up a few festive Halloween games to cooking a spread of yummy fall foods, these ideas will help you have the best Halloween yet. Forget everything you know about how October 31 is traditionally celebrated; these quarantine Halloween ideas will help you have a spooky socially distanced celebration right at home. All you need to do is put on your costume, eat some candy, and get ready for a haunting Halloween house party.

1. Go "Ghosting

What's that, you ask? It's when you create a treat bag of goodies for a friend or neighbor and leave it on their doorstep with a note inside to pass it on (as in, create a new treat bag and "ghost" someone else). It's a festive way to spread some socially distanced holiday cheer.

2. Play a Halloween game

This year, you have all day to celebrate Halloween — which means you might want to plan some structured activities. A fun bean-bag or ring toss, or a game of trivia or charades is sure to be a hit.

3. Make a spooky snack

Since you might not be able to do traditional Halloween activities like going to a haunted house or trick-or-treating with friends, you can channel more of your energy into creating a stunning spread of spooky snacks.

4. And some spooky sweets

Halloween is all about treating yourself — which means you should go all in on preparing a ton of sweets. Try something creative, like witch cupcakes, black cat cookies, or choco-pumpkin ice-cream sandwiches.

5. Do a Tarot card reading

Light a few candles and see what's in the cards for your future. For a unique experience, hire a professional to do a private Tarot consultation on Zoom.

6. Put on a Halloween playlist

No matter how small your Halloween party is, it won't be complete without some festive tunes. Blast your favorites and have a dance party or play a game of freeze dance.

7. Watch a Halloween movie or special

There's no more classic activity than watching a Halloween-themed movie or show. For a kid-friendly option, tune into the Mighty Express's Halloween Special on Netflix. In it, a haunted Ghost Train comes for candy every Halloween, and Nate gets quite the fright when he thinks Flicker's first-class costume is the real deal.

8. Attend a trick-or-treat parade

Look in your local newspaper to see if there will be an outdoor Halloween parade or some other socially distanced celebration. You might be surprised how many parades, trunk or treats, and drive-through events you find.

9. Make a fall craft

The perfect Halloween craft is one that's just as festive on October 31 as it is come Thanksgiving (that way, you can make the craft on one holiday and use it as a decoration on the next). Fortunately, there are a ton of crafts that fall into this category, such as these paint-splattered pumpkins. Simply paint pumpkins a solid color and then splatter a different color over it using a toothbrush.


 10. Decorate!

 A little bit of Halloween decorating can go a long way — especially if you've got kids. For example, waking up to these adorable ghost emoji balloons will help them feel like Halloween is going to be perfectly festive, even if it's a little bit different this year than most years.


11. Host a virtual party

At this point in quarantine, we're all pros at hosting virtual get-togethers. Pour a drink, put on a costume, and invite all your friends to a Halloween FaceTime or Zoom party.

12. Paint your kids' faces

 You don't have to be an artist to have fun with face paint. Ask your kids which design they'd like and do your best to paint it. They can even take turns painting each others' faces if they'd like.

 13. Mix a spooky cocktail

No Halloween is complete without a custom witch's brew cocktail or mocktail. Freezing plastic spiders into your ice cubes, as seen in this drink, will delight both kids and adults.

 14. Go on a family bike ride or walk

Spend Halloween morning biking through a park or nearby neighborhood. Point out the prettiest fall foliage or the most fabulously decorated houses. It's a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the late-fall weather.

 15. Deliver festive treats to loved ones

Consider sending a delicious Halloween treat to friends and family you can't see in person. Receiving a delivery of these monster-inspired rice Krispies pops will be a bright spot on anyone's holiday.

 Reference: Juliana Labianca of Goodhousekeeping

Raise a Kid Who Loves The Earth

Raise a Kid Who Loves The Earth

My children -- like many of their peers -- spend far less time in the fresh air than kids did in the past. That's unfortunate, experts say, since communing with nature offers so many benefits. Outdoor time helps kids get exercise, stimulates their senses, and promotes cognitive development. And it can also make children more relaxed. "Kids experience tremendous stress reduction from even a little contact with nature," says Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. A University of Illinois study found that just a 20-minute walk in the park reduced symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Teaching kids to appreciate nature is as easy as it is fun. Our outdoor action plan will help you trade screen time for time beyond the screen door.


While kids often venture outside for organized sports or recess on paved playgrounds, unstructured playtime in nature is scarce. "Put away the Purell and let your kids learn to touch dirt again," suggests Les Stroud, host of the TV show Survivorman, who credits his adventurous adulthood to summer days he spent at a family cottage in the woods.

You don't need to head to the hills to find the pleasures of the wild -- you can do it in your own backyard. "My boys once spent hours watching a wasp repeatedly carry mud from a puddle to build a nest," says Jennifer Joyce, a Westminster, Maryland, mother of four boys, ages 4 to 9. "Afterward, they wanted to learn more, so we spent some time researching the insects together."

Give your kids a magnifying glass so they can take a bug's-eye view and explore. (Check out the book In the Tall, Tall Grass, by Denise Fleming, which looks at the yard from a caterpillar's perspective.) Some other ways to help children incorporate nature into their games: For young kids, make bingo cards with pictures of things -- around a rock, a small twig, a big tree -- they can hunt for in the backyard. Send older kids on a scavenger hunt around the neighbourhood to help them develop teamwork and strategizing skills. For a more advanced version of the game, use a regional field guide to trees, wildflowers, and critters.

Anyone who's tried keeping children from stomping through every puddle in a parking lot knows that kids love water. Ditch the myth that rainy days cause colds (viruses, which are actually more readily spread in dry air, are the real culprit). If there's no thunder or lightning in the forecast, send your children out in rain boots for some serious splashtivity. Have towels and dry clothes ready when they return, wet and happy from their visit to nature's water park.

The world smells and looks different when it rains. Ask your kids what they notice: Are the birds quiet? Do the clouds look different? Does a downpour sound like sizzling bacon? Check out the book Rain Play, by Cynthia Cotten, which evokes the sounds and sights of rainy days for prereaders. Stimulate your child's sense of touch by letting her squish her toes in the mud. Grab an umbrella and walk toddlers around the block, counting the earthworms gathered on the sidewalk. (Don't worry, they're not drowning; scientists believe they surface on wet days to quickly migrate above ground without drying out.) Let older kids compete to see who can make the biggest splashes out of even the tiniest of puddles.

Trekking through the woods may seem daunting, but most kid-friendly day hikes require no special gear aside from sturdy shoes and a backpack to carry water, nourishing snacks, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Get your kids in the hiking spirit by reading Follow the Trail: A Young Person's Guide to the Great Outdoors, by Jessica Loy.

Setting off on a family trek is a great way to build strong bonds. "You don't usually have the kind of interruptions outdoors that you have at home," says Parents advisor Michael Thompson, PhD, a psychologist and author specializing in children and families. "It's a different quality of experience for kids when their parents' heads are clear of distractions.

Jennifer Bebensee, a single mom from Corvallis, Oregon, started hiking when her daughter, Sami, was 2. "With no video games, TV shows, or ringing phones to disturb us, long walks in the wild allowed us to focus on ourselves," says Bebensee. "Now 16, Sami sees nature as a sanctuary from school or other teenage concerns. It centers her and gives her comfort."

Find an easy, kid-friendly trail through a local park or preserve. If you have a very young child, use a jogging stroller, if permitted, or carry him in an infant carrier or a baby backpack. Take along a digital camera and snap photos to help older kids focus on details they otherwise might not notice, Bebensee suggests. And make a game of counting trail markers, butterflies, or wildflowers. Families with school-age kids can try geocaching, a high-tech outdoor treasure hunt using a GPS to find "caches," small containers that have been filled with logbooks and trinkets by other hikers.

Joann Philpott, of Houston, started going to the Hana & Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center -- a slice of the wild tucked away in nearby Bellaire, Texas -- when her kids were toddlers. "The exhibits encouraged them to touch, feel, and participate," she says. Now on the center's board, Philpott still visits regularly with her kids, ages 7 to 11. She credits the exhibits with turning them into nature lovers who prefer spending time at the family's small farm to, say, going to an amusement park.

To find a center near you, Google "nature center" and the name of your hometown. Most offer kid-friendly activities and easy-to-understand displays on endangered species, rescued animals, and the local flora and fauna. If you can't find a nature center nearby, pick up a copy of Take a City Nature Walk, by Jane Kirkland, an urban field guide for children. It can help your kids pay attention to the often unnoticed wildlife that's around them all the time.

A love of gardening runs up and down Stephanie Hein's family tree; she grew up on the rural Colorado vegetable farm her great-grandfather worked in the late 1800s. Today, Hein grows veggies with her children, Justin, 6, and Ellie, 3, in Boulder, Colorado. "All kids can participate on some level," she says. Younger children can dig holes or water plants, and older children can label plant markers. "My son is particularly proud when he sees vegetables from our garden on the dinner table. "

Don't fret if you don't have a back 40 to plow: "Start small and work up to a larger garden," says Hein. Try growing cherry tomatoes in a planter on a porch if you're a beginner or have limited space. Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children, by Sharon Lovejoy, will get the whole family excited about gardening.

Finding a great jungle gym doesn't require making a trip to a playground. Instead, encourage your child to climb the limbs of a sturdy tree. It's a great way to give kids a dose of adventure while they work on building their strength and dexterity. Make sure your child stays safe; don't let him climb beyond your reach! But keep things in perspective: Louv points out that kids today are at higher risk for repetitive stress injuries -- and those take longer to heal than most broken bones do. If your kid loves climbing and is ready to branch out, tree-climbing is growing into a hobby sport with specialized gear that lets kids as young as 5 reach greater heights. Check out treeclimbing.com for more info.

Children too young to climb can learn to love trees, too, when they sit in the shade or collect leaves. Tot-friendly field guides like Diane Burns' Trees, Leaves, and Bark show the many ways that trees benefit other living things.

For a complete nature-immersion experience and a vacation that doesn't break the bank, try pitching a tent. Roy Scribner and his wife, Lisa, take monthly camping trips with their three children, ages 4 to 8. "The kids always come home excited and worn out, and they talk about the trip for weeks afterwards," says the dad from Morgan Hill, California. "They're picking up on the fact that there's this bigger world out there, and they're curious about it."

If you aren't quite ready to sleep in the woods, try a backyard campout using borrowed or rented gear, or seek out ranger-led clinics at local parks or conservation areas. "Know your comfort zone and look for places where you'll feel confident taking the kids," says Stroud. It's important to have the right supplies, but you don't need much beyond a tent, sleeping bags, and a lantern or flashlight. Prepare your kids for their stay in the wild by reading S Is for S'Mores: A Camping Alphabet, by Helen Foster James. Then light a fire, pull up a log, and make some s'mores of your own.

Reference: Toni Klym McLellan from Parents.com

Quick Helpful Tips About Caring For Newborns

Quick Helpful Tips About Caring For Newborns

Taking care of an infant is a very challenging yet rewarding life experience, most especially for first time parents. But whether it is your first time or not, everyone is sure to agree that caring for a baby entails a lot of love and hardwork.

Newborns must be evaluated and must receive necessary treatments for many pediatric problems such as childhood infections, feeding difficulties, sleeping difficulties, and behavioral and developmental problems.

Make sure your child gets regular visits with a pediatrician who is up to date with guidelines about vaccinations, screening tests, and healthy child development.

Breastfeeding is a very wonderful gift you can give your child, but doing it may not be as easy. Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding techniques to make it a successful and enjoyable part of your relationship with your baby.

Do not hesitate to ask about procedures in holding, lifting, diapering and general infant care. This will ensure that the parents are comfortable with each task. If possible, let other family members who will assist with caring for the child learn these skills.