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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

7 (Surprising) Health Benefits of Crocheting

Crochet is good for your health! Learning crafts like crochet can do more than you think for your mental well-being and happiness.

Arts and crafts are more than just a fun pastime, they’re truly healing and restorative and are actually very therapeutic. In fact, the healing benefits of crocheting (and knitting) are numerous.
 
These health benefits of learning a new craft like crochet range from simply calming you down and easing your stress to potentially relieving depression and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Learn our favorite 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Crocheting with this page of insights.

Crocheting doesn’t just help you if you’re the one who’s sick – it helps the caregivers around you, your friends and family that help you, love you and support you. It’s also a very good craft to pick up as a hobby for group therapy sessions, as you’re healing together in a group without having the focus completely on you.

There are so many benefits of crochet, so whether you’re stressed out and can’t sleep or are doing your part to help slow down Alzheimer’s, you’ll be doing yourself and your health a favor.

By focusing on something that’s easy, repetitive and soothing, like crochet projects, you can calm down your mind and body enough to let you fall asleep. So the next time you’re tossing and turning in the middle of the night, don’t get frustrated, just pick up a work in progress! 

When you’re feeling stressed or anxious in your daily life, take some time for yourself, pick up some yarn and your hook (or your needles), and spend some time being creative.

By crocheting and allowing yourself to be creative, you’re taking your mind off of whatever’s been nagging you. By focusing on the repetitive motions of individual stitches and counting rows, your mind is able to be more relaxed and free from anxious ideas and thoughts.

When you do something we like, our brains release dopamine, a chemical that affects our emotions and functions like a natural anti-depressant. Scientists now believe that crafts, such as crocheting, can help stimulate that dopamine release to allow us to feel happier and better about ourselves.

Crocheting can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%. By engaging in cognitive exercises and stimulating your mind, you can slow down or even prevent memory loss. Whether you plan on challenging your memory by learning a new stitch or technique or simply by reading and working up a pattern, by getting a little crafty, you’ll be helping preserve your memories.

We all want to feel productive and useful, and by working up a project to give as a gift or sell at a craft fair, we can do just that. Though we don’t craft just for the compliments, a little bit of external validation by someone buying your finished item or your gift recipient wearing that crochet hat you made all winter long can truly give us the self-esteem boosts we need.

For those who seek therapy benefits in group settings, crocheting can be supremely beneficial. By placing the focus off of the patient and only the crochet project itself, it provides all of the previously mentioned health benefits of crocheting plus a sense of community and togetherness.

By working in a craft, those in a group can immediately have some way of relating to the other group members, and it may help function as an ice breaker for more serious conversations. Even if you aren’t actively seeking therapy, you can benefit from the sense of community that crocheting can bring.

Whether you feel helpless as a caregiver watching someone struggle or you’re the one struggling with your own illness or problems, crocheting is a way to put the control back into your own hands – literally. By choosing to craft, you are in full control of everything, from the type of project you’ll be making, the color and type of yarn and even the type of crochet hooks to work with, and that makes a difference in feeling like you have a say again. 

Reference: Julia Wiatr, Editor, AllFreeCrochet.com

Kid-Friendly Ideas for Giving Back to the Community

Kid-Friendly Ideas for Giving Back to the Community

1. Find a “Giving Tree”

Throughout the holiday season, there might be “giving trees” or “wish trees” in your town building or the local mall, and they’ll be filled with tags that show children’s names and their holiday wish lists. Scout out these places or contact your local Salvation Army to learn where you can find one of these trees, and then head out with your child. Have him pick a name from the tree and shop together for the child’s wish list.

2. Go Through Toys and Clothes

Why not do your spring cleaning a bit early this year? It can be hard for children to part with toys and clothes that they’ve been using and wearing for a while…so be sure to set the activity up and discuss it beforehand. Talk with your child about less fortunate kids — some may not have toys to play with…and some probably don’t have warm clothes for the winter. Pull out some toys that your child hasn’t played with in a while and clothes that may not fit anymore. Together, choose a few items to donate to children who can use and benefit from them. Then, pack everything up, go find a clothing drop-off site, and let your child do the donating!

3. Make Cards

Does your child love to draw, decorate, or color pictures? Set aside some time to make holiday cards for children in the hospital, troops overseas, people in assisted living communities or nursing homes, and anyone else who could use an extra dose of happiness this time of the year. Then, have your child help you send them out or drop them off.

4. Donate Food

When you and your child think of the holidays, you likely think of your favorite foods that go along with them. Talk with your child about the importance of participating in a food drive for those less fortunate so that they can experience the delicious tastes of the season, too. Take a trip to the store to buy food to donate…and make it fun! If they have child-sized shopping carts, encourage your child to take the reins. Ask your child to pick a favorite holiday food to donate so that others can eat it, too, and work together to find it in the store — if it’s stuffing, grab some boxes of that; if it’s pumpkin pie, grab some cans of the filling. Once you make your purchases, have your child drop everything in the bin.

5. Deliver Goodies to Local Organizations

Whether you and your child love to bake holiday cookies or whip up endless amounts of snack mix, make extra. Decorate bags with your child, stuff them full of treats, and go around and pass them out to employees at the police and fire stations, hospital, and other local organizations that serve the community.

6. Work with Animal Shelters

Animals deserve the best, too. Contact a shelter nearby to see what they need — dog food, cat litter, bowls, etc. — and go to the pet store with your child to pick everything out. Or, call ahead to ask if you’ll be able to walk around and pass treats out to the animals. Either way, when you go to the shelter, do a lap around the kennels with your child and give the dogs and cats some love.

7. Create a Kindness Tree

Throughout the season (and even year round!), keep track of everything you and your child have done to help others by creating a kindness tree. Make a tree trunk out of cardboard or paper and cut out leaves from colored construction paper. Hang the tree trunk on the wall of the kitchen or the door to your child’s room and, on each leaf, jot down an act of kindness or activity your child does to help others. This is a great time to reflect on giving back and to talk about how it makes your child feel. Have your child hang each leaf up…and watch the tree grow.

Reference: Jeannie Krill of Bright Horizon