Spooktacular Family Activities (and the Importance of Together Time)

By Anne Peters, LMFT

It’s no secret spending time with your family is important. How important is it? Spending time together as a family has been shown to decrease negative behaviors, improve academic functioning, improve confidence, and build a child’s positive character skills. Children learn from us, so if we model empathy, kindness, and compassion, our children will grow to be more empathetic, kind, and compassionate. What’s better than that?

Here are some great activities you can do with your family during this spooktacular time of year. Even better, these will be memories that last a lifetime!

1. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards – This is probably a predictable idea, but for good reason! They are decked out with family fun activities – from corn mazes to apple picking. The fun keeps going long after you get home, too. Carving or painting pumpkins is such a fun family activity and allows the kiddos to be as creative as they can. We would love to see pictures of your decorated pumpkins!

2. Halloween scavenger hunt – Get as creative as you want with this one. Set up clues around your house and encourage the children to find and follow the clues to the final surprise. I found a great pre-made Halloween scavenger hunt here, so all you need to do is print, hide the clues, and have fun!

3. Make a Halloween origami bookmark – This idea looks so fun! Depending on fine motor skills, this activity can be for children as young as kindergarteners. Follow the origami instructions to create an adorable vampire bookmark. There are so many options out there for different designs too, and I bet your children will ask to do this activity again and again!

4. Plan a Halloween movie marathon – Let’s set the scene: You and your family spend the day creating spooky decorations and making popcorn, then join together for a Halloween movie marathon. Choose age-appropriate movies and enjoy! My recommendations for the young tikes: “Spookly the Square Pumpkin.”

5. Go “Booing” – Random acts of kindness is the basis of this one. Put together a small gift for a friend or neighbor, set it on their doorstep, and run! It’s a great way to socially distance but still show our friends and neighbors we are thinking about them. You don’t need to spend money on this activity. You could always color pictures as a family, paint stones, or bake some cookies. It’s the thought that counts!

Fall is such a great time of year. Take your time to slow down and enjoy it with your family. Memories are ready to be made!

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