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8 Fun Things To Do With Your Kids For Halloween

8 Fun Things To Do With Your Kids For Halloween

While traditional methods of celebrating Halloween by letting your children wander the neighborhood are becoming less advisable because of safety concerns, you can still find ways to make the upcoming holiday exciting and fun for young children.

Creative parents can come up with of some fun DIY activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Here are 8 Ways to Make Halloween Fun for Your Kids:

1. Decorate pumpkins

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rsz_1pumpkins_courtesy_of_poppet_with_a_camera_at_fickr_creative_commons

    Every kid loves to pick out their own pumpkin at the grocery store or a local produce stand. As a mother of 3 children, I have always let it be an opportunity for them to express themselves by picking the kind that appeals to them, whether it is big or little or odd shaped, doesn’t matter. Decorating the pumpkins can be a great family tradition to build on every year.

    For young children, especially, I do not recommend carving the pumpkins. This can be a risk for injuries. If you just buy them as is, and decorate the outside, the pumpkins will last longer. There are so many neat ways to dress up pumpkins. You can use markers, glitter glue, acrylic paint, buttons, beads, various kinds of string, cords and cloth. Anything and everything can make pumpkin look cool.

    Try new ways to decorate them every year to make the event more fun. Let the children drawn their own designs and be supportive and excited by what they come up with, so they can feel proud of their original art.

    2. Fix up the yard

    Here is one of the easiest ways to celebrate Halloween. Use the trees or shrubs in your yard to hang lights, figurines or ghosts. You can even have of all different types. As long as you have a photo that can be converted to a digital file, there are many places to order figurines from that will look lifelike and scary, especially when they have lights around them. Use your imagination and let the children help with the yard decor.

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    How about a wheelbarrow full of dirt and a skeleton? Or you could create what looks like an old graveyard. Use whatever you have on hand and get the whole family involved. If you have a front porch you can make it look like a spooky mansion. You can hang cobwebs, bats, lights and decorate with various kinds of homemade candles. You can make a scarecrow type of figure that sits in a chair. Welcome anything your kids can think of as a good idea, as long as it is safe.

    3. Make their own costumes

    Help the children decide on the type of costume they want. This is one of the funnest things for them to do. Give them a few ideas, based on movies or toys they own and see what you can come up with together. Face painting is more fun than making masks and it is inexpensive. Visit the nearest dollar store and let the kids shop for cheap decorations they want. Stores are a great place to visit, just for ideas. You could buy already made costumes, or you can get ideas, and after visiting goodwill stores, buy enough inexpensive items to make up the costumes yourself.

    4. Bake treats together

    Any holiday is better with some kind of treat you can let your children make with you in the kitchen. Some ideas you can do are baking various kinds of cookies, muffins, or desserts made with fruit and yogurt, or ice cream. You could also do caramel apples. The funnest part will be using nuts, candy, and other toppings to decorate your items with. Here are some other ideas for baking. You can also do various kinds of crafts and there are tons of ideas to choose from on the internet.

    5. Have a sleepover

    The most exciting thing you can do for your kids is to help them plan a sleepover for Halloween. At any age, kids love to have their friends over from school, church or daycare. It may take a little time to plan it out, but believe me, it is the best thing you can do. You can make the invitations by hand, help them decide who to invite, and talk over ideas about possible craft activities to have or games to play. You might even want to choose a party theme.

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    For younger aged children, as parents, you will need to do most of the planning, but as your children get older, let them take over the responsibilities. Teach them to learn about the costs involved in putting a party together, so they won’t go crazy with ideas, and they will learn to stay within a budget limit you decide.

    6. Make a spooky room

    image courtesy of slworking2 at Flickr

      Even if you don’t have a sleepover, one of the cheapest ways to create Halloween fun, is to use one room in your house as a spooky room. You and your children can decorate it in outrageous ways, like putting up cardboard forms, boxes and other decor, and plastering the room with spider webs and mini lights. Make sure the lights are not too close to any other materials that could be a fire hazard. One idea is to make the entry to the room so small, that the children have to squeeze in there and go through a type of maze.

      7. Get teens involved

      An easy way to up the level of fun at your party, or even if you don’t have a party planned, is to get your teenagers involved, or even your neighbor children. Have the older children dress up in scary costumes and surprise the younger ones by popping out suddenly and chasing them around in a game of touch tag. It’s easy, it’s fun and it will be very exciting for the youngsters.

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      8. Make a scary video

      Homemade videos are another project you could do. With most cell phones, you can easily make a video of just about anything. You can record all the activities your family does together, or you can work on things with your children, and have an older child operate the phone or video camera. There are many ideas for making fun videos and having contests during the party is one idea of the activities you could record.

      Summary

      No matter what you choose from the variety of activities suggested by the 8 ideas above, just make sure to pay attention to how your children deal with stress. A younger child may not be ready for too much excitement. Or, they may get scared and upset by the costumes. Remember to talk to your children ahead of time, to make sure they are OK, with whatever activities that are planned. Keep in mind that the main objective is to spend time together as a family, or for them to get to see their friends. The most important thing you can do is make it simple, good old fashioned fun for everyone.

      Featured photo credit: image courtesy of epSos.de at Flickr Creative Commons via flickr.com

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      Karen Bresnahan

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      Published on August 8, 2018

      How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills

      How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills

      Do you want the best for your kid? Of course you do!

      Boosting your kid’s learning ability and social skills in less than 20 minutes a day? That’s where guided meditation for kids comes in.

      You have probably heard a lot about meditation the last couple years. As there’s more and more research in the area of meditation, a lot of people finally start to see the benefits.

      A subject that’s not talked about too much is that meditation can also help kids grow incredible learning and social skills.

      Meditation for kids is becoming more popular every day as parents want their kids to see the benefits too.

      What is guided meditation for kids?

      First things first, what exactly is the guided meditation for kids that is talked about in this article?

      We can define meditation with the help of Headspace:[1]

      Meditation is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.

      And according to GuidedMind, guided meditation is:[2]

      Guided meditation is when you are guided, by a narrator, to elicit a specific change in your life. You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.

      If you want to get into guided meditation, read this:

      The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day)

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      As you may know, there are a lot of variations on meditation. This includes:

      • Mindfulness, focusing on the breath while accepting everything that’s happening (thoughts, sounds, etc.).
      • (Guided) Visualization, visualizing a particular event, environment, feeling, etc.
      • Heart Rhythm Meditation (HRM), focusing on the breath and the heart while feeling at one with everything. A focus on downward energy flow within the body.
      • Transcendental Meditation (TM), this technique is literally about transcending the negative through internal mantras.
      • Qi Gong, this is a form of meditation that is done through specific movement patterns while focusing on the breath.
      • Kundalini focuses on the upward flow of energy within the body. Focusing on that energy with your breath gives you a higher sense of consciousness.
      • Zazen, sitting with a back straight while focusing on deep breaths.

      You can find out more about different forms in this article:

      17 Types of Meditation (Techniques and Basics) to Practice Mindfulness

      All these forms of meditation can be done individually or guided. Guided meditation for kids is the best choice because it will make it easier for them to follow and understand.

      The benefits of meditation for kids

      There are a lot of benefits meditation has to offer, but the most important benefit is that it relieves stress. In this time and age, this becomes more important than ever.

      (Post-)millennials are dealing with a lot of stress due to the amount of work pressure, opportunities (decision making) and student loan debt (which results in wanting early financial success).[3]

      Making sure children are stress resistant is of high importance for the future of their lives.

      Of course, there are way more benefits to meditation. So, to convince you further; here follow more benefits to meditation.

      There are precisely 76 benefits to meditation which are scientifically proved.[4] But the main benefits of meditation are:

      • Improved concentration[5]
      • Increased happiness[6]
      • Slows down the aging process[7]
      • Increased immunity[8] and cardiovascular health[9]
      • Improved mood and brain power

      Here I’m going to look into some of meditation’s benefits that parents care about most:

      Boost learning ability

      The question is: ‘How does meditation for kids improve learning ability?’

      There are, of course, multiple answers but there’s one simple answer; concentration. As you read earlier on in this article, meditation improves the ability to concentrate.

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      If the ability to concentrate increases, it will lead to an increased attention span which is one of the factors that affect learning.

      By implementing guided meditation into your kids’ life; he/she will become a better learner.

      Another reason to increase the attention span of your child beside learning is that our average attention span per person is decreasing exponentially because of all the distractions that we have around us.

      The more we let distractions in, the less easy it becomes to really focus on something. This is because it takes us 23 minutes to get into something after being distracted.[10]

      Improve social skills

      The way meditation for kids improves the social skills of the meditator is through the sense of presence it creates.[11] Being present in a conversation is more important than you may think.

      Do you know those people who are just way up in their head which makes it hard to have an in-depth conversation with?

      They probably don’t meditate.

      By being present in a conversation, you can better understand the person you’re talking to. Not being carried away by your thoughts makes it easier to process the information the other is providing. Including non-verbal signs, you may never have noticed if you weren’t present.

      Meditation for kids also improves charisma because of the loving nature that grows from meditating. Especially the kindness and gratitude focused forms of meditation for kids. By being more kind and grateful; your kid will increase in charisma and feeling of interconnectedness which will improve social skills.

      Last but not least, implementing guided meditation for kids in the form of guided meditation by you (the parent) will likely improve the relationship between you and your child.

      This creates the opportunity to educate your child on specific social skills you’ve picked up and the other way around. Also, a child is very dependent on its environment.

      By increasing social skills yourself, you will improve the social skills of your child.

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      How to get started with guided meditation for kids

      Below follows a step-by-step process on how to implement guided meditation for kids into your kids’ life.

      Step 1: Do it yourself first

      Have you ever tried learning Spanish from someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? No, because it doesn’t make sense!

      This is the same for meditation for kids. If you want to teach your kid how to meditate, you will first have to do it yourself.

      Pick a form of meditation for kids you think would work best and get the hang of it. Follow guided meditation via YouTube or any platform you like.

      Suggestions: Visualization meditation, body scan meditation or simple mindfulness.

      There’s an easy guide on meditation you can do anywhere at any time:

      The 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

      Step 2: Expose your kid to the practice

      By exposing your kid to the practice without him/her knowing, its intention will raise their curiosity. This makes it easier to convince them afterward.

      Meditate in the presence of them; put your earplugs in and start meditating while they are around. When they talk to you or touch you while you’re meditating, keep meditating until they walk away.

      When you’re done, you can explain what you were doing and why you were doing and ask to do it together. Explain it in a way, so they understand it.

      Here’s an article that will help you explain mindfulness to your kid:

      Mindfulness: What it is and How to Explain it to Kids and Adults

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      Tip: Make it sound like it’s very special (which it is) so that they’ll grow their curiosity and excitement even more.

      Step 3: Do it together

      Now that you have the interest of your child and know the essence of meditation you can finally do it together. Guide them through the meditation or put on the meditation you followed before.

      Make it a fun and enjoyable experience for your child at first while keeping the essence of meditation in mind.

      As you and your child progress you may want to make it more serious.

      Step 4: Let your child express himself/Herself entirely

      You will get a lot of insights about your feelings and thoughts through meditation. Your child will also experience these things and may want to express it.

      Ask your child after the meditation what he/she experienced or felt. Let them get rid of everything that’s bothering them.

      Step 5: Be consistent

      As you do it more frequently; you will build a habit for you and your kid that will benefit you both. Reward them after each meditation.

      Make it a fun experience instead of something they must do. Don’t push it.

      Step 6: Be calm and let it be

      Again, don’t push it and don’t expect anything. You want to get your child into meditation for kids so he/she can benefit from it in the long run. But you can’t decide for your kid if he/she wants it or not.

      You will have to educate yourself first before you can train your child. Read books or articles about meditation for kids and try your best.

      Conclusion

      Here’s a summary of the key points you have learned by reading this article:

      • You now know what (guided) meditation for kids is.
      • You know why it’s so important to include (guided) meditation into your and your kids’ life.
      • You know how (guided) meditation for kids helps improve the learning ability of your kid.
      • You know how (guided) meditation for kids helps improve the social skills of your kid.
      • You have the steps you can follow to implement meditation for kids into your kids’ life.

      Good luck and start meditating with your kids!

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

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