Halloween in our family means dressing up, school parties, trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins! Over the past 17 years, my kids have been everything from animals and fairies to superheroes! Halloween night meant taking the kids around our neighborhood to knock on doors and get whatever treats our kind neighbors had for them. It was fun and I will love those memories forever!
However, out of my 4 kids, only the 8-year-old still enjoys this ritual. My other three kids have done a bit of trick-or-treating in their early teen years, but as they’ve gotten to be middle to upper teens, they tend to leave this fun activity out of their night. The second year I noticed this, I decided to do something about it! I mean….Halloween is for ALL ages. My husband and I still love to dress up!
Here are some fun ways to keep teenagers excited about Halloween. They are simple, easy and rather basic ways I’ve found that works for this age group. If you have others, please share them!
1. Have your kids invite some friends over for a Halloween party! This was a huge hit at our house several years ago. The middle schoolers loved bobbing for apples (and soaking their costumes in the process), playing “pin the smile on the skeleton”, decorating cookies (older kids make this a contest) and just hanging out with friends. Like I said, keep it simple – kids don’t care if the party is “pin-worthy”!
2. Take your kids to the pumpkin patch! I made the mistake of removing this from our yearly ritual as the kids got older because I thought they would think it was “lame.” There is more to these patches than just getting pumpkins!
3. Carve pumpkins! Even if your older kids don’t seem interested, have them help you. They will soon forget they are “older” and will get into this slimy, creative fun! We’ve had pumpkins that were barfing all over our front porch (middle school boys love that stuff!)
4. Take them trick or treating! No, I don’t let my older kids get their own candy, but they love to take my 8-year-old and younger neighborhood kids around trick-or-treating. They don’t last very long (because they have plans with friends), but having them around to share with these younger kids means so much to them…. older and younger ones alike. The older ones remember when they did it and the younger kids really look up to those big kids who take the time to be with them.
5. Encourage your middle and high school kids to still dress up. Sometimes, our schools even let them wear their costumes to school (with dress codes in mind) and it’s even better when your child teams with a friend(s) to do characters or dress alike. This is where making their own costumes becomes their responsibility! You will be surprised how creative and talented your kids are. And just so you know… they will wait til the last minute to decide on what they will wear!