What do you think of when you think about Halloween?

Costumes, candy, parties, makeup, trick-or-treating, candy, movies, ghosts, candy, zombies, cemeteries, candy, candy, candy!

Halloween can bring back memories of yummy, chocolaty goodness, spending time with friends, having a sweet candy stash, and crazy costumes. It is easy to overlook that not everyone has these memories, and kid-friendly holidays can be pretty awesome doing healthy things (and without spending a lot of money).

Below are the top five ways to have a fun and healthy Halloween with your kids:

5. Decorate pumpkins

This can be a fun, family-friendly activity! There are lots of places to go pumpkin picking, you can grow them, or buy them locally. Let the children select their pumpkins and decorate them with funny faces with markers. (After the holiday, you can use the pumpkins’ insides for cooking yummy dishes.) Or, with plenty of adult supervision, use knives or other gadgets to carve goofy faces.

4. Donate candy

It feels good to give to others in need. Use this moment as a teaching moment to introduce children to donating things they care about, but do not need. Have them portion off some amount of candy that they would be willing to give to kids who aren’t able to trick-or-treat. See who in your area a Halloween gift might mean something to, and either deliver it to them (or throw it out if there is no one).

3. Decorate your home

This is a great time for kids to remember the importance of their home and keeping it safe, looking nice, and clean. Encourage them to think of ways to make it festive for Halloween! Decorate furniture with toilet paper, fake spiders, and pumpkins! It can be a family bonding activity to set up the area and then clean it up afterwards, something to look forward to every year.

2. Design, plan, and put together out-of-the-box costumes

Kids can get really into this, especially as they grow and begin to understand how fun it can be to dress up as different things. Use their favorite items and whatnot as inspiration – crayons, superheroes, plants, animals, inanimate objects, people – and go to town! Incorporate fabric and craft supplies you have around the house or pick up interesting finds at local thrift stores or online. Let your creativity run wild – the more off the wall, the better. It is funnier sometimes when things don’t quite resemble what they’re meant to be. Remember to take pictures!

1. Exercise

Exercise is the number one way to be healthy on Halloween. From trick-or-treating to parades, from parties to walking through the neighborhood, this is one of the best holidays for everyone to move! Keeping active is good for everybody. You can make it a contest to see how many steps everyone gets, and compete. Or just relax, walk, and enjoy this once-yearly night. Either way, nothing is better for you and your children than being active throughout the day.

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