Tweens and are teens are still kids. Kids love Halloween, but at the age of tweens and teens, dressing up for trick or treating may not appeal to them. But again, they are still kids so celebrating Halloween is important. Kids should still be able to have fun on Halloween. But, what can they do? I am sharing 10 Ideas for Tweens and Teens to do on Halloween based on my experience as a mother.
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Allow Tweens and Teens to Still Dress up to Trick or Treat if they Desire it
I don’t care if people are close-minded and think they are too old to trick or treat. They are still kids. If they dress up and come to your door, please give them some candy. Be kind. They are in transition between young kids and adults, but really, they are still kids. Kids brains don’t fully develop until they are 25 years old. Shocking I know!
Some kids could just dress up in the sports uniform of the team they’ve played on in the past. They could simply be a football player, a basketball player, a baseball player, or a lacrosse player by simply putting on their uniform. This is an easy cheap costume that you don’t have to buy and they can easily put on to trick or treat in. Hand them a plastic bag or a pillowcase and send them off to hit a few houses to trick or treat. Even if it’s only a few houses, encourage them to go to celebrate Halloween.
Allow Tweens and Teens to Stage and Put on a Haunted House for Neighborhood Kids
Let them fill your garage or front yard with a haunted house.
Remind them to be gentler and kinder to younger kids. Have them remove masks or ask for a high five from a younger child, especially if that young child becomes frightened. But let them put on a haunted house production. Let them make props, allow them the freedom to make a haunted house layout, let them create a plan for all the characters in the haunted house. This is so valuable to tweens and teens. In creating their production, they will learn how to cooperate with friends to create something and they will learn how to create a bigger picture for their haunted house design.
I let my son use old sheets and rope to create walls for his haunted house. I gave him washable paint to decorate the sheets with and clothespins to hang the sheets up with on the ropes. The sheets came clean in 1-2 washings.
If you have some money, help them pay for props. Or ask them to use some of their birthday or Christmas money to help pay for desired haunted house props. This will teach them responsibility and will give them a sense of ownership over their haunted house production. Give them some candy to hand out at the end of the haunted house.
Related Teen post: The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List for Teens: How to Survive Family Travel
If your kids want to dress up, try some Halloween makeup.
Allow Tweens or Teens to have some Friends over on Halloween
Let them invite friends over. Give them a space alone to hang out in. This will help them bond with friends and strengthen friendships. When kids have fun together, it creates bonds and good memories, which in turn solidifies friendships. Friendships are so important to kids at this age. Friends and peer opinions mean everything to them.
Tweens and Teens could play board games, watch a movie, or simply hang out on Halloween. Again, I will stress that tweens and teens are still kids. They should be allowed to have fun on Halloween. This holiday is fun for kids in America, so American moms and dads, let’s let them enjoy being kids and allow hang out time on Halloween. I’m not sure about other countries, but here in America, Halloween is meant to be a fun holiday for kids. So parents, let’s make it happen!
If funds allow, provide the kids with snacks and Halloween themed foods. Give them some soda pop or favorite beverages or make a fun Halloween punch. Another option is to ask that each child coming to your house to hang out bring a bag of chips or candy in potluck style. Kids can do potluck too:)
Have Tweens or Teens Help Hand out Candy to Younger Kids
Tweens and Teens could help hand out candy to younger kids who are trick or treating. This will help them feel more like an adult and help them connect with younger neighbors. This helps build compassion for others and gives tweens and teens perspective as they witness the younger kids getting excited about getting candy on Halloween.
Handing out candy will also help them realize how important it is to share with others. They will also see how much joy it brings to kids as you drop that candy in their pumpkin or bag. This action will help them develop empathy and kindness toward others.
Develop a Food Tradition for Halloween that Transcends Age
In my house, Halloween means chili. Eating chili transcends all ages because people of all ages love chili. Serving chili, or another dish, each Halloween creates a food tradition that kids (and adults) of all ages will look forward to on Halloween. Food memories are giant. We all have food memories from glorious times in our lives. We look forward to those foods at specific holidays and as traditions in relation to those holidays. Food memories are strong.
Serving the same food each year on Halloween will create great food memories for your tweens and teens. I started the chili tradition when my tween and teen were young, and now it is a tradition they value on Halloween. However, this can be started at any age, food traditions can really be started age, you just need to start them.
The above chili recipe will be in my cookbook: One Dish Two Diets: Recipes for the Hybrid Vegetarian and Meat-Eating Family
Allow them to Choose and Prepare a Special Food For Halloween
Allowing them to choose a food for a holiday creates ownership. If tweens/teens are allowed to have a say in what is made on Halloween, and they have a hand in making it, they will feel satisfaction and enjoy the holiday even more.
Special Fall Food: Rich Decadent Butternut Squash Apple Bars or S’mores Party Dip
Allow Tweens and Teens to Help With Halloween Decorations
Let tweens and teens help decorate for Halloween to help spark the fun of the holiday within them. Ask your tween/teen to help decorate. Young kids love to help decorate, but they may lose the desire to help decorate as they enter tween/teenhood. But it doesn’t hurt to ask them if they’d like to help. This may help them feel a part of the Halloween holiday even though they may feel too old to participate in it as they did in the past.
If funds allow, let them pick out a decoration to add to your home for Halloween.
Buy Your Tween/Teen a Pumpkin to Carve
Allow them to still decorate and carve a pumpkin if they desire. Their hearts are fickle at this age and they change their minds quickly and frequently. Just buy them a pumpkin when the rest of the family picks one out. Then if they decide they want to carve one on the night the rest of the family carves, they will have one to design. If they don’t, no harm done, you will have an extra pumpkin to set out as a decoration on Halloween and into Thanksgiving.
Or, perhaps they just want to carve it for the pumpkin seeds. That’s ok. Again, the food memories are so important. Maybe to your tween or teen, pumpkin seeds mean more in the season than the carving does. Roast the seeds and let them enjoy (I don’t rinse, but pull out big pumpkin chunks, add olive oil, soy sauce, and salt. Roast at 250 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, done when crispy).
They are fickle beings these tweens and teens of ours. Precious, tough, yet fickle and sweet at times. They are transitioning to adults, don’t forget to honor their own impressions of holiday traditions.
Maybe they like pumpkin bread or cut out Halloween cookies, help them celebrate to keep the fun of the holiday alive for them. This will be of great value to them.
Have Your Tween or Teen take a Younger Sibling out to Trick or Treat
Having your tween or teen take a younger sibling out to trick or treat creates a feeling of compassion. Siblings may fight, but if they see the joy on their little brother or sister’s face as they trick or treat, it may create positive sibling bonding. At the very least, doing this will create a memory for both the tween/teen and the younger sibling to cherish. They will have done something important together and it will be a memory they will have for life (even if you have to coax the tween/teen to do it).
AND! Getting on my soapbox here:) Adults, let’s not frown on older kids trick or treating themselves, give them a piece of candy and let them be kids while they can:) Age eighteen will come soon enough for them, let them be kids while they still are kids.
Watch a Halloween Movie with Your Tween/Teen
Even if your tween/teen does not do anything to celebrate Halloween, you can still invite them to watch a Halloween movie with you on Halloween night. Find an age-appropriate movie, either Halloween themed or not, give them special foods like favorite candy or popcorn, provide a favorite beverage. Make it special by hanging out with them, or at the very least offering to hang out with them. Provide a special time on Halloween to keep the Halloween fun alive for your child.
Take Your Tween/Teen Out for Halloween
If your tween/teen does not want to participate in Halloween at home, take them out to eat or to a movie. It will create a special memory for your child on Halloween. You can leave a bowl of candy at your doorstep for trick or treaters so they won’t be neglected. Or take them out for ice cream at their favorite ice cream shop. Maybe they like chicken wings, take them to a restaurant that specializes in them. Or take them to a local amusement park or haunted hayride.
The point is do something special for the holiday, whatever that might be for your child, but don’t give up on Halloween just because your child is growing older and doesn’t like to do what they used to do on Halloween. Make it a point to do something special, it will be great for your relationship with your tween/teen.
I hope you found this post useful and found an idea that will be fun for your tween or teen on Halloween. Happy Halloween!!
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