October is usually an amazing month for our region, with cooler temperatures, lots of football to enjoy and of course everything the Halloween season brings leading up to trick-or-treat fun. Get your little ones in a joyful pumpkin mood with our list of seasonal activities.
If you don’t keep your holiday-themed books separate, send your kids on a scavenger hunt to their bookshelves and pull all the pumpkin and Halloween-themed picture books. Hit up the library to check out even more fall-themed stories. Then cozy up and have a read-a-thon. Keeping the fall books gathered in one place can provide a way to fill pockets of downtime and stay festive all month long.
Screen time doesn’t have to be SCREAM time just because it’s October. While there are plenty of scary Halloween-themed options on our streaming services, there is also a lot of great content for kids that won’t have you up soothing little ones after nightmares. Check out throwbacks from your own childhood or themed episodes from your kids’ favorite animated series. Pop some corn, gather ‘round the TV and let the Halloween season come to life on screen.
What’s a holiday with kids if you don’t create some paper crafts as homemade seasonal décor for your walls? Gather all the orange and black construction paper you can find and create pumpkins with silly faces and lines of bats (fold the paper accordion-style, cut out one bat shape while keeping the folds intact, and unfold to reveal a line of connected bats). Make a few ghosts with tissues – wad up one tissue, cover with another and use a small piece of yarn to create a “neck. Hang your new creations around the house to help set a spooky mood.
It’s not candy—you’ll get plenty of that if you trick-or-treat—but we do have one sweet pumpkin treat to make together with your family. First make a batch of pumpkin spice, then whip up some delicious pumpkin bars.
Healthier Pumpkin Bars
Adapted from Yummy Toddler Food
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flour (whole wheat for bonus health points)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup (or another sweetener)
3 TB melted and cooled coconut oil (or another healthy fat)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.) Mix-in options: 1/3 cup chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries or chopped walnuts
2.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment or foil.
3.) Mix all ingredients together, gently folding in the mix-in of your choice after everything else is combined.
4.) Scrape batter into prepared pan and distribute evenly.
5.) Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6.) Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars or squares.