- 26October 2017
Happy Hallow’s Eve from hey dee hooooooooo!
Written by Jill McPartlane
I have to admit, it’s my favourite time of year! Sure, I’ve had over 40 years of experience, celebrating the delight of Halloween, but I love bringing the excitement to my own children and sharing the joy it brings.
Growing up in on the West Coast of America, Halloween was celebrated by just about everybody! On the walk home from school there would be house after house bursting of carved jack-o-lanterns, spider webs across front doors and spooky lawn ornaments. We would count the minutes until the end of school, when we would take the bus home and walk our streets, scoping out the new and wonderful creations each house would display.
The week coming up to Halloween was really the most inspiring! The anticipation of craft, decorating and community spirit brought pride into our home, classrooms and street. Colours were vibrant with Autumn leaves and the backdrop of early, orange sunsets would fill our imaginations and creativity.
We would spend weeks preparing our costumes, changing them every second day so that our poor parents would put down the needle and thread on the octopus suit and start making a ghost sheets from old linen. 40 years ago, costumes were handmade or borrowed and, of course, handed down to our younger siblings. Memories of Halloween’s gone by, shared around the table as we carved our pumpkins and toasted the seeds to eat around the fire, created a suspense and thrill that spread through the family.
Celebrating Halloween in Australia is a relatively new experience for most people, especially if you have young children. Originating in Ireland over 2,000 years ago, it has a history of spooky traditions and a real appreciation of the living dead! Thankfully, these days we don’t delve into the doom and gloom of traditions of old but, instead, celebrate all the wonderful things that Hallow’s Eve brings.
Now that I get to re-live it again through my children, it’s an enchanting experience and not as hard as you think! Whether you celebrate it or not, it’s likely that you’ve been asked by your own children so why not give it a try and immerse yourself into the role-play and fantasy that children love!
Here are some Halloween tips and ideas to inspire the young and make it easy for the young at heart!
1. Plan ahead and make time for creativity!
- Colour in Halloween pictures
- Paint/Carve a pumpkin
- Roll socks into a white sheet for hanging ghosts
- Decorate your house with spider webs, artwork and more!
- Create costumes – simple ideas like Pirates/Fairies/Animals or go for something extravagant
2. Gather your friends!
- Halloween is more fun in numbers
- Plan a party or just invite friends over to Trick or Treat
3. Parties and Games
- Bob for apples
- Donuts on a string
- Pin the spider on the spider web
- Charades and costume parades
- Pass the parcel with Halloween treats
4. Trick or Treating
- Provide a bag/bucket for each child to collect their treats
- Stay together, as a group, and say hello to your neighbours
- Make sure you say, “Trick or Treat!” and thank each neighbour – regardless if they treat or not.
- Always check that lollies are singularly wrapped and not tampered with
5. Get involved in local events
- Check your local council for bonfires and special events
- Local Shops/Streets run competitions and activities
- Schools and twilight fairs
This is a great opportunity to check in with your elderly neighbours, meet the new family who moved in down the street and make new friendships. What other holiday festivity invites you to knock on the door of every house on your street? It truly is a unique experience, full of anticipation and fantasy with some really wonderful creative connections. Have fun!