It’s almost time for the Trick-or-Treaters to descend upon the streets in search for candy. Are you still having trouble getting your young ones in the spirit or have you just not had time to come up with any ideas? Lexington has compiled a list of several DIY Halloween activities that are perfect for families with kids on the spectrum.
Lawn Decorations And Driveway Decorations
If you or your kids want to decorate for Halloween, but don’t want all the frightening imagery that comes with the season, you can create DIY Halloween decorations that are fun and not scary. Get a few gallon jugs, a few markers and some flameless tealight candles. Cut open a small door on the back, draw a face on the front and suddenly you have a fun little Halloween lantern. If you have some fishing line, some black construction paper and a place to hang them, you can cut out little hangable bats that are the perfect DIY Halloween decorations. Add googly eyes to them to take the edge off and make them cute. Halloween doesn’t have to be so spooky. It can be harvest-filled fun.
Homemade Pumpkin Patch
It’s a cool tradition to head out to the pumpkin patch and get the pumpkin you are going to decorate with, but pumpkin patches can be dirty, full of people and usually a fair distance from where you live. Instead of driving all the way to one, make your own in your backyard! Get some pumpkins from the local grocery store and create your own patch. Then let your kids go and select which one they want!
Kids with autism often struggle with the gooey, squishy mess that comes with carving pumpkins. It’s a sensory overload nightmare. However, no one says that you have to carve all the pumpkins you find! If you read Lexington’s last blog, you will be familiar with the Teal Pumpkin Project. Here is a link they provide on their website so you have a perfect Jack-O-Lantern Stencil, or you can always create your own! Painted pumpkins are the perfect DIY Halloween project to get you and your family excited for the harvest season.
Pumpkin Sensory Bag
Assuming that you do carve into one of the pumpkins and make a more traditional Jack-O-Lantern, you can still use the guts and get kids to experience the sensation of the gooey guts in hand without the mess and the sensory overload. Basically, you take a pumpkin, cut it open and put all the guts into a gallon ziplock bag. Then you can either paint a fun face on the bag, or you can create a little I-Spy game inside the bag if you are feeling really ambitious. Instructions for that can be found by clicking here.
Halloween Touch And Feel Game
The classic “close your eyes and reach your hand in” halloween game where kids are told they are touching eyeballs, when they are actually just grapes. However, this is another activity that can cause sensory overload. Luckily, you can sub out the squishy creepy stuff for tactile objects, creating a series of bags and putting the stuff inside. Cotton balls suddenly become ghost poop and golf tees are now vampire teeth. This takes the icky out of the activity. Get detailed instructions by clicking this link.
No that’s not a misprint. A haunted house, particularly a haunted attraction with long lines and scary sounds will probably overwhelm a child with autism. However, parents can turn the concept of haunted house on its head, help their kids have fun and dispel some of the fear that comes with the season. Help your child set up and create a haunting house, where they get to control the spooks. You can do this on paper, draw it out with markers or even transform your home into a little fun house complete with a “scary” ghost!
Trick-or-Treat can be a tough activity for kids with autism but many still love to participate for the sweet, sweet reward. If your child is having trouble with going house to house, you can try to find a local Trunk-or-Treat. Or organize one yourself! All you need is a willing location to allow you to park for a little bit, some cars, other parent volunteers and kids ready to trick-or-treat. Ideally, if you belong to an autism support group, you can rally everyone together to create a trunk-or-treat just for your kids! You can go as basic as you want, although many people go all out for these events. Here is a link telling you how to organize a trunk-or-treat event.
“Spooky” Movie Night
Nothing is more relaxing in the fall than to pop some popcorn, turn off the lights and settle in for a family movie night. Avoid the crowds at the movie theaters and the spooky films out this time of year. You can create a DIY Halloween movie going adventure right in the living room at home. Create tickets that your kids can purchase, show them to their seats and serve them concessions that are parent approved. Then kick your feet up and take in a Halloween favorite family film. Some of our recommendations for films that are a little creepy, but not really scary are:
- Hotel Transylvania
- Monster House
- Hocus Pocus
- Monsters Inc.
- The Addams Family
Happy Halloween from everyone here at Lexington!