Halloween party ideas at home for sick kids, anti-Halloween, trick or treat alternatives

Halloween is one of most kids' top two favorite holidays. Some children plan their Trick or Treat costumes months in advance. So what happens when your child is too ill to go trick-or-treating? Or maybe you have a child with dietary restrictions or allergies? Or, what if you don't observe Halloween as a family, but don't want kids to miss out on the fun. 

Why not plan a Halloween party at home? Here are not-too-scary Halloween activities for an at-home party. Use these tips if you can't or don't want to do door-to-door trick-or-treating. These Halloween party ideas are homemade, easy, cheap (or free) and flexible. Adapt them to your needs. Anti-Halloween parents, bypass it by throwing a fun fall party. Either way, these ideas are great workarounds. 

Trick or treat indoors or have a backyard candy hunt. Kiddies too sick to go out? Maybe it's raining on Halloween? Or perhaps you live in an area that isn't kid-friendly. No problem. Hide candy around the house, apartment, patio or backyard, as you would at Easter with Easter eggs. Or skip candy and hide little toys. Children can still put their costumes on if they wish. Or let them help pass out candy. Take videos for happy family memories.

Make a mini-scary family movie. There are plenty of Halloween movies to rent, but why not make your own at home? Narrate a Halloween story or act out a play. Make silly commercials for Halloween candy to accompany your funny, not-too-scary Halloween film. Ask kids to write the script. Older kids will love playing filmmaker, makeup person, special effects gal and stunt coordinator. The sick kid can be the director and tell everyone else what to do. Make spooky sounds: rattle popcorn in an aluminum can for rain. Run the vacuum over the floor for thunder. Turn the lights on and off for lightning. Have kids incorporate their costumes into the plot.

Put on a puppet show. Here's where the recycle bin comes in handy. Children can decorate old socks, cardboard cereal boxes and paper bags as puppets. They might write their own spooky story and act it out. An overturned card table covered with a cloth makes a great puppet theater.

Check out these links for free printable Halloween crafts. Print out Halloween masks, spooky origami, kirigami (cut-paper crafts), cut and paste paper hats and toys, coloring pages, mazes, puzzles, word search, crossword, Sudoku and hidden pictures. Make an activity booklet for the sick kids. Fill a shoebox with scissors, glue stick, crayons, tape and printed craft projects. He can make "couch crafts" at home. Make cards for senior citizens.

Serve fun Halloween party treats at home! Bob for apples. Toast marshmallows over the stove. Make popcorn and cocoa. Serve donuts and cider. Make a family pizza. Decorate Halloween cookies. Invent funny monsters from cut veggies. Share some with a lonely next door neighbor or senior friend (when the sick kids are well!)


Carve your pumpkins! Here are free printable pumpkin carving stencils. Your Halloween party at home may be the most memorable ever. Your kids may demand to nix Trick or Treat and do a party every year!

Back to school shopping: Remember Operation Christmas Child and Christmas toy donations

Are you looking for a nifty charity to donate toys to this Christmas? Why not explore Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. This group collects Christmas shoeboxes filled with with gifts for needy kids around the world. To participate, get a shoebox and fill it with toys, school supplies, articles of clothing, personal care products, candy, books and other little gifts. Drop it off at one of the locations here or mail it in.

We've been doing this as a family since it started in 1993. We shop back to school sales for pencils, glue sticks, notebooks, markers, crayons, scissors, pens, activity booklets, coloring books and craft sets.  We fill our boxes with small backpacks, cuddle toys, hair accessories, toy cars, small brush and comb, wash cloth, energy bars, powdered vitamin drink, prayer cards, jewelry, sunglasses, socks and T-shirt. Shopping sales, especially back-to-school, I was able to get all these items for about $12-$15 per box. 2017 shoe boxes are due Nov. 13 to Nov. 20 and drop-off locations are listed on the website.

Don't forget to pick up extra school supplies at back to school sales to donate to those in need. 

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Viola Davis rocks SAG Awards 'Fences' speech, stunning white gown, weight loss

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'My 600-lb Life' Cynthia Wells blames diet, weight loss fail, gastric bypass cost on doc

 610-lb Cynthia Wells had a lot of blame to dispense after weight loss fails on Season 5 of "My 600-lb Life." Most of it was aimed at Dr. Younan Nowzaradan. The single mom of 5 faulted the bariatric surgeon for her initial weight gain, which postponed gastric bypass surgery. She complained that travel costs made her eat the wrong foods. Dr. Now prescribed therapy to treat her unhealthy food relationship which Wells called "bulls--t." Now, Cynthia's ready to quit the reality show after it picked up the tab for her expensive surgery.  'My 600-lb Life' Cynthia Wells blames diet, weight loss fail, gastric bypass cost on doc

Halloween alternatives: 100+ non-food, non-candy Trick-or-Treat prizes, giveways

So trick-or-treat is over and now your kids have a haul of #Halloween candy. And of course you want them to eat all that sugar as soon as possible (not!). Or maybe you're stuck with stale candy you couldn't give away because it rained on Halloween or you didn't get as many trick-or-treating children. Or maybe you gave out yucky kinds like Mike-N-Ikes or Mary-Janes, tsk-tsk. You could blow your diet, eat all the treats and then regret it. Or you could try one of these healthy ways to use up leftover trick-or-treat goodies.Halloween alternatives: 100+ non-food, non-candy Trick-or-Treat prizes, giveways

Halloween candy leftovers use-up recipes, ways to reuse stale candy from Trick-or-Treat

So trick-or-treat is over and now your kids have a haul of Halloween candy. And of course you want them to eat all that sugar as soon as possible (not!). Or maybe you're stuck with stale candy you couldn't give away because it rained on Halloween or you didn't get as many trick-or-treating children. Or maybe you gave out yucky kinds like Mike-N-Ikes or Mary-Janes, tsk-tsk. You could blow your diet, eat all the treats and then regret it. Or you could try one of these healthy ways to use up leftover trick-or-treat goodies. Halloween candy leftovers use-up recipes, ways to reuse stale candy from Trick-or-Treat

Jana Kramer has a 'Dancing With The Stars' mission which will make you smile through tears

Country singer Jana Kramer and partner Gleb Savchenko tangoed their way into the "#Dancing With The Stars" judges' hearts last week. They earned a 10 from Hough, Tonioli, Inaba and guest adjudicator Pitbull to nail that illusive perfect 40. But there's more to DWTS than dancing for the Rochester Hills, Michigan native, Kramer. She is dancing for a special mission and it will have you smiling through your tears.    Jana Kramer has a 'Dancing With The Stars' mission which will make you smile through tears

Duggars 'Counting On' Jana Duggar: Anna Duggar needs Jana, Jessa Seewald bosses sis?

Everyone is "Counting On" eldest Jana Duggar and maybe too much. Anna Duggar leans on Jana for support while her sex addict husband Josh Duggar (who molested Jana as a kid) is in rehab. Sister Jinger Duggar has the family by the tail with her whirlwind courtship and engagement to fiance Jeremy Vuolo. Everyone, most of all Jana, is busy getting ready for Derick and Jill Dillard to return from a mission trip. And sister Jessa Seewald will do her big pregnancy reveal and Jana's help will be expected there. Yet poor Jana can't even decorate the guest house for the Dillards without Jessa criticizing her clock choice. Tensions between the eldest single Duggar and her family will hardly surprise. Duggars 'Counting On' Jana Duggar: Anna Duggar needs Jana, Jessa Seewald bosses sis?

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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