Tricks and treats. Ghosts and goblins. Costumes and surprise. Halloween enchants young and old with varying levels of spookiness. Why not start a new Halloween tradition focused on fort building? This favorite activity allows parents and children to create a celebration that fits their family’s personality. Plus, the level of scare-ability comes customized as well. Of course, safety always remains a priority. A safe Halloween is, by far, the best Halloween. While Halloween traditions lend best to spookiness and scares, keep a few things in mind as you design and plan your fun-filled holiday.
— Leave enough light for kids to find their way about a fort, haunted house or maze.
— Avoid ground clutter or hanging items that risk catching on someone’s neck or feet.
— Keep weapons to the safe, plastic type, if used at all.
— Age-appropriate elements increase the probability of fun and decrease tears.
Spooky Halloween Fort
Any fort takes on a Halloween feel with a bit of adaptation. When choosing the design for a spooky fort, remember that it can coordinate with your child’s costume. For instance, create a castle for a princess or knight. For younger children with less tolerance of scary scenes, this often proves to be celebratory enough. For a bit more Halloween flair, add spider webs and fake spiders. Barred or boarded windows and creaky doors show signs of depletion and add to the scare factor. Think of an abandoned house.
Later in the night, the spookiness of the fort comes through ghostly tales spun within its walls. Lights out adds to the atmosphere. Only the storyteller gets a flashlight. While the kids may know a few story webs to weave, finding just the right amount of spookiness only requires a trip to the library or browsing the Internet. Nightmare-free story options leave parents to a good night’s sleep once the celebrating ends.
Haunted House or Hallow’s Eve Maze
A haunted house fort seems a Halloween staple. However, a maze offers a fun alternative. Adapt the following ideas to either the haunted house or the fort. Let’s get started First, design the layout of the fort or maze on graph paper. Remember to include some false walls for monsters or other surprises to pop out. Grab the Fort Magic kit and build the basis of the walls. Use any variety of materials to cover the foundation.
— Spider webs.
— Creepy bugs.
— A plastic cauldron.
— Jack o’ lanterns lite with flashlights and plenty of pumpkins.
Remember the senses of sight, sound, and touch in the design with elements such as:
— Air horns.
— Creepy music.
— Frightening sound effects.
— Strobe lights.
— Bursts of silly string.
— Yarn or items dangling (straight, not looped) to touch faces.
— Hands to reach out and touch arms.
The design and element possibilities are endless. Scary components can also be switched to unexpected surprises.
An at-home costume party offers safety and freedom from the autumn elements. For dwellings without sidewalks or far from neighbors, spookifying a home may be an attractive option. Plus, the kids get the fun and learning involved in the planning. It is true that one Fort Frightening entertains kids just fine. However, setting up several for a Spooky City takes the party to another level. Bopping between forts in simple discovery and thrills or visiting each to collect treats is sure to delight young celebrants.
Be sure to include some Halloween games such as the traditional bobbing for apples or a more modern Frankenstein bowling. The internet is chock full of spooktacular ideas. Remember, some structured activity ensures a better party outcome. Of course, after the tricks, no party proves complete without treats. Kids even get in on the action beforehand with simple recipes for Peek-a-Boo Monsters or as a party activity with Spooky S’mores. No matter your choice of treat, guests are sure to enjoy a boo-tiful time.
For a fun way to greet trick-or-treaters, build a spooky or haunted fort in the yard on the night of Halloween. Coordinate family costumes with your design. Hand out treats from the fort door rather than the front door. (Be sure to lock your home for fright night safety, even though you are not far away.)
No matter what fort tradition your family chooses, we wish you a happy Halloween filled with plenty of tempting treats and spooky surprises in just the right amounts!
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