Here at Dad Central, we wanted to hear about traditions from Dads across America, to share ideas and see what traditions each family has. Here are a few of the posts we’ve gotten from our first ever “Halloween Dad Blog Tour.”
Thanks to all the Dads that are participating! It’s been a blast hearing about your family’s traditions, and to see the comments your readers are leaving on your blogs. There were lots of entries, so I randomly picked a couple to share–but you should know that everything written by each participant is great!
Here are excerps from three of the submissions:
… In typical Dad Jam fashion, I’ve put together a list of random tips and tricks to help you through this Halloween. So, without further ado, I give you, The Dad Jam’s “Extremely Haunted and Mysterious, Magically Scary, Random Halloween Tips and Thoughts List” (written by The Vampire Jammer):
1. Scary Finger Cookies: These are my favorite things to make on Halloween. They are easy and look really scary. Just get a shortbread cookie recipe (very easy to make… basically just butter, flour and sugar), and shape the cookies like fingers. Add in a knuckle and to make it look convincing. Put a whole almond on the end for the fingernail. Use red food colouring around the fingernail to make it look like blood is oozing from the nail. Spooky Halloween Warning: Do not use almonds if you expect to have kids with nut allergies present!
2. Costumes: How about some funny family costume ideas? Like the kids as animals and you as a circus ring-leader? Or you all go as a superhero family?
3. Parties: Since Halloween is on the weekend this year, it is a great chance to throw an afternoon party for the kids, followed by some trick-or-treating. If you want to splurge, you can even hire a magician or wizard to come and put on a spooky Halloween magic show (I love magic).
4. Events: If you live in the Vancouver, BC area, the Kid’s Market on Granville Island has trick-or-treating in the early afternoon on October 31st. You can bring your kids in costume, and they can trick-or-treat in all the shops in the Kid’s Market. I do this every year with the kids. Check out the area where you live to see if any similar events are going on.
5. Pumpkin Patches: The best way to get a pumpkin for Halloween, for making your scariest Jack-O-Lantern, is to pick one yourself at a Pumpkin Patch! I did this with the kids and it was a lot of fun. The kids were so excited to see pumpkins that were “still attached!” And there were tonnes to choose from, so I let the kids choose. Where we went (the Pumpkin Patch in Richmond/Steveston), there were also pony rides, a band, hay fights, and a wagon ride too).
6. Safety first (so why did I put it last on the list… hmmm… read this list from the bottom up please!): This is probably not the first time you are hearing (or reading) this, but be sure, if you are going outside at night with the kids that you have an ample number of parent supervisors, and that the kids are visible in the dark (e.g. put reflectors on their costumes if they are dressed as dark vampires). Also, inspect all the treats before you let the kids eat them, discarding anything that seems suspicious, has been opened, etc.
Halloween last year was the first time that Primo actually got what was going on. We went to the neighbor’s houses, he said trick or treat, he got candy. Watching him make the connection as we went from house to house was cool to see and I felt excited for him. The magic of the whole thing was evident in his eyes. Segundo was less quick on the uptake but he loved all the treats he hauled in and I think this year he is starting to make the connection. Before we head out on the 31st though there are a couple of things we need to figure out so that we have a safe and successful night:
What will the boys wear? We have just started to talk about what the boys want to dress up as this year and I think the theme of animals will continue. Primo wants to be a puppy dog and Segundo wants to be a Cheetah. So far Primo has been a monkey, a bat, and a country singing cowboy. I can’t remember what he was a tiny baby and I can’t find the picture we must have taken. Segundo has been a dragon and a monkey, actually the same monkey costume Primo had worn. You can see from the pictures that the boys are super cute no matter what they dress as.
Where we are going to go out? We have just moved into a new neighborhood and while it seems good enough we haven’t been here long enough to really get a feel for it. Our previous neighborhood was great and I know that a lot of the people there will love to see the boys again. It feels odd though going back there and not making the connections here in this neighborhood. I think we will get around here first while it’s still light out and then head over to the old hood to say hi.
What will I wear? I am not much of a Halloween guy and can’t remember the last time I dressed up. Actually I take that back, I can remember because it was the night I met Beautiful. Seven years ago was the last time I dressed up for Halloween and I don’t think this is the year I am going to breaking that streak. I imagine when the boys are older I will dress up but I like that this is their thing. I will keep to sidelines in my regular dad garb and let them shine, at least that is the way I will spin it to Beautiful to get out of looking like a dork in some outfit.
How much candy can they have? We will go through the candy and check it for holes and all that and then on Halloween night we will let the kids indulge. We let them have more than they probably should that night but limit the candy to one piece a day from that night on. I don’t know what the rhyme or reason is for that, or where our policy came from but thats how we do it here. One night of decadence and then temperance prevails, it’s all so very Mardi Gras and Lent. Plus using the candy as motivation for behavior is such a nice tool to have in the belt.
We will be ready by the 31st with costumed kids, candy gathering routes, and game plans for family fun but the lead up is part of the fun as well. Talking about the costumes and the candy with the boys keeps the excitement and magic building and we can all use more wonder in our lives.
“I do not think I want to dress up for Halloween this year.” my ten year old son says over dinner. I look at my wife and she looks at me and a hint of sadness washes over us. Halloween is truly a kids holiday, full of costumes, scary stories and of course mounds of candy.
When kids are very young they have no say about the costume they wear, and since babies cannot talk or do much else, parents have carte blanche to drape their children in the most cute and cuddly costumes they can find. When my son was an infant, we, like all parents do, wanted to make his first Halloween special, and memorable for us. There was going to be a parade of kids around the building complex we lived, with awards given in numerous categories and we were up for the competition. Upon browsing the costume aisle at the store there seemed to be an abundance of butterflies and angels, bears and superheros. I am envisioning a race car outfit or mini-football player for my little guy, but those seem like obvious selections. When my wife showed me her choice it fit perfectly. That’s when my creative wife and I went all out in the first of many Halloweens to come.