With Halloween approaching fast, it's time to bust out those old cobwebs and skeletons to decorate the house. Yet as much as everyone loves the holiday, it seems like an element of it has all but disappeared from modern celebrations.
My grandpa used to tell me stories about his small town being over run with children on Halloween, causing all manner of destruction and mayhem. He claims that trashcans would be set on fire and houses would get pelted with mud, and other mischievous kinds of activities would go on that quite frankly should never be tolerated, no matter what day of the year it is.
Even though it's been decades since Halloween has had a relationship with practical jokes and a touch of the sinister, we still tell kids to knock on strangers' doors and say, "Trick or treat!" — the implication, of course, being "Give me candy or I'll do something you don't want me to, like egg your house or toilet paper your yard."
Certainly no one in their right mind would advocate for practical jokes as mean spirited as those, but there are some ways to bring the spirit of trick back into your kids' Halloween celebration.
1. Start off the day with a spooky breakfast.
Plastic spiders peeking out from under a stack of pancakes are the perfect way to set the creepy mood. This minor fright is great for all ages . . . just be sure one of those creepy crawlies doesn't wind up in their mouths. Fake spiders are only fun if they don't get eaten.
2. Inspired by the Elf on the Shelf, hide a ghost or witch in the house.
Children will love having to search for your family's scary visitor, and it'll be even better if it appears in an unexpected place like behind curtains or under the bed. Think of it is a special, spooky edition of hide-and-go-seek.
3. Rewrap some of your kiddo's favorite chocolates with grapes.
Did you know that Cadbury mini eggs are the same size as grapes? Did you know that a little time spent unwrapping the chocolates and wrapping the grapes in the saved foil can create the perfect practical joke? Now you know.
4. Paint glow-in-the-dark eyes on their Halloween buckets.
Let the children participate in the delightfully pranking by making their candy bucket a little creepy. Using either glow in the dark paint or cutting out eye slits and placing glow sticks behind them, this little bit of DIY is creep-tastic.
5. Make the kids work for their candy.
No, I'm not suggesting you make the little trick-or-treaters do chores for a piece of candy, but why just give it to them? Color spaghetti with black food coloring and place the dark and slimy noodles on top of your candy bowl. Children will have to reach their hand into the icky noodles to retrieve their candy. Bonus points are awarded if you put the bowl behind a curtain so children can't see what they're reaching into.
6. When in doubt, it never fails to tell them you ate all their candy.
If you really want to scare your kids, hit them with this old standby. Jimmy Kimmel's popular skit is so funny because if there's anything kids love, it's definitely their candy.