As Halloween approaches I have had conversations with fellow parents who are worried about the faire offered for children who are interested in supernatural/paranormal entertainment. I was a child without this problem since I was allowed to watch pretty much anything because I was considered mature enough to handle most mature entertainment.
With ABC Family bending to the critics and choosing “safe items” for their viewing audience I offer an alternative: How about we allow parents to be parents and choose what they feel is appropriate for their family’s viewing pleasure?
My youngest asked for a Halloween party at home that would be for this same age group even if they all could not attend so after talking to a group of parents in this age range we came up with an idea for Family Fright Fest.
While I am not big on Pinterest for anything other than sharing the fact that I’ve written a new column two of my friends are extremely addicted to the arts and craft section. One friend shared some cute & healthy snack ideas for just such a party.
For adults and older children Universal Movie Monster marathons are wonderful lazy day/night movies but younger kids are going to be bored with the black and white cinematography and in some cases won’t be able to read subtitles depending on the age of the film which leads me to believe that having kids Adam Sandler snagged his Happy Madison buddies, popular comedians, and made “Hotel Transylvania.” He made Dracula a single father to Mavis, an inpatient teenage girl voiced by Disney star, Selena Gomez. Other monsters such as Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and the Invisible Man at least make appearances in this film. Frankenstein and The Wolfman are central to this movie as they are Dracula’s best friends. They are also Mavis’ uncles. They help try to convince her that the outside world and humans are evil. It is rated PG possibly because I am unsure Adam Sandler can do anything less but it is a heartwarming story about a coming of age tale for a teenage girl even if she is immortal.
If this type of story is not your cup of tea there is a G rated alternative. “Spooky Buddies,” is a sequel to the 1997 movie, Air Bud about a golden retriever with an uncanny athletic ability. The puppies in Spooky Buddies are Bud’s children: Mud Bud, Buddha, Budderball, B-Dog, and their little “sis” Rosebud. In this movie they are amped to go trick or treating with their kid owners but an evil Bull Mastiff has been trapped in a mirror. In order to free him a litter of five purebred puppies have to be sucked into the mirror. He has been in stasis ever since the ghost of one of the beagle puppies decades ago escaped being sucked into the mirror by the arrival of the sheriff. The poor beagle has protected the place trying to scare off any adventurous pups who come to call in case they come from a litter of five. While this scared my best friend’s niece my kids thought it was adorable and since beagles are my youngest child's favorite he was up in arms the first time he saw it about crawling into the screen.
Last but not least and certainly on the older side are the original Casper Cartoons that you can pick up in Wal-Mart bargain bins for $1-$5 depending on the size of the collection. This is very G rated as the G rated idea of decades past is certainly not what scrapes by in 2013 for “G” rated entertainment.
Snacks can be simple or they can be creative. For a busy parent Little Debbie makes bat and pumpkin shaped brownies in individual packages, (items my son used for his school version of his birthday party) and Pillsbury makes sugar cookies that are open and bake style with pumpkins, ghosts, and bats depending on the package. They also have brownies with orange and black striped chocolate chips that are open and bake. These are very good and are often requested items from kids who have been in class with my kids before. The kids know me as the “Cool Halloween Mom,” for having the spooky books and snacks.
For kids who can’t have the sugary treats or for parents who try to do more healthy items for Halloween to counteract the trick or treat bags there are banana ghosts and orange pumpkins. Parenting.com had fun ideas as well while TLC’s had normal snack options that ended with giving your child a toothbrush. While oral hygiene is important this is one of the few days a year that a kid is allowed to splurge. Worry about tooth brushing before bedtime or help the decorate a tooth brush cup!
One of parenting.com’s best ideas starts from prepackaged Rice Krispy treats. The list is included below and is a definite items on our party planning menu!
For bananas ghosts all you need is black and red decorating icing and half bananas. Cut half of banana and use the black to make the eyes and the red to form a screaming mouth. The black icing can also be used to draw the faces on the orange slice pumpkins.
The treat that I did not see coming was the severed finger snacks. It was extremely interesting and if you do not have the time to roll out crescent roll dough get corn dogs and cut a portion of the top of the breading off so it looks like a ‘baked finger’ and fry it. Serve with a plastic margarita style or low cut container of mustard with ketchup in the middle and drizzled down the side of the glass.
Jell-O is a fun, anytime snack but for Halloween depending on the age group you could have a lot of fun! For this snack you need 8 Mason jars of apple or lime Jell-O. Fill the mason chairs half way full and allow to set. While its chilling prepare another box of Jell-O, this time a reddish one and depending on the age of the party goers allow this one to set on top of the green with a creepy gummy item setting in it. Dollar Tree often has gummy fingers, spiders, etc. in addition to gummy worms which are suggested for young children so adults and older children can have their own snack.