Halloween is right around the corner, but if you're less into the tricks and more into the treats, you may be looking for some non-Halloween activities that will be fun for the whole family.
It can be extra difficult to avoid Halloween events when you're part of a close-knit military community, but here you will find some tips for turning down events you don't want to attend and even host a fall celebration of your own.
Here's a handy guide -- handily categorized by popular fall themes with books, crafts, activities, videos and easy, kid-friendly recipes that will help you create a memorable, spook-free October 31st.
Fall fun: Apples
Apple picking and apple pie are just two of my favorite "apple" things about fall. You're sure to have a great time with these fun ideas using apples. - Read: Books About Apples - Activity: Apple Oobleck - Activity: Apple Pie Playdough - Craft: Apple Crafts for Kids of All Ages - Recipe: Apple Pie in a Cup - Watch (Little Kids): Caillou Goes Apple Picking - Watch (Big Kids): How It's Made -- Apple Juice
Fall fun: Pumpkins
One of the most popular symbols of fall, pumpkins lend themselves to a variety of fun activities and tasty treats. Check out some unique pumpkin ideas below. - Read: Books About Pumpkins - Activity: Edible Pumpkin Playdough - Craft: Lego-stamped Pumpkin Craft - Craft: Apple-Stamp Pumpkins - Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies - Watch (Little Kids): Caillou -- Pumpkin Patch Kid, Franklin's Pumpkin - Watch (Big Kids): How Does It Grow: Pumpkins
Fall fun: Leaves and Trees
The crisp fall weather (or still-super-hot-but-we're-all-pretending-it's-fall weather, depending on where you live) just wouldn't be the same without the multi-colored leaves that gradually make their way into crunchy heaps on the ground. Take a break from raking with these leaf and tree-themed activities. - Read: Books About Leaves - Activity: Maple Playdough Leaves - Craft: Fall Tree Crafts - Craft: Color-Changing Leaf Craft - Recipe: Fall Leaves Rice Krispie Treats - Watch (Little Kids): Autumn Leaves Are Falling Down (Song), Little Bear: Leaves (Part 2 of episode) - Watch (Big Kids): Phineas and Ferb "S'Fall" (Song), Why Do Leaves Change Colors in the Fall?
Fall fun: Candy Corn
Candy corn is one of the most controversial treats of autumn -- either you love it or you hate it. If you're cool with candy corn, these yellow and orange striped activities will satisfy your sweet tooth. - Read: Books About Candy Corn - Activity: Fall Candy Science Experiments - Activity: Candy Corn Slime - Craft: Candy Corn Craft - Recipe: Candy Corn Cookies - Watch (Little Kids): Little Bear's Sweet Tooth (Part 3 of episode), Franklin's Candy Caper - Watch (Big Kids): The History of Candy Corn
Do you seem to always find yourself attending Halloween events with your family that you swore you wouldn't go to? With these activities in your arsenal, you can respond to those unwanted invitations with a kind but final, "Thanks, but I already have some fall activities planned for my kids so we won't be able to make it."
Better yet, respond to their invite with one of your own. Pick one of the crafts above, and set out enough paper and supplies for the number of kids attending. Have a pre-made example ready for them to look at, and walk them through the steps by creating a new one at the same time they do.
After you model how to complete a step, walk around and help anyone who needs assistance before you move on to the next step. If you're not into crafting, make one of the slime or playdough recipes and just let the kids play. Finish off the party with some fall books, a yummy fall snack and a viewing of one of the suggested videos, or choose a favorite fall movie of your own.
Some of the many joys of the military community are the seasonal base events that allow us to mingle with our friends and regularly meet new ones. But if you'd rather avoid the ghosts, witches and "trunk-or-treats," you can still find plenty of things to celebrate this October. Have a fall-nomenal autumn, and let us see pictures of all the fun you have in the comments!