Adapted from Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day

Tricks and treats for a memorable HalloweenWith crisp autumn weather rushing in, your family has likely spotted fun Halloween displays — festive Jack-o-lanterns and ghoulish costumes in storefronts and neighborhood yards. It’s important to include rituals and family traditions this season.

Establishing unique family fall rituals and setting aside time to carve pumpkins or make costumes, perhaps, is easier (and cheaper) than some parents think. Making your children part of happy celebrations fuels feelings of closeness for all family members. Helping prepare for a holiday is central to any festivity and gives your children the opportunity to show off.

Here are 7 Ways to involve children in Halloween fun:

1. Door décor

Ask your children to make a fun Halloween-themed decoration to hang on the front door to greet trick-or-treaters. Inviting your children to craft whatever tickles their fancy — be it a spooky ghost out of white construction paper or a more playful black cat — will delight them. Bring out the artwork year after year, even after they may have outgrown the Halloween fun.

2. Head to the farmer’s market

Autumn is the season of harvest, after all! Embrace fresh treats like apples for a homemade candied apples recipe, or purchase some fall vegetables to prepare and roast together. Have the kids select their own pumpkin from a farm or a farmer’s market. Before it gets a Halloween face, separate the seeds from the innards of the pumpkin to cook and salt or season with your children’s favorite spices. Pumpkin seeds are much more fun to eat when you have prepared them at home in a skillet, oven, or microwave. Check online for cooking directions.

3. Spooky cinema

Rent an age-appropriate Halloween movie. Cuddle up on the couch a few days before or on the day of Halloween. Bonus: Have a bowl of those spiced pumpkin seeds handy as a healthy snack.

4. Homemade is memorable

It often takes less time to pull a homemade costume together than it does to go to the store to buy one. And the loving touch of a caring parent is a plus. The pillowcase or sheet that turns your child into a ghost, the yarn tail you sew on pink tights to start a bunny outfit, or the plaid shirt and straw hat that transforms your child into a scarecrow makes a much longer lasting impression than the store-bought costume that so many other children have.

5. Parents dress up, too

Your child will know you are in the spirit of the holiday if you don a spooky mask, a baseball jersey of your child’s favorite player, a complete costume, or a wacky combination of clothing just to answer the doorbell.

6. Trick or Treat!

Keep your child company (and safe) as he or she goes door to door. Together you can admire different home decorations.

7. Long-lasting holiday

After the fun of going door-to-door for treats, examine your child’s delectable loot as a safety check. To keep the Halloween spirit alive for a little while longer, store extra Halloween candy in a container in the freezer. Pack it in lunches or for snacks. This also slows down the post-trick-or-treat frenzy. It will be a thoughtful ritual your children won’t forget