Welcome to October, folks! Not only are we in the thick of my favourite part of the year, a season of gathering and celebrating, but we are also right smack bang at the start of one of my most beloved “holidays” of fun: Halloween!
But that’s old news to my regular readers…
Also if you haven’t noticed yet, I love a good countdown calendar aka Seasonal bucket-list for special holidays or even mere themes that the kids may be enjoying at the time. Eg. When I first started out blogging I shared with you our Dinosaur themed activity list that the kids and I ticked off for a month. They were still young ( 1 and 3 years old) when I first introduced it to them, but they freakin LOVED it. (They clearly take after their mama). So I knew I could kick off other little countdown activity based calendars for them in other areas.
And don’t get me started on Christmas! The kids and I have a special count down calendar I put up every single year that gets us all excited about the little Chrismassy things we plan to do, that we treat as treasures, and have become a much anticipated annual ritual…This of course is something that I’ve taken from my childhood – ask my mom, I did my utmost to make her stick to the countdown list every single year. And I looked after that list as if it were a precious gem; neatly storing it flat between her heaviest and biggest recipe books after each Christmas to ensure it was preserved well enough for the next year’s fun. We didn’t always get to tick off everything back then, but it was still so much fun, and built up even more excitement for me as a kid…if that was even possible.
And same goes for now, as a working mom there’s not always enough time or energy to keep up with a hectic “to-do list”. (Like we need more stuff TO DO in this life!) So a fun “bucket-list” of things we’d like to do…we’d choose to do…whenever the time avails itself, definitely works out way better for us a family.
Also back in the day, when I just started blogging, I shared a Halloween countdown activity list for toddlers (check it out – there are some nice ideas!), but now with my family that has since doubled in number, and the kids have grown, along with their interests, I thought I’d share a more updated version of it with you.
Now, if you’ve been following us, you’d know, we’re BIG on Halloween in our home! Like BIG… I go full décor inside and out. We have a big Halloween party every single year – except the year that Parker-Grace was born (the very day before Halloween). But otherwise, it’s been 10 years straight of Halloween parties. We do themed Family Costumes. Before, we’d usually do a whole lot of planning for the big day, but I soon felt like all the fun was over just too fast. Like, after all that mental teasing for a month, I blew my load too quickly. And then it was all over. Even though I felt I had more in me. Somehow I needed to make it last longer. (that’s what he said)
So, enter the countdown activity list or Halloween Bucket List if you will. It’s how we keep the fun going all month long, and truly get to squeeze every drop of fun out of this month of Halloween. I change it up only slightly every year, but I thought I’d share it with ya’ll if any of you are looking to make this Spooktacular month that much more enjoyable.
Now our list is pretty basic, mixed with some DIY and craftiness but also some easy laid back bucket items that are easy to tick off. Because, HELLO! I’m a fulltime working professional executive over here. And whilst mom life is my everything, and creating these kind of fun experiences for my kids gives me great joy, I also have a career to look after and invest in. So it’s all about balance. And Im sure ANY mom is up for that! If, however, you’re one of those super crafty moms who happens to have a little bit more flexibility on your side, then by all means go on with your bad-self and go get it! Go full Martha, if need be. But this list here is supposed to be a nice simple-ish one….a no pressure vibe. A bit of a collection of things we, as a family, mostly do every year for the month of Halloween. But now, just gives our kids a more tangible thing to get excited about, get involved in and track. Trust me, it some how helps with excitement with the littles.
So without further ado, I give you, our Halloween Bucket-list:
1. Have a Harry Potter Night: Last year this time we introduced the girls to Potter – and it was a complete hit! We all had our Hogwarts academic cloaks, our Potter glasses and scars, and even made magic wands to go with it. We tried our hand at Butter Beer (which was also a super win). So all in all they girls got so into Potter. This year is a remake of it, except we’re going all in this time. Im not sure if I wil actually have the energy to make good on that statement though. Cause this pregnancy is currently doing a real number on me. Even more so than last year’s pregnancy. So I may be trying to write a cheque I cant cash here…but A for effort!
2. Have a Harry Potter Movie Marathon – But isn’t that the same as a Hary Potter Night? Nnnope! Not at all. Well, kinda. Harry Potter night has the full experience of HoneyDukes, Floating candles, while we enjoy the first Potter. This marathon movie night, is more lets see how far down the rabbit hole we can go with the kids with the whole Potter lineup. Last year they drew the line at number three, and asked for only number one to be repeated again. So we’ll see how they’ll do this year. We never push though – it must always be fun for them, otherwise whats the point?!
3. Have a Pumpkin Decorating party We have some cousins or buddies over, hand over the paint and glitter and all the craft supplies and let them loose! It’s a nice alternative to the pumpkin carving. Although that can also count as decorating if you’re up for it! (Our kids LOVE both)
4. Perfect Butterbeer Recipe We hit it pretty good last year, but want to get it closer to perfection this year. Wanna join us? It’s delish!
5. Bake Halloween Cookies This goes without saying!Duh!
6. Have a slime fest Like clockwork. Granted, we have been making and loving slime for YEARS already, but come October it’s a near daily thang!
7. Bake Pumpkin Pie Because…I mean, have you tasted pumpkin pie yet? Holy Ish, guys. It’s good! And it’s a must!
8. Have a Halloween Book Fest: See my previous Halloween Reading post for our current Book fest we started! And it seems as though those books wont last us longer than the first week of October – our girls are ploughing through it! #booklovers
9. Go pumpkin hunting This becomes harder and harder each year here in Cape Town. Whats up, guys? Where do we find the best pumpkins???? Tell me now!
10. Decorate the home for Halloween Yes, please!
11. Create a family Halloween Photo – Completely inspired by another awesome blogger a couple of years ago who really gets into the spirit of things, Little Miss Miggy. I’ve used her Pic Monkey tutorial before – super easy! She is a great resource, by the way for parents of children with disabilities, and she continues to inspire me through her powerful online voice. She’s also hilarious!
12. Throw a Halloween Bash Our annual bash, every year, ten years on…and still going strong!
13. Monster Mash Dance Off – we usually do this as part of the much loved kiddy party games at the Bash, but the kids love it so much we also just have it anytime they feel like it. Pump up the volume, and go crazy! Have fun!
14. Go costume shopping: We are currently in the thick of that now, as I believe we’ve reached consensus on the family theme this year. I hope.
15. Make toffee apples / Ghoulish apples: These are so yum. See last year’s witches party to see what Im talking about!
16. Family Apple-cider night by Candle-light: Im gaga over apple cider, and fortunately my sis sent me some ready made sachets that we can just serve up for a family night around the fire!
17. Have a Kiddy-Halloween-Movie Weekend: These are easy going, no stress, no nightmare kinda vibes. Just add popcorn and blankets and you’re sorted!
18. Go trick-or-treating: Hell, yeah!
19. Bring some Harry Potter flavour to your wardrobe: Bring that scarf on, huni!Flash that awesome UK sachel your darling bloggy friend brought in all the way from her travels (Thanks, Shante!) Get Hermoine’s hair – whatever, just get into the fun spirit of things!
20. Wear Halloween-esque sock wear: Fun socks are all the rage anyway, why not add a hallween twist to your foot or leg wear! 😉 Meow!
21. Do Easy Halloween crafts: You dont have to be Martha Stewart here. Be easy on yourself. There’s so many options on the interwebs for this. Else just browse through my old hallween posts for ideas!
22. Have a Pumpkin-Spice Latte: No Starbucks close by? No problem – I’ve got a winning recipe coming your way ASAP! (PS. Starbucks, can you just come to CT already?!)
Also, I usually do this on the computer (see our Dinosaur one – it’s sad). And whilst the kids love it and never judge it, it’s really just not so awe-inspiring in the looks the department. So absolutely inspired by Enjoying the Little Things, I decided to do mine handwritten this year. And I think it came out way prettier than all my other computer aided attempts of previous years – says the IT geek herself! (go figure!)
(Ps. I actually dig my little Potter doodle near the bottom!)
Click here to download.
(pps. I drew mine on size A3 thick paper [R1.99 at PnA], so whilst this can be printed on any size paper, A3 works best!)
Either way, that’s 20 plus ways to help you through the month, but I’ve got a thousand more ways still to add…yes, I know… I have problems 🙂 But for now, let me know if you’re joining us this year with this list!
Happy Memory Making, folks! X