5 fun ways to make your Houston house ‘haunted’ for your kids

Halloween house graphic (Pixabay, Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – We’re not talking about bringing in ghosts or spirits or looking in the attic, we’re talking about celebrating Halloween safely by making your house a “haunted” house.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have made its call on holiday festivities, so if you’re planning to avoid traditional activities, use some of these ideas to trick out your house to bring the haunted home.

1. Create a sensory set-up.

Get a blindfold or put bowls of treats behind a fun partition. Tell your kids a spooky story as you share how the peeled grapes in a bowl are eyeballs and gummy worms were just dug up from a grave and those corn kernels are teeth the witch collected, and depending on how messy you want this to be, some peeled whole tomatoes from the can could be called hearts. Of course, if you’re showing very small kids, beware that they might be scarred for life if the display is not age-appropriate. Here are some additional ideas. I still shudder when someone mentions Chucky or gremlins. Darn that uncle who had the unlimited Blockbuster account with a love for horror. But I digress.

2. Make a tunnel or cave

This is perfect for kids to make themselves or for parents to surprise kids with the evening of Halloween. If it’s a surprise, hide candy and maybe some cutout monsters or a skeleton or two along the way. For extra fun, give the kids flashlights to make their way through the tunnel. Don’t remember how to build a tunnel or cave? You poor, poor adult. Check out this tutorial below.

3. Create a massive spider web

Great ideas abound online for this one, particularly bringing your spider web to another level with neon yarn that you can feature in your yard with black lights. Hang some fake spiders in the web and you’ve owned this Halloween.

This yarn idea could be modified to create a big web in the backyard.

4. Make a shadow puppet theater

This is perfect for Halloween, and you can do in the days ahead as a family project. These instructions are great. Make the puppets Halloween oriented like a vampire and ghost and maybe a haunted house cutout for scenery. If you want the theater to remain a fixture in your kid’s room for play throughout the year, you could dress up the cardboard with a light covering of spray paint. If you don’t have the time to make the shadow puppet theater, there are great ones available on Etsy for as little as $25.

5. Beanbag toss pumpkins

Grab this template from Southern Living and make some beanbag toss pumpkins. This is cute for the kids and isn’t scary. You could make this part of a bigger backyard obstacle course. Start kids off by having them walk a plank of wood, run around some witches or ghosts hung on a clothesline or through some staggered pumpkins and then finish off by successfully throwing a beanbag into the pumpkin’s mouth. You can pick up the beanbags at most local craft stores and big box stores' craft section.

Have fun y’all and be safe this Halloween. Let us know how you plan to celebrate this year in the comments.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.